When I am starting a baking marathon, I love getting everything out at once so I am not constantly going to the fridge or cabinets to get an item out again. I can’t imagine baking without my KitchenAid Mixer. It is a necessary item for marathon baking!
The first recipe I knew I wanted to make are my Grandma Hazel’s Spritz Cookies. They are a requirement at our family Christmas. Grandma Hazel is my mom’s mom and she would have been 100 this year, but sadly passed away when my mom was just 17. But, mom always told me that she would make these every year for Christmas and I want to do the same. They are a delicate cookie that is bite size and gives just a bit of sweetness. The other fun part is you can change up the flavors so easily and really have fun with it.
You do need a cookie press for this recipe. I use this one from Pampered Chef, but you could also try THIS ONE from Kuhn Rikon which is very similar.
Your cookie press will come with various plates to insert that will create different patterns of cookies. My favorites are always the flower, the wreath, and the Christmas tree.
Once you press them onto the pan, you can add sprinkles or sugars before baking. Since they are such a small cookie, they only take a few minutes to bake up. I set my timer for 6 minutes and that was perfect. (Except for the batch I completely forgot about and didn’t hear the timer and they were quite burnt!) You can add food coloring to the dough also. I like adding green to the dough when I make the trees.
I also love to make cut-out sugar cookies. I always get compliments on them and even though I am not talented at decorating, they are still delicious. I love using my mother-in-law’s cookie cutters when we make our Christmas cookies. She has been in heaven for 10 years this week and we still miss her presence every day.
My secret to making the cut-out sugar cookies is I use the Betty Crocker mix. I know, I know…I should be making them from scratch, but this recipe is so easy and delicious why recreate the wheel. These whip up super fast and I can have sugar cookies in the oven in just minutes. Once they cool I can frost/decorate them up in no time.
GRANDMA HAZEL’S SPRITZ COOKIES
3/4 Cup Butter
1/2 C Sugar
1/2 tsp Almond Extract
2 C Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
Cream Butter and Sugar until fluffy, beating well. Add egg and extract, then beat until fluffy. Gradually add dry ingredients. Beat well. Put dough into cookie press and press onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Decorate with colored sugars and sprinkles if desired. Bake at 375 degrees for 6-8 minutes watching closely. Makes about 3 dozen cookies depending on your chosen shape.
Additional variations include:
Chocolate Cookies: Add 1 Tbsp cocoa with 1 tsp of water.
Add Peppermint or orange extract for a different flavored cookie
I hope your holidays are full of laughter, the joy of being with family, and delicious food. May you have the merriest of Christmases and a new year full of blessings.
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