Christmas Cookie Test Drive

When I was a kid, making spritz cookies with the ancient cookie press seemed so special. I mean, cookies that required a little machine with all kinds of moving parts? How awesome is that? Somewhere along the line the ancient press kicked the bucket, leaving us without spritz cookies for years and years. So when Williams-Sonoma starting selling a fancy new version, we couldn’t resist giving one to Boomer for her birthday. I decided to take it for a test drive today, just to make sure it was in working order for when KtG comes to visit for Thanksgiving.

KtG had a press that we used a few years ago that was new and easy and foolproof. I figured this one would be similar so it would just be a hop, skip, and jump from no cookies to a kitchen full of Christmas-smelling cookies. I… was wrong.

Spritz Shapes

The dough was a snap to make and tasted delicious. That was no problem at all. The press, however, was a much bigger jerk than I was expecting! It was remarkably hard to fully depress the trigger, particularly with my hands covered it greasy butter cookie dough. The dough wouldn’t stick enough to the parchment paper sheets I usually use to make clean-up easier, so I had to ditch them and put the dough directly on the sheets. The process wasn’t working at all, and there was much swearing and tossing about of mishapen blobs that were supposed to be making wreaths and snowflakes. It was a bad scene. Finally Boomer stepped in and held the cookie tray in place while I pulled the trigger, and voila! Success!

Spritz Flower

Tray of Trees

After 12 minutes or so in the oven, out came some delicious-looking, delicious-smelling pre-Thanksgiving Christmas cookies. They’re not the world’s most delicious-tasting cookies (they really require one to be drinking tea by the twinkling lights of a Christmas tree), and they’re a totally pain in the ass to make, but as Boomer pointed out, they just look so much cuter than regular cookies, so it’s worth the trouble!

Baked Spritz

And now I know for the next time I make them:
1. Have someone hold the tray while I press the cookies
2. Put the tray on a table instead of the counter so I get better leverage on the trigger
3. While the straight-up butter/vanilla flavor is good, it might be fun to try mixing in some peppermint oil or almond extract
4. Don’t forget to try the star shape

Let the Christmas cookie season begin!

P.S. I put some red sprinkles on some of the snowflake shapes to represent the danger of using a DSLR to take pictures of light-up Christmas decorations. After a week of letting the General dry out, we have established he is well and truly dead.

[Posted by Pookie]

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11 Comments

Filed under Baked Goods, Cookie, Cookie, Cookie Starts With C

11 responses to “Christmas Cookie Test Drive

  1. Sue

    I’ll share my Spritz recipe with you if you like. I also use a couple of other recipes with my Mother’s old press of which I still use. It takes a couple batches to get the “flick” of the wrist right and I’ve found you don’t want the dough to be too room temperature or too cold to press out without struggling. Good luck and drop me a line if you want my “coveted” recipes. I’d love to share them with you.

  2. hg

    I’m so confused… Cookies out of a what? You use a trigger? Is this some kind of new weaponry?

  3. Sue, I’d love to try out your spritz cookie recipe! The recipe I used seemed really emphatic that it should be room temperature, so I didn’t chill it at all. I think that might have been a problem. The dough was very, very soft.

    HG, I can’t believe we didn’t take a picture of the cookie press itself. It’s a long tube with disks with cutout shapes. When you pull the trigger, the dough is pushed through the disk, like Play-doh. When I make Sue’s recipe, I’ll take a picture of the whole contraption!

  4. Sarah

    I can vouch for their deliciousness. My mom used to wield the cookie press gun to great effect, I have never been as successful, though. They were a favorite Christmas cookie in our house. My mom always made a ton of them and we decorated them with sprinkles or red hots or silver dragees. They freeze great and, as my whole sneaky family discovered, taste great frozen too!!

  5. hg

    Huh. I want to say that HR has one because I remember seeing the disks but I think it was for an icing contraption. :)

  6. Aw, thanks, Sarah!

    Icing contraption, eh? Huh. We should combine the two into a crazy iced cookie doohickey!

  7. I’ve always wanted to make these but they’ve always looked so hard to make! Y’all did a beautiful job.

  8. hg

    We totally should! It could be powered by our Jitterbugs!

  9. Rest in Peace, General. We shall never forget you.

    Cookies! Yay! With sprinkles!

  10. Caitlin, once you get the hang of it, they’re easy, breezy.

    HG, a Jitterbug powered cookie/icing press would be UNSTOPPABLE!

    Carol, oddly enough, the sprinkle cookies tasted a zillion times better than the others. I expected them to taste like sadness, in honor of the General.

  11. while I have used such a contraption with playdough, I actually didn’t know it was an item used in legitimate cookie baking, let alone to such adorable results! it’s a bummer they didn’t tasted as good as they should have, but they do sound like they’d be pretty kick-ass with a cup of tea.

    and I am so, so sorry to hear about The General. I’ll never look at sparkly snowflake street decorations the same way… although I make keep the story from my own camera so it doesn’t decide not to cooperate on those types of photos in memory of the General. :/

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