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DECEMBER 1999
RECIPES



Chocolate-Almond Petit Fours

Black Bottom Banana Cream Pie

Chocolate Spritz Cookies

Sour Cream Fudge

Gateau Rosie O.



Sweet Spot

 


Chocolate Spritz Cookies

Tips: Spritz cookies are a Scandinavian Christmas tradition. I like the traditional simple butter cookies, but I think the addition of chocolate makes them even better. These are shaped with a cookie press; if you've only used an old-style press, you won't believe the differences! I now have a Kuhn Rikon Professional Cookie Press (I'm not sure how "professional" it is; I got it at Williams-Sonoma), but it's incredibly fun and easy to use, and most of the parts are dishwasher-safe. There are 20 shaping discs, so you won't get bored. These cookies are pretty and plain and crisp, with a not-too-sweet flavor. Their only drawback is the speed with which they disappear. If you can keep them away from people, they can be stored airtight at room temperature for several days, or frozen for longer storage. These are fragile, so don't mail them. Many recipes I've seen call for making the dough in a mixer, but I make it by hand. If you wish, you can decorate the baked, cooled cookies sparingly with icing, but don't freeze the iced cookies. Be sure to try the flavor variations below!

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 3 egg yolks, from eggs graded "large"
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/3 cup sifted or strained unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 1-1/3 cups sifted all-purpose flour

Note: The instructions with my cookie press instruct you to bake the cookies on ungreased cookie sheets. While this does work, it also means you have to clean off the sheets between batches. I line my cookie sheets with ungreased aluminum foil, shiny side up. When I use the press, I "click" out one cookie with the trigger mechanism, then let the press stand in place for just a second or two. I hold the foil down on both sides of the press with one finger, then lift the press up. The dough will stick to the foil, and may cause it to pucker slightly when the press is lifted up, but that doesn't affect the cookies in the least. I know the above procedure sounds complicated, but I can "click" out a sheet full of cookies in a couple of minutes. Replace the foil after baking each sheet of cookies.

Adjust rack to center of oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with foil, shiny side up, or follow directions for the cookie press you have.

In large bowl, combine softened butter, sugar, and salt. Cream thoroughly until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks and beat in, then add vanilla. Carefully stir in cocoa powder, then gradually add flour, mixing only until well-combined. Dough will be stiff.

Follow manufacturer's directions for loading cookie press, then press out 3 or 4 cookies (no more) onto one sheet (cover remaining dough tightly and let stand at room temperature). These will be your "test" cookies. Bake for 11 to 12 minutes, just until they feel firm on top. Allow to stand for a few seconds on cookie sheet after baking, then remove to cooling rack. Cool completely, then try one. The cookies should be crisp through, but not burnt. Adjust baking time if required.

Continue pressing out cookies onto prepared sheets, placing them close together (these barely spread). Remaining dough can stand (tightly covered) at room temperature, but if room is warm you might want to chill it briefly.

Cool cookies completely before storing. Store airtight at room temperature for up to a few days, or freeze.

About 5 dozen cookies

Variations: Stir any one of the following into the dough after adding the vanilla:

  • Grated zest of 1 large, deep-colored orange (plus a few grinds of black pepper, if desired)
  • 1-1/2 tsp. pure peppermint extract
  • 3/4 to 1 tsp. cinnamon plus a dash of ground cloves
  • 1 to 1-1/2 tsp. pure almond extract


© Stephanie Zonis provides the above information to anyone, but retains copyright on all text. This means that you may not: distribute the text to others without the express written permission of Stephanie Zonis; "mirror" or include this information on your own server or documents without my permission; modify or re-use the text on this system. You MAY: print copies of the information for your own personal use; store the files on your own computer for your personal use only; reference hypertext documents on this server from your own documents.

 

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