Holiday Spritz Cookies & A Giveaway!

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I am in hog heaven lately. It’s no surprise to you guys that Christmas is a holiday that I just adore, and with the holidays, there is always baking. Lots and lots of baking. I know I mentioned last week that I had to special order 28 blocks of cream cheese…well, when the butter goes on sale, I’m pretty sure I’m going to need 15 boxes. I’m not even kidding. I just love holiday baking, and truly enjoy sharing those treats with the ones that I care about.

America’s Test Kitchen recently came out with their newest book: The Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book, and sent me a complimentary copy to review. I just adore America’s Test Kitchen. I subscribe to both Cook’s Illustrated and Cook’s Country, as well as frequently cook from The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook. So when they asked me if I’d like to review this book, I didn’t even have to think about it. I actually had this book on my holiday wish list when I first read about the book in this post (which is what encouraged me to bake those scrumptious sticky buns in the first place). :-) When I received it in the mail, I had my post-its in hand ready to mark the recipes that I wanted to make right away.

The book contains 15 different chapters, with 450 recipes total. The book also has a comprehensive section called baking basics, explaining pretty much anything you ever needed to know about basic baking ingredients and tools, as well as tips to become a better baker in the kitchen.

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It’s also beautifully illustrated. I’m usually a sucker for color photos when it comes to food photography, but the black and white photography just draws you in. Also, in true Cook’s Illustrated fashion, there are step-by-step illustrations for some of the more complicated recipes. I appreciate this, because while you don’t necessarily always need step-by-step photos, there are some recipes where you just need an illustration or two to guide you along the way. There’s also notes in the beginning of every recipe, explaining what the recipe is and how certain ingredients in the recipe work to make this recipe just perfect.

As I was skimming through the book, these holiday spritz cookies caught my eye. Really, it was the word “holiday”. ;-) I’ve attempted to make spritz cookies before, and sadly, the dough ended up being too thick to use in the cookie press. I haven’t attempted spritz cookies since, and that was a few years ago. While I own a cookie press, I wanted to try it with another method that they recommended: a star tip and a piping bag. Genius….

I was so excited when these cookies actually piped out, and they baked up perfectly. These cookies put those holiday tin cookies to shame. They’re perfectly buttery, not too sweet, and are so simple to make! I ended up adding some sprinkles to some before baking as well, and that gave them some extra holiday flair. Of course, they’re delicious on their own, but sprinkles make everything more fun, right?

Holiday Spritz Cookies
Source: The Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book

Ingredients:

  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp. heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 16 tbsp. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened but still cool
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

Directions:

  1. Move the rack to the middle position in the oven, and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare 2 cookie sheets by lining them with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Set them aside.
  2. Whisk the egg yolk, cream and vanilla extract in a small bowl, until well-combined. Set the mixture aside.
  3. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter, sugar and salt on medium-high speed for about 3 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl, and with the mixer on medium speed, add the egg yolk mixture to the butter mixture, and beat for about 30 seconds, or until incorporated. Change the speed on your mixer to low, and gradually add in the flour until everything is combined. Scrape down the bowl, and give the dough a final stir with a spatula to ensure that no flour pockets remain in the dough. (At this point, if you’d like, you can wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for up to 4 days. Before you’re ready to use the dough again, allow the dough to stand at room temperature for about 45 minutes, until softened.)
  4. If you’d prefer to use a cookie press to make these cookies. follow the manufacturer’s instructions to fill the press. If you’d prefer to use a pastry bag, fit it with the star tip and fill the bag with about half of the dough. (You don’t want to put all of the dough in the piping bag at once….your wrists will thank you.)
  5. Press or pipe the cookies onto the prepared baking sheets, making sure to leave 1 1/2 inches space between each cookie. Fill up the cookie press or piping bag as needed. Bake the cookies 1 sheet at a time, until the cookies are light golden brown, 7-15 minutes (depending on cookie size…mine were small and took 7 minutes), rotating the pan halfway through the baking process.. Make sure to check on them frequently to see how long it will take for a batch to bake (they can go from perfectly baked to burnt rather quickly). Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 10-15 minutes, and then transfer the cookies to a wire cooling rack to allow them to finish cooling completely.

The generous folks at America’s Test Kitchen are offering the readers of The Nifty Foodie a chance to win a copy of The Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book. Don’t you want a copy of this gorgeous book for the holiday season? :-)

To enter, use the Rafflecopter widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Note: This giveaway is open to readers in the continental US only. Entries will be accepted until November 19th at 12:00am (central standard time). Winner will be emailed (make sure you leave an email address in the form), and will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

Disclaimer: America’s Test Kitchen sent me a complimentary copy of The Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book for a fair and honest review. They are also supplying a copy for the giveaway. All opinions are 100% my own.

Comments

  1. I love making the peanut butter cookies with the Hershey Kiss in the middle – they always remind me of my grandmother.

