Spritz Butter Cookies

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes

    Twenty-eight

    rosette

Appears in

The Baking Bible

By Rose Levy Beranbaum

Published 2014

  • About
Oven Temperature 375°F/190°C
Baking Time 10 to 12 minutes for each of four batches

This traditional Christmas cookie is one that I enjoy year round, so when my delightful friend and fellow cookbook writer Sally Longo suggested replacing some of the flour with cornstarch, I was eager to try it. The result: a more delicate cookie that is also easier to pipe or push through a cookie press.

Ingredients

Cookie Dough

Makes 26.7 ounces/750 grams

VOLUME WEIGHT
blanched sliced almonds ½ cup minus 1 tablespoon 1.5 ounces 44 grams
bleached all-purpose flour 2 cups (lightly spooned into the cup and leveled off) plus 2 tablespoons 9.1 ounces 257 grams
cornstarch ¼ cup (lightly spooned into the cup and leveled off) 1 ounce 30 grams
fine sea salt a pinch . .
superfine sugar ¾ cup 5.3 ounces 150 grams
unsalted butter (65° to 75°F/19° to 23°C) 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) 8 ounces 227 grams
1 large egg, at room temperature 3 tablespoons plus ½ teaspoon (47 ml) 1.8 ounces 50 grams
pure vanilla extract 1 teaspoon (5 ml) . .
pure almond extract 1 teaspoon (5 ml) . .
glacéed cherries, sugar sprinkles, or dragées, for decorating . . .

Special Equipment

Two 15 by 12 inch cookie sheets, no preparation needed or lined with parchment | A large pastry bag fitted with a ½ inch star pastry tube or a cookie press

Method

Preheat the Oven

Thirty minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C.

Toast the Almonds

Spread the almonds evenly on a baking sheet and bake for about 5 minutes, or until pale gold. Stir once or twice to ensure even toasting and avoid overbrowning. Cool completely.

Mix the Dry Ingredients

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, and salt.

Make the Dough

Food Processor Method In a food processor, process the almonds and sugar until fairly fine. Cut the butter into several pieces and add it with the motor running. Process until smooth and creamy. Add the egg, vanilla, and almond extract and process until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the flour mixture and pulse in just until blended.

Stand Mixer Method Use a nut grater to grate the almonds powder fine and then whisk them into the flour mixture.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, on medium speed, beat the sugar and butter until fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg, vanilla, and almond extract and beat for 30 seconds, or until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. On low speed, gradually add the flour mixture and mix until incorporated.

Scrape the mixture onto a sheet of plastic wrap and use the outside of the plastic wrap to knead together the dough until it is completely even and soft enough to pipe smoothly.

Shape the Cookies

Scoop the dough into the pastry bag (or spoon some of the dough into the cookie press and cover the remaining dough). Pipe 7 rosettes or 14 stars about inches in diameter onto the cookie sheet, no less than 1 inch apart.

To get the best possible shape for the rosettes, use your fingers to smooth the ends of the rosettes after piping. For the stars, hold the bag in a vertical position (straight up and down) with the toothed edge of the tube just slightly above the cookie sheet. Squeeze the bag firmly without moving it until the shape is as wide as desired, just at the point when the lines in the dough are on the verge of curving. Stop squeezing the tube and push the tube down slightly. Lift the tube straight up and away. Decorate with the glacéed cherries set in the centers, and/or top with sugar sprinkles or dragées.

Bake the Cookies

Bake for 5 minutes. For even baking, rotate the cookie sheet halfway around. Continue baking for 5 to 7 minutes, or until pale gold.

Cool the Cookies

Set the cookie sheet on a wire rack and use a pancake turner to lift the cookies onto another wire rack. Cool completely.

While each batch of cookies is baking, shape the dough for the next batch.

Store

Airtight: room temperature, 1 month; refrigerated or frozen, 6 months.