Classic spritz cookies a hit with children, adults

Classic Spritz Cookies

— 1-1/2 cups butter (3 sticks) softened

— 1 cup sugar

— 1 egg

— 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

— 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

— Color sugar or sprinkles (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar on medium speed of electric mixer about 3 minutes or until creamy, scraping down sides as necessary. Add egg and vanilla; beat well. Add flour; mix on low speed just until blended, scraping down sides as necessary. (Dough will be soft; do not refrigerate.)

Fit cookie press with desired disk; fill with dough. Press dough onto cookie sheet 1 inch apart. Decorate cookies with colored sugar or sprinkles, if desired. Bake 10-12 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool cookies 2 minutes on cookie sheet; remove to cooling rack. Repeat with remaining dough.

Makes 6-7 dozen cookies.

Variation:

Chocolate Spritz Cookies: Increase sugar to 1-1/4 cups. Decrease flour to 3 cups. Combine flour and 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder in medium mixing bowl; blend well. Proceed as recipe directs.

 

My Sunday School class was having a Saturday-night get together. We were going to gather at the church for pizza and fellowship. Everyone was encouraged to bring their children.

Since I like to bake, I decided to make a dessert to go along with the pizza. I asked Brad if he had any requests and he suggested making cookies.

Today’s recipe comes from Pampered Chef. I’ve had several Pampered Chef parties. I got their cookie press at a party and I decided to use it for this event.

I thought the children might enjoy these cookies, because I was going to use sprinkles on them. Who doesn’t like sprinkle?

To start the process, I let the butter soften then added the sugar to the large mixing bowl. I used my stand mixer to cream the two then added the egg and vanilla, turned up the speed and let it go until the ingredients were mixed well.

Then I turned the mixer off while I added the flour, then turned the mixer back on low this time  and let it do its job until the flour was mixed in.

I read the directions to the cookie press and loaded it with a flower-shaped disc. I scooped some of the cookie dough into the press and was ready to squeeze it on to the cookie sheet. I placed the press on the cookie sheet as directed and squeezed the trigger, then lifted the cookie press straight up. Voila, it worked. The flower shape looked good.

After squeezing out about a dozen flowers, I needed to add some more dough to the press and decided I’d change the disc to a butterfly. I thought kids might like different shaped cookies.

I have lots of different sprinkles so I alternately put sprinkles on some, colored sugar on others and white sugar pearls on others. If I was creative, I would have tried to do some details on the butterfly wings, but I’m really not.

When the first pan of cookies was full, I put it in the oven and set the timer for 10 minutes.

I decided to use a silicone mat on a second cookie sheet just to see if it made any difference when baking the cookies.

After the second cookie sheet was full, it was time to load the cookie press again and the timer sounded. When I peeked in the oven, I thought the cookies needed to bake a couple more minutes so I set the timer for two minutes. When I removed the first batch from the oven, they were a little more brown than they should have been so I decided maybe 11 minutes would be the exact amount of time to bake the second batch of cookies.

The third time I loaded the cookie press, I tried another disc. When I squeezed the trigger and lifted the press, nothing happened. The cookie dough came out of the press but it would not stick to the pan, the dough was just stuck to the press. I tried using that disc several times, but each time the same thing happened. I tried squeezing the dough onto the metal cookie sheet and it didn’t stick. I tried squeezing the dough onto the silicone mat and it didn’t stick. So I just gave up on that disc and moved on to another.

When I was almost finished with the dough, I decided I’d sprinkle some of the cookies with cinnamon sugar. I thought that might be a little different. And Brad likes cinnamon sugar.

When all the cookies were baked and cooled I thought they looked good. I held off trying them, though.

We headed to church that evening, cookies in hand, and had a really good time. We didn’t have a lot of people attend as several families were out of town camping, but we did have a great time getting to know one another. We made a circle in the church gym, said a prayer and headed to the buffet line.

Conrad, a little 3-year-old, was the first to try the cookies. He said they were good. Then Bryce, a 13-year-old, tried them and he liked them. As the adults started trying the desserts (we had brownies and fresh fruit too), I was hearing good things about the cookies. I tried a couple of them and Brad tried a couple with cinnamon sugar on them. We both liked them.

In fact, the cookies were such a hit with the children and adults, I didn’t have to worry about taking very many home.

I definitely nailed this recipe. I think it would be a perfect one to make with our grandkids. I’m sure they would like squeezing the trigger and putting their own spin on decorating them.

Sarah Condley is an amateur baker and chef who is compiling a cookbook of her favorite recipes.