Friday, December 10, 2010

Pretty, but Simple Spritz

Spritz was one of my favorite cookies my mother made for the holidays.  Like Russian Tea Cakes, it can be make a few weeks ahead then, stored in a cool place, for packing up in cookie boxes for later;  thus, my choice today to get a head start on my mad cookie baking marathon for my gift boxes to family and friends.

Spritz or Swedish Butter Cookies are a favorite, not only in Scandinavia but here in the United States.  I not only made them with my mother, but they have been part of my Christmas cookie baking for over 40 years.  They are formed using a cookie press and my choice today actually came from a suggestion from my sister, who requested the ridged wafer shape...dipped in chocolate!

Pistachio Spritz dipped in Bittersweet Chocolate
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup Pistachio Paste
2 egg yolks
1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
4 cups flour
12 oz. Bittersweet chocolate
Pistachio nuts, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350F-degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment.
In the KitchenAid, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter until fluffy.  Add the granulated sugar and beat well.  Add the pistachio paste (or you could use almond paste), the egg yolks, and the vanilla extract and beat 1-2 minutes until combined.  Add the dry ingredients and mix until the dough comes together.
Use a cookie press and fill as directed with the dough.
I pressed out the wafer cookie shape, but I had other shapes I could have used (and have before).  
Don't worry about the edges being "rough".  I've found by adding just 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder to my butter dough the edges smooth out nicely during baking.

Bake 8-10 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned.  Cool slightly on the sheet, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
In a double boiler, melt the bittersweet chocolate.  Dip the edges of the cooled cookies into the chocolate and place the dipped cookies on a sheet of parchment paper to set.

Before the chocolate sets, however, sprinkle with the finely chopped pistachios.  (If you have used almond paste instead of pistachio, sprinkle with finely chopped almonds).
 Once the chocolate sets completely, you can store these cookies for a few weeks in a cool place. You could also freeze the cookies if you want to make them earlier.
This recipe made easily 8 dozen+ cookies.

I've been baking these cookies (including helping my Mom) for over 50 years and think this recipe, I've come up with, is really good.  Tender cookies with the distinctive buttery taste that are simple, but just like a little black dress, can be "accessorized" to be festive for the holidays.  Enjoy!


  1. Your post on spritz cookies is the second i have seen with the waffer mold. I have my grandmas old crank spritz mold...I will have to double check to see if she has the shape in there with it! They look so cute!

  2. I think it's a standard shape with most of the cookie presses. I had my mother's original one until a few years ago when I finally needed to replace it and it had the wafer shape.
    These are a "must" in my cookie repertoire for the holidays :)

  3. I am so pleased that you took my suggestion and made these perfect little cookies!!!! (I may try this again----I think of an idea and YOU make it happen!!) Love you, Sis

  4. mmm...these look and sound amazing!! love you xoxo