This is the very first recipe that was given to me by my mother-in-law before my husband and I were married. These are her special Christmas cookies and she made them every year until she passed away. I call them Granny’s Spritz Cookies because my son always referred to her as “Granny”. Now I make them every year and my husband, son and daughter-in-law generally help with the pressing of the cookies. I can’t wait till my grandson wants to help too!
I use an old time hand cookie press. After placing the dough in the chamber and screwing on the plunger, the pressing may begin. I hold the press vertical to the cookie sheet and turn until the just the right amount of dough comes out for each cookie. Then I make a slight turn in the opposite direction to release the cookie from the press. It has taken me time to master this technique but I have found my family is so much better than I am so I put them to work. (I think this is a genius idea on my part.) I am sure you could use some of the new fangled electric cookie presses to make the process easier. Changing for me at this point, just won’t happen. Just follow the directions of your press to ensure the cookies have great shapes.
I certainly hope these cookies become a holiday tradition for you. Enjoy!
Ingredients (5 - 6 dozen cookies)
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup butter, room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Colored decorating sugar
Sift together the flour and salt in a bowl and set aside.
Mix together the butter and confectioner’s sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. ( Photo A) Beat in the eggs, almond extract and vanilla.
Add the flour mixture and beat until blended. (Photo B)
Place the dough in the cookie press. (Photo C) Shape the cookies on a cookie sheet (do not grease the cookie sheet). Decorate the cookies with colored sugar before baking. (Photo D) Bake at 375 degrees for 7 to 8 minutes. The time can vary depending on your oven. It could take as long as 10 minutes. Do not brown the cookies. (Don’t walk away or some of them might brown. Believe me I know. ) Remove to a wire rack to cool.
Store the cookies in an airtight container.