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!
- 2/3 cup unsalted butter,
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- Pinch salt
- 3 egg yolks, from eggs graded
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 1/3 cup sifted or strained
unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
- 1-1/3 cups sifted all-purpose
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.
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.
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
Cool cookies completely
before storing. Store airtight at room temperature for up to
a few days, or freeze.
About 5 dozen cookies
Stir any one of the following into the dough after adding the
- Grated zest of 1 large,
deep-colored orange (plus a few grinds of black pepper,
- 1-1/2 tsp. pure peppermint
- 3/4 to 1 tsp. cinnamon plus
a dash of ground cloves
- 1 to 1-1/2 tsp. pure almond
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