Throwback {spritz cookies}

Remember a simpler time? When recipes were written on index cards, when MCI was a valid long-distance carrier, when long-distance calls were a thing, when manufacturers signaled an innovative item by adding the number 2000 afterwards and when cookie was spelled with a “y”?* Tonight I decided to single-handedly break the space-time continuum in my kitchen with the help of Betty Crocker’s trusty Cooky Book and my cookie press, Sweden’s best, the Sawa 2000.

*When did anyone spell cookie with a “y”? How old is this book?

We had plenty of traditions in our family around the holidays but I think my favorite was my marathon baking escapades featuring gingerbread houses – when I first learned that molasses smells like rotten tomatoes and that royal icing doesn’t taste particularly good, a Tannenbaum cookie tree, coconut macaroons, profiteroles and of course an array of cookies from the cookie press. I had free reign of the kitchen until I was covered in flour, out of sugar and sick to my stomach eating the decorative red-hots set aside to adorn the baked goods.

I have since cut back on my holiday baking extravaganza but try to make time every year to keep one of these traditions alive. And for the past couple years it has been spritz cookies made in the cookie press. Quite possibly the worlds easiest cookie dough to make, I decided to make this tonight around 6:00 and was out of the clean kitchen by 7:00. Evidently since my younger days not only have I grown enough to have some leverage when it comes to pressing out the dough but I’ve also become slightly more efficient in my baking. I suppose if you don’t have a cookie press you could just roll it into balls and press with a fork, but if you remember dreaming about the Play-Doh Fun Factory in all its extruding glory as a child and couldn’t sleep the night before your 7th birthday, then you should run out and buy yourself a cookie press.

While you’re at it, preheat your oven to 400° and set out two sticks of butter on the counter so they can come to room temperature.

If you can’t read the above recipe, and don’t feel bad if you can’t, it may be an impossible trick I’m playing on you, let me share with you the necessary ingredients for you to prepare:

  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks in butter-math)
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/3 cups flour
  • pinch of salt

To make the dough, cream together the softened butter, sugar, egg yolks and vanilla. Add the pinch of salt and flour. Don’t overmix. You can see how I was able to manage this recipe as a child.

Now, let’s turn our attention to the Sawa 2000, Sweden’s number one export behind gruesome murder mystery novels. The S2K, as I like to call it, comes with a book outlining how to use the contraption, several different cookie dies and a useful guide to translating the discs into satisfying cookie shapes.

Look at it, glistening with anticipation. All metal, might I add – ain’t one piece of plastic on this thing. They don’t make ’em like they used to, that’s for sure. If you notice in the guide, it displays a tube attachment which is great when you want to shove jam inside something.

It’s time to load the press. Grab a handful of dough and start making a snake. Anyone else thinking of this?

And a test drive.

Mama like.

You guessed it. Now it’s time to manufacture yourself some tasty treats. Crank out enough of these to cover a sheet tray (they don’t spread much so you don’t need too much space in between) and pop them in the oven for about 10 minutes until they’re just beginning to turn golden. You don’t want them to brown much.

These are such simple little cookies that I don’t think to make them much but when I do, I really love them. Especially for breakfast. They almost dissolve when you dip them into a hot cup of coffee.

But let’s not forget to praise the amazing shapes created by the S2K tonight. The Cooky Book offers several useful ideas for what occasions fit best with what cookie shape. Having a children’s birthday party? Animal shapes. What about a bridal shower? Flowers of course. My question is, there is clearly a die that makes a cookie shaped like a hot dog. Tell me, friends, what occasion would you find appropriate for that?

I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a holiday season filled with Jokes and Snacks.