When I was growing up, there would often be round blue tins of “Danish butter cookies” in the house (like these ones by Royal Dansk). They were filled with an assortment of small, crumbly shortbreads, stacked in paper liners, and my sister and I adored them.
These Spritz Cookies are very reminiscent of those (minus the sugary topping). A couple of years ago, I picked up a cookie press on sale…
It’s taken me a while to get around to using it, but when I came across this simple recipe from Nick Malgieri’s Cookies Unlimited cookbook, I thought it was worth having a go. They didn’t all come out perfectly formed, but for a first attempt, I was really pleased with them. The dough made 108 cookies!
- 250g (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
- 165g (¾ cup) sugar
- pinch of fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used homemade)
- 3 large (59g) free range egg yolks
- 375g (2½ cups) plain (AP) flour
Note: the original recipe specifies lining baking trays with either parchment or foil. We tried both, and found the foil lined tray far easier to use – the cookie dough needs to grip the tray in order to form properly, and the parchment paper was too non-stick.
1. Preheat oven to 175C (350F) or 160C (320F) with fan. Malgieri’s original recipe bakes at 375F, but I think my cookies were smaller than his. Mine were done in the recommended time on the lower heat. Line two large trays with foil.
2. In the large bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla until very light and fluffy. This will take several minutes – keep going until the colour lightens. Scrape down the side of the bowl as needed. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition.
3. Add the flour and mix very gently until just combined. The mix will be soft, be careful not to overwork it at this stage. Stir in any last bits of flour by hand.
4. Divide the dough into quarters and roll a portion into a log shape, then insert it into the cookie press barrel. Press out shapes onto the lined trays (you’ll need to experiment a little first – just recycle any failed ones back into the dough bowl).
5. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes, until lightly golden. Rotate the trays once during the baking time. Slide the foil liner off the tray onto the bench to cool. The cookies might stick a little, but should come loose once they’ve cooled slightly.
We made butterflies, clouds and flowers…
The cookies are quite fragile, so stack them carefully in muffin liners in an airtight container. They seem to improve with a day’s rest…
These were short, crumbly and a little too easy to eat. They’ll definitely be on this year’s Christmas baking list!