Sunday, December 6, 2009

More Of My Favorite Christmas Cookie Recipes

The following are all made using a Mirror Cookie Press. I have had several over the years and have worn them out. I still like the old fashioned one that is manually turned. The shooter is quick, the templates a little different than those of my youth, and I have had two brake mid-shooting. You can always find the vintage Mirror Press on Ebay, and they are not too pricey.

Sour Cream Spritz Wreaths
1 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk
1/3 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat oven to 375 F. Beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolk, sour cream and vanilla. Sift together flour, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Gradually stir flour mixture into butter mixture. You may now add food color, I usually use green. Fill cookie press with dough, then form cookies on ungreased cookie sheets. I usually use the small star template and guide it to make the shape of a wreath, placing two cinnamon hot dots at the top. Bake 10-12 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Almond Spritz Christmas Trees
1 cup butter, softened
1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 375 F. Beat butter and cream cheese in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, almond extract, and vanilla; beat till combined. Stir in flour. Add green food color. Cover and chill dough for 30 minutes or until easily worked but not too stiff. Pack dough into a cookie press. I use the Christmas Tree template for these cookies. Force dough through press onto ungreased cookie sheets. Sprinkle with colored sugar and place cinnamon dot at top. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges of cookies are firm but not brown. Allow to cool on baking sheet one minute then remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Butter Spritz Flowers with Maraschino center
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup butter
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
Heat oven to 400F. In large mixer bowl combine sugar, butter, egg, salt, and vanilla. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until mixture is light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add flour. Beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed, 2 to 3 minutes. You may now add food coloring, I divide and make some red and some without food color. Place dough in cookie press. Use flower template and add a maraschino cherry in the center place 1 inch apart on cookie sheets. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
* A Tip: Parchment paper is a huge time saver, as you just slide it off with cookies in tact onto the surface to cool. It also prevents a mess on the pan from sugar sprinkles.

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