Every year, I plan a massive list of cookies and treats I want to make for Christmas. The list is so big that if I started baking for Christmas in June, I wouldn’t get them done. So every year I have par down the list to something a bit more realistic. Every year, Spritz cookies get cut because they require a bit of special equipment in the form of a cookie press.
This year I decided to keep them on them list and buy a cookie press. I bought a Wilton cookie press for about $15. I have had several people tell me that the cookie press is hard to use. I found that there is a bit of a learning curve, its not hard. Here are a few things I learned about making spritz cookies. 1. Don’t grease or line your pans. It makes your cookies spread. 2. If you are tooling a long pressing cookies and all of a sudden the cookies won’t release from the press, its because your dough is too warm. Put the press and baking sheet in the fridge for 5 minutes and try again. 3. Don’t let the cookies cool more then the recommended 2 minutes. Once cooled the cookies will break more easily when removing them. 4. I discovered I like these cookies with out decorations but you can sprinkle the cookies with colored sugar before baking if you like a more festive cookies
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the flour and baking powder.
In a separate bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg, milk, almond extract and vanilla extract; mix well.
Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture; beat until well combined. DO NOT CHILL.
Put your chosen disk into the cookie press and fill it with dough. Press the cookie dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 10-12 minutes or until the edges begin to turn golden brown. Cool for 2 minutes on the cookie sheet on a cooling rack. Remove the cookies from the cookie sheet and cool completely on the cooling rack.
People who love to bake seldom love to cook and people who love to cook seldom love to bake. I, however, love to do both equally. I try to keep the baking half of my heart under control most of the time because no one needs sweets lying around all the time, not even small batches of sweets.
The one time of year I can indulge my love of baking is the Christmas season. The next few weeks I will posting my adaptions of traditional, at least in my family, Christmas treats. Let’s get started with one of my favorite cookies, date pinwheels. You can use any kind of date for this cookie but fresh Medjool dates will take it to another level. Cliché but true.
In a medium bowl, cream the butter, white sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
In a seperate medium bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking soda; mix well. Add the flour mixture into the creamed butter mixture. Mix well. Bring the dough into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, bring the dates, sugar and water to a boil; reduce heat to medium and cook until the mixture is thickened, 10 -15 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature.
When filling is cool, pre heat the oven to 350 degrees. When ready to make your cookies, place your dough between two sheets of waxed paper and roll out until a 1/4 inch thick. Spread the filling evenly over the dough until 1/4 inch from the edge. Starting from the long edge, roll the dough up jelly roll style. Wrap the rolled up dough in waxed paper and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. When ready to bake the cookies, unwrap. Using a serated knife, cut the dough in 1/4 inch slices. Place slices on a sheet pan. Bake 10 – 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit 2 minutes before removing cookies to a wire rack to cool.
It’s 3 weeks and 3 days until Christmas. Can you believe it????? It’s time to get baking all those yummy Christmas treats. Here is a round up of all the small batch Christmas treats I have posted over the years. Tune in on Monday for the start of this year’s batch of Christmas treats.
Is there any better flavor combination in the world better than peanut butter and chocolate? I don’t think so. Which is why my Christmas cookie platters always include peanut butter blossoms.
A bit of peanut butter blossom trivia. Peanut butter blossoms made their debut in 1957 when their creator entered them in the Pillsbury bake off. She made it into the top 100 finalists but lost the grand prize. The grand prize went to a dessert called accordion treats. In 1993, peanut butter blossoms were inducted into the baking hall of fame.
Peanut Butter Blossoms
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup peanut butter
4 TBS butter
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 TBS lightly beaten egg
13 chocolate kisses
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, combine flour, salt and baking soda; mix well. In another bowl, cream the butter, white sugar and brown sugar. Add peanut butter and egg; mix well. Drop by tablespoonfuls about two inches apart onto a baking sheet lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake 8 – 10 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately press a chocolate kiss into the cookie. Let cool on the tray for 2 – 3 minutes. Remove to a wire rack and cool completely.