Today’s recipe is a reminder that great things really do happen at Christmas.
A few months back, I wrote a post about how cookie presses and I just didn’t ‘get along’ with each other. I had owned two up to that point and neither one of them worked, no matter what I did. It was frustrating. I think that cookie presses were made for this time of year. They’re an easy way to make a LOT of pretty cookies with little effort and in a very short turn around time. I really wanted to be able to make some.
I don’t like giving up. So, I decided to give the whole cookie press thing one more try and went scouring the internet for reviews of some of the ‘wider known’ models on the market. I finally settled on the OXO Cookie Press, as it had the most consistently positive reviews and the stencils that came with it were ones that I preferred to other brands. It stayed on my Amazon wishlist for a while, but one day I decided to get myself a little something for Christmas and bought it.
Not gonna lie, I was a tad bit nervous about whether or not it was going to turn out. Oftentimes baking appliances and tools with come with a tiny recipe booklet, so I decided to go with one that was in the booklet that came with the OXO cookie press. I figured it had to be safest bet. The recipe was for gingerbread cookies. I thought that it would be cute to use the teddy bear stencil, and if it turned out, share for the 12 Days of Christmas.
The recipe for the dough comes together much in the same way as most other cookie doughs. The main difference here is in the chilling time. If you’ve ever used one of the cookie recipes I’ve shared on the blog before, you’ll know that I’m a strong advocate for overnight chilling. Most cookie doughs need that extra time to minimize spreading and maintain their shape. However, when it comes to spritz cookies, overnight chilling is the wrong move. You don’t want the dough to be room temp or warm, but if it’s TOO cold then it won’t be pliable enough to press through the metal plates of the cookie press. So, for these 30 minutes of chilling in the fridge will do just fine.
With spritz cookies, the dough has to be at the right temperature and the baking sheets should also be extremely cold when you press the dough out onto them. I don’t know why, but it helps the dough come out cleaner. Place your baking sheets in the freezer prior to even getting started so that by the time you’re ready to press, they’re nice and chilled. No greasing the sheet or (as I usually do) using parchment paper. Don’t worry; they won’t stick.
The entire process to make these was incredibly easy, and quick. I couldn’t have been happier with how they came out, in look or taste. If you’re looking for a cookie press to buy, I give my unpaid & completely enthusiastic recommendation to go with OXO’s.
Just one more day of the 12 Days of Christmas! Stay tuned for the final recipe to be posted tomorrow.
DAY 11: GINGERBREAD SPRITZ COOKIES
Gingerbread Spritz Cookies
Recipe Courtesy of OXO
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar (light or dark, doesn’t matter)
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg, at room temp
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place about 3 baking sheets in the freezer to chill thoroughly.
In a medium bowl combine the flour with the salt and spices and stir together with a fork. Set aside.
In the bowl of a standing mixer or using a handheld one, cream together the butter and sugar until creamy and fluffy. Add the egg, molasses and vanilla and stir just until combined.
Gradually add the flour into the mixture, in about 3 batches, just until it’s combined.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Place chilled dough into your cookie press. Press dough out onto ungreased and unlined baking sheets.
Bake for 5-7 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly browned at the edges. Allow to sit on baking sheet for about 60 seconds before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
(Note: no one oven is the same, & different baking sheets bake cookies differently. Keeping this in mind, I will ALWAYS test bake one cookie before baking entire sheets of the whole batch, just to get a good idea of how long they should be in the oven and if I need to adjust the way I’ve cut, rolled them out, etc. I highly recommend that you do the same.)