  2. My Hidden Kisses cookies!

  3. I love baking! Apple and pumpkin pie, sugar cookies to decorate, chocolate cake… from October on I’m trying new recipes and old favorites!

  4. Peppermint bark!

  5. I’ve actually never made Spritz cookies and have them bookmarked to make this year. Will have to try this recipe!

  6. Gingerbread cookies!

  7. I love making pies for the holiday!

  8. My favorite cookies are Candy Cane Cookies!

  9. Biscotti!

  10. I love making spice cookies. They are some of my favorite cookies and they are perfect for the fall/Christmas time.

  11. Stopping by from Mouthwatering Mondays – the spritz cookies are my favs!

  12. I’m supposed to pick one favourite holiday recipe? I’m a fan of shortbread, so shortbread cookies are almost always on the list. And I do love the opportunity to break out my cookie press. I’ve tried chocolate spritz and cream cheese spritz in the past and loved both, and this year I may just try this spritz recipe.

  13. Cookies! I love to make them anyway, so Christmas is just an excuse to make more varieties at once.

  14. Michelle Fernandez says:

    This would help me w/ great (& delicious) ideas for all the holiday baking I plan to do (in lieu of buying gifts)!

  15. My daughter has always loved rolled out sugar cookie.

  16. Cheesecake

  17. I LOVE making ginger molasses cookies time and time again… and a new dessert every year for every holiday, because I love to try new things!

  18. I love finding new cookie recipe each year for a holiday exchange I take part in. It’s so fun searching for the perfect looking recipe!

  19. I’m doing an online cookies swap this year, so I am excited for that. I love to make cheesecake and homemade candies for Christmas.

  20. My favorite holiday recipe is … soft molasses cookies. I’m a sucker. And I love them. So much. :)

  21. Rum balls are my standard holiday treat! Love them!

  22. Cinnamon rolls

  23. I LOVE ATK, subscribe to Cook’s Illustrated and watch Cook’s Country every Saturday afternoon when I’m home! My favorite holiday baked good is thumbprint cookies!

  24. I love to bake my grandma’s peanut butter blossom cookies.

  25. Christmastime just wouldn’t be the same without baking up a batch of my grandma’s spiced gumdrop cookies!

  26. My favorite holiday recipe is for molasses cookies.

  27. I love making gingerbread men!

  28. Michelle S. says:

    I love sugar cookies with sprinkles for the holidays, but maybe I should try the spritz cookies.

  29. My favorite holiday treat to bake is gingerbread men.

  30. My award-winning Pecan Pie!

  31. I just finished watching America’s Test Kitchen on Create TV featuring slow cooker French Onion Soup and roast done in foil. I was hungry than and now get to read about desserts.
    It’s a duplicate but peanut butter cookies with a chocolate star in the middle.

  32. I love to make sugar cookies with a candy window in center.

  33. My holiday treat is a butter sweetie. Its day old pecan pie which you reheat in a skillet in a pad of melted butter. I dare you to try it and not want all the rest of your pecan pie for breakfast this way :)

  34. Jam thumbprints. But I love spritz cookies! My favorite to eat:)

  35. Spritz cookies were a staple in my house growing up and was a signal Christmas has come. The recipe got lost one year and I’ve tried MANY recipes since but they are never quite right. I super excited to try this recipe and see if it brings back all those wonderful afternoons making Christmas cookies with my mom!

  36. I love Cook’s Illustrated so much! These cookies look just perfect. I can’t wait to try them out. My favorite holiday cookie is chocolate shortbread

  37. Rugelach!

  38. I like to bake Chocolate Espresso Chews.

  39. Jam Thumbprints rolled in coconut.

  40. I LOVE spritz cookies!! These look great!

  41. I like to bake Snickerdoodle cookies.

  42. I love making chocolate chip cookies on Christmas eve! In the Santa spirit!

  43. My favorite thing is Snickerdoodle cookies
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

  44. Gingerbread bars!

  45. My Mom and Sisters and I would make the gumdrop cookies and the spritz…

  46. Denise Fedor says:

    My press cookies!

  47. I love baking pies, the holidays is the only time I really do a lot of that!

  48. Cut out sugar cookies and pies !!

  49. christi in ma says:

    I fondly remember making spritz cookies with my Nannie. I have her copper press but I haven’t tried to use it. I love to make macarons for Christmas.

  50. I love making Andes mint cookies for the holidays!

  51. Last year for Thanksgiving I made a salted caramel apple pie, which quickly became my favorite holiday food ever!

  52. These are one of my favorite holiday cookie yet I’ve never made them by myself. Looking forward to doing so this year thanks to your post!

Trackbacks

  1. […] From top left to bottom right: Christmas in a Cookie // Lofthouse-style sugar cookies // Chocolate Kissed Gingerbread Cookies // White Chocolate Dipped Ginger Cookies // Holiday Spritz Cookies […]

  2. […] 1. Holiday Spritz Cookies […]

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