Spritz are one of those timeless recipes that you can be assured someone in the neighborhood makes every Christmas. Light, buttery, just a hint of almond with a soft crunch, these are both my husband and dad’s favorites.
Of course, there is one barrier to entry, you have to own a cookie press.
There’s really no way around it. Without a cookie press, spritz cookies are boring lumps. There was a year when our press broke and my mom tried to use cookie stamps, but it really wasn’t the same.
So, is it worth the investment? Another kitchen tool that is single purpose? I think so, if you meet three qualifications:
- You or someone you love LOVES spritz cookies
- You’re willing to get creative
You have room
Okay, if you qualify for 1 & 2, you’ll probably make room.
The best part about spritz cookies is the all the discs that come with it. I like to add food coloring to the dough, and even mix colors for a textured effect. Also, one batch of dough can make ~6 dozen cookies. SIX DOZEN! Which is a great way to make bulk treats.
The Spritz Cookie recipe is pretty basic, and hasn’t varied much over the years. In poorer times we substituted margarine for butter, and even omitted the almond extract when we didn’t have any. Obviously butter is better, but austere times… Some people don’t even like the almond extract (can you imagine?!?!), so it’s optional but everyone here loves it!
Also, do not chill the dough. I repeat, DO NOT CHILL THE DOUGH. If you do decide to save the dough for another day, cover in plastic and keep in the refrigerator for up to one week. Allow to come to room temperature before using. If you don’t, you WILL break your cookie press.
Basic Spritz Cookies Recipe
Makes 72 cookies
- 1½ cups Butter, softened
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 Egg
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- ¼ tsp Almond Extract (optional)
- 3 ½ cups Flour
- Food coloring, sprinkles & toppings (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375°
- In a large mixing bowl, beat butter on high speed for 30 seconds.
- Add the sugar and baking powder, and beat until combined, scraping the sides if necessary.
- Add the egg, vanilla, and almond extract (if desired), beating until combined.
- Beat in as much of the flour as you can. Stir in any remaining flour.
**** This is where you can divide the dough and add color, if desired ****
- Force unchilled dough through a cookie press onto an ungreased cookie sheet, ideally lined with a silpat.
- Bake for 8 – 10 min or until lightly golden at the edges.
Sometimes I like to reflect on my train of thought, and try to remember the pathing from one thought to another. Even more fun? Link pathing. Okay, it’s not as much fun, but at least there is an easily navigable history.
These Lovecakes came from a late night read on Flipboard (my favorite app), which pointed me to this article by the Huffington Post, which led me to stumble upon this recipe by wee eats.
I am naturally skeptical of recipes on the web. They often have typos, rarely have solid reviews, and sometimes have never even been made by the writer. Add to that the expense of high quality ingredients and the high pressure of Valentine’s Day, and I was more than hesitant to try this one out, but after drooling over chocolate recipes for several hours, I finally settled on giving this a go.
No, wait, let me say that again…
Throw away all your other chocolate cake recipes, this is the last one you’ll ever need. It’s simply heaven. My coworkers raved the lovecakes, and they were gone before 9AM. Chocolate for breakfast, is there really any other way on Valentine’s Day?
Dark Chocolate Lovecakes
Makes 24 cupcakes. Recipe adapted from wee eats.
- 1 3/4 c Flour
- 2 c Sugar
- 3/4 c Cocoa Powder
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 c Buttermilk, shaken
- 1/2 c Vegetable Oil
- 2 Eggs, room temperature
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 1 c Coffee, hot
- 6 oz Dark Chocolate, chopped
- 2 sticks Butter
- 1 Egg Yolk, room temperature
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 1 – 2 c Powdered Sugar, to taste
- 1 – 2 tbsp Milk
- Preheat the oven to 350. Line cupcake pan with cupcake tins.
- Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer. After sifting, mix the ingredient on low speed until combined.
- In a second bowl, whisk together buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla.
- With the mixer on a low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients until just combined.
- With the mixer still on low, slowly add the coffee to the mixture, being sure to scrap the bottom of the bowl. The mixture will be very thin and runny. This is okay.
- Pour the batter into the cupcake tins. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes. Allow to cool completely before making the frosting.
- Melt the chocolate in 30 second intervals, stirring between each until completely melted.
- Beat the butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
- Add the egg yolk and vanilla to the butter and beat for 3 minutes. This is where your frosting is going to learn to be fluffy.
- Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the powdered sugar. The original recipe called for 1 – 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar, but I felt like this wasn’t sweet enough. Feel free to vary to your particular taste. I may have even added more than 2 cups in the end. To compensate for my added sugar, I added a tbsp or so of milk to adjust the texture. How sweet should the frosting be? I used the scientific method of dipping my finger first into the butter concoction and then the melted chocolate. Judge me. It worked.
- Continuing on low speed, add the chocolate in a steady stream.
- Frost the cooled cupcakes immediately. Top with sprinkles.
Natalie at Wee Eats is totally right, these were absolutely better the second day. Be sure to use top quality coffee as the flavor balances the chocolate.