German Spritz Cookies

cropped-spritz-cookies-header-raw.jpgIf you’re looking for something besides sugar cookies to make with your children, you may want to try Spritz Cookies. Heather Melton, United Thank Offering Missioner, share her memories and recipe:

“My favorite Christmas cookie is a tiny, unassuming cookie from Germany.  Spritz cookies are fragile, not too sweet, and buttery.  The name comes from the German verb, spritzen, which means to squirt, so these cookies are traditionally made using a cookie press.  If you don’t have a press, or like me get frustrated with the cookie press, they also roll out beautifully.

Spritz cookies are fairly common among German families, and it seems that no two recipes are the same, except for the fact that they are handed down from generation to generation. Spritz cookies are a descendant of gingerbread cookies, and just like gingerbread, this dough is sturdy enough to be built with, rolled or pressed. I got my recipe from my German Great-Grandmother.

I think what makes these cookies so special is the almond flavor. It’s sort of an unexpected flavor at Christmas, and the light nature of the cookie isn’t what most Americans are used to around the holidays. If you have children or grandchildren, Spritz cookies are a great family activity.  I remember first learning how to use the cookie press as a teenager, and I don’t remember a Christmas without these cookies.

This is the first year my children got to make Spritz cookies with me. My children love painting the cookies.  They were very serious in their work and made sure each cookie was covered in glaze…along with their hands, our table and the chairs!”

Wisdom is a fountain of life to one who has it, but folly is the punishment of fools. The mind of the wise makes their speech judicious, and adds persuasiveness to their lips. Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. ~ Proverbs 16:22-24


Spritz Cookies
Makes 150 small cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups Cake Flour, sifted
  • ¼ t. Salt
  • 1 Cup Unsalted Butter, room temperature
  • 1 Cup + 2 T. Powdered Sugar
  • 1 t. Almond Extract (or whatever flavor you prefer)
  • 2 Egg Yolks beaten

Glaze:

  • 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1-2T. Milk or Water
  • Food Coloring

Cream together the butter, powdered sugar, salt, extract and egg yolks until evenly mixed.

Gradually add flour until combined.

If using a cookie press, press immediately.

If rolling out the dough, place in refrigerator for one hour to chill if rolling out the dough.  Then roll dough to ¼ inch, or a little bigger. Use small cutters to cut cookies the size of what a cookie press would make.

Cookies do not spread so you can place a lot on one cookie sheet.

Bake at 400 for 8 minutes.  Check at 7 minutes after the first batch.  The tops will be white still, but there should be a very light brown bottom.

Once cookies have cooled, create a simple glaze using powdered sugar and milk/water.  Using a paintbrush or basting brush, paint the cookies the colors of your choice.  Allow cookies to dry before packaging.

Submitted by: Heather Melton, United Thank Offering Missioner, The Episcopal Church

For a downloadable/printable version of this recipe, visit:
http://www.episcopalchurch.org/blog/advent/resources

Tomorrow: Br. Timothy’s Coffee Cake

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