Thursday, December 4, 2014

Baking Time

Once the carols start playing and the Christmas tree goes up, I get the urge to make all kinds of cookies and candy.  I've got a few batches of dough stashed in the freezer (chocolate chip and peanut butter, to be made into those awesome Blossom cookies...oh, Blossom cookies, how I love you...)

One of my more fiddly cookies to make is spritz cookies.  They aren't too complicated, really, but they take time and have a few steps.  And then there's the whole loading of the cookie press part...well, they are worth the work, trust me.

It all starts with my patented easy dough.  I put one cup of butter straight from the fridge along with two and a half cups of flour, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder, and 3/4 cup of granulated sugar, into my trust food processor.  Pulse until it resembles fine crumbs.  Next, add one egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 1/2 teaspoon almond extract, and a bunch of your favorite red food color of choice (natural or unnatural, pick your poison).  Using the dough setting on the processor, work the dough until it comes together in a soft smushy dough form.  Plonk into a bowl and chill in the refrigerator for about an hour.

After the hour is up, it is a beautiful smooth velvety dough, fantastic for making spritz.  A few years ago, I picked up a cookie press.  Best investment ever, really.  It came with all kinds of discs to make all kinds of shapes of buttery cookies.  My favorite for my Cherry Spritz (a holiday classic) is a star shaped one.  Then, I can add a candied cherry in the center, and bake at 375 degrees for ten minutes.  Allow to cool for a couple of minutes on the baking sheet, and slide over to a cooling rack to finish firming up.

My next step: try not to eat them all myself.

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