Sunday, December 18, 2011

25 Days of Christmas, Day 18: Spritz Cookies

I managed to finish all my Christmas shopping yesterday despite being overwhelmed by the crowds and distracted by the millions of shiny, happy things lining the store shelves. Seriously, at one point I had to clap my hands in front of my own face and command myself to "focus!". It worked, as I said; I am officially done, now.

I'm also done with all my wrapping, having spent the better part of two hours working on that chore last night.

Tonight, Hugh and I are hosting our employee Christmas party. I'll be baking a nice ham and serving it with scalloped potatoes, green bean casserole, and rolls. For dessert we will be munching on a goody tray filled with the numerous things that I have baked so far, including lemon tartletts, the recipe for which I will be sharing, soon.

In the meantime, here is the recipe for Spritz cookies which I think have a German history. I could be wrong, of course and, really, it doesn't matter but; I like to sound somewhat knowledgeable about my baked goods.

Yes, even when I am wrong.

Spritz Cookies

1 1/2 cup margarine or butter
3 1/2 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract
Cookie press (I'm using one from The Pampered Chef but old fashioned presses work equally well, if you have one)
*Optional, food coloring, sprinkles, etc.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Beat margarine or butter with an electric mixer on high for 30 seconds. Add one cup flour, sugar, egg, baking powder, vanilla, and almond extract. Beat until thoroughly combined. Beat in remaining flour until dough resembles small pebbles, keep beating until dough forms smooth ball. If desired, divide dough into equal parts and color with food coloring, mixing thoroughly.

Place unchilled dough in cookie press and force onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 8-9 minutes or until cookies are set. Cool on wire racks. Store in airtight container or freeze.

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