I know I’ve talked a lot about my chewy cookie love on the blog, but I don’t think I’ve paid enough attention to another type of cookie that just makes me melt. Or rather, it melts… in my mouth. Yes, cookies that are crisp but then start to disintegrate once they hit your tongue hold a special place in my heart. I always have the best intentions and plan on eating just one, and before I know it, all I’m left with is a few crumbs and a lot of shame.
One of the best melty, buttery cookies out there is Spritz. Spritz cookies (or Spritzgebäck) are German in origin and are traditionally eaten around Christmas. I do realize it is March and therefore an inappropriate time to be blogging about Christmas cookies; however, I was given a cookie press this year as a Christmas gift and have been dying to use it. Check it out! Isn’t it a beaut?
It was given to me by one of my besties, who also loves to bake. Great minds must think alike because I also got her one for Christmas. Unfortunately, I got her one that is nowhere near as good as this one. Yeah, one of those awkward moments.
Even though this recipe is a pretty simple one, it took me a few tries to get right. Buttery cookies have a tendency to spread in the oven when the butter melts so if we want cookies to hold their shape, we must add strengtheners to the dough. Egg is usually used as a strengthener to ensure that the spritz cookies hold their characteristic shape. The proteins in the egg set when baked, thereby preventing too much spread in the cookies. The drawback to this, is that if you use too much egg, the cookies will be too tough and will no longer have that tender meltiness. I started this recipe by adding an entire egg to the dough, and the resulting cookies weren’t quite melty enough for my liking. Then I tried just adding just the egg yolk without the white, and yes, I was left with melty cookies. Egg yolks have tenderizers (fats) AND strengtheners (proteins) in them and therefore provide just the right amount of structure to tender cookies. Egg whites, on the other hand, have lots of protein and no fat so they are not the best choice for tender cookies
1 cup butter (225 g) at room temperature
½ cup icing sugar (70 g)
2 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla
Pinch of salt
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour (245 g)
Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C.)
Beat butter until fluffy. Add sugar and beat until smooth.
Add vanilla and egg yolks and mix.
Slowly add flour while mixing, scraping sides of bowl with spatula, as necessary. Mix until smooth and dough comes together.
Place dough in cookie press or piping bag with star tip and pipe desired shapes onto cookie sheet. Using a silpat helps the dough stick when using a cookie press.
Place in freezer for 15 minutes to firm up dough.
Bake at 375 F (190 C) for 8 -10 min, depending on size. Edges should be slightly golden.