I haven’t been doing much in the way of Christmas cookies this year. In fact, this is my third December post, it appears. So you can tell I haven’t been doing much cooking at all. I have been doing a lot of work for my new food radio show, which sadly takes away from cooking. Thus far I’ve made two old standby Christmas cookies and one new one (not yet blogged).
Every year I’ve made Spritz cookies I kind of chuckle to myself about how much my mom hates making them. There was always lots of frustration, swearing and (even a little bit of) dough-slinging involved. I never found them super difficult. A little putzy? Yes. Difficult? No.
This year changed my mind. These cookies are the devil. I spent an entire day trying to press a double batch worth of these cookies out onto baking sheets. And after the first batch was finally in the oven I was cursing myself for doubling the batch in the first place. (Note to self – do NOT do this next year or the year after.) It may have had something to do with the dough being too cold. My recipe didn’t say to chill the dough but I swear that was always one of my mom’s steps. (She confirmed this via text.) I nearly broke my cookie press trying to press too-cold dough through the plastic discs.
And when the dough finally softened up enough where I could successfully get something resembling a cookie onto my baking sheet, the dough would not evenly distribute when pressing through the disc. Suddenly I knew why my mom had cursed these cookies for so many years. I was cursing them, too.
I gave a few of the green ones I made to my neighbor when I brought over a Christmas card that was delivered to my house. She laughed at the vibrant green color (I use gel food coloring) but ate one right away and commented that they were very smooth.
I made these on the same day as making Peanut Butter Balls, which also gave me a harder time than normal. I seem to be having bad Christmas cookie karma this year and for that reason have thrown in the towel. No more cookies for me until 2014!
These cookies are a Christmas-time tradition in my house and millions of homes all over the world. This is the recipe my mom always used – you can find it in any vintage GE Cookbook, if you have one lying around.
- 1 c. butter
- ½ tsp. almond extract
- ½ c. plus 1 T. Sugar
- 2-1/2 c. sifted all-purpose flour
- 1 egg
- ¾ tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- food coloring, optional
My mom always found these cookies frustrating to make. I always found them well worth the wait. My mom used to divide the dough in half to make both red and green…
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