Friday, December 10, 2010
Pretty, but Simple Spritz
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).
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!