It’s almost Christmas! Today I was going to give you cookies AND photos of 10 lords-(aka hot guys)-a-leaping, but it is surprisingly difficult to find photos of hot guys jumping. Instead, here is Knowshon Moreno leaping over a dude, and nine good-looking-guys-not-leaping: Matt Damon, Tom Brady (pre-Bieber hair) and Mark Sanchez, James Blake, Cristian de la Fuente, Chace Crawford, Matthew Bomer, Hugh Jackman and, for Olga, Leonardo DiCaprio. Merry Christmas.
Now for the cookies.
The butter is a key ingredient in these cookies, so if you have options, go for the higher quality option.
I had never made this type of cookies before, nor had I ever used a cookie press. But my coworker Meghan said they are her favorite Christmas cookie, and my mom had a cookie press that she had never used. So I figured why not?
The dough was easy to make. Using the cookie press was a different story. If you have never used one before, be prepared to have to try it approximately 900 times before getting a single cookie that looks presentable. Some of this dough probably went through the press three times. Eventually I figured it out, but even then I had to carefully unpeel the cookies from the press to place them on the baking sheet. So you may want to just roll the dough into little balls, flatten them slightly and then press down with a fork to make a pattern. They still taste good, even if they aren’t in the shape of a flower or wreath.
This thing hates me.
Some of the shapes hated me more than others, and the sprinkles didn’t really stay on terribly well. But they came out looking kinda cute, and they do taste great. Which is a good thing, considering there are about 4,000 of them.
After I baked these, I found directions for making an egg wash so the sprinkles will stick. Oh well. I will add that to the recipe here if you’d like to try it.
Spritz (Makes about 6 dozen. Adapted from the Gourmet cookbook)
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Rounded 1/2 teaspoon salt
3 sticks (3/4 pound) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla and 1/2 teaspoons almond extract)
1 large egg, slightly beaten
Preheat oven to 350. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
Cream together butter, sugar and vanilla (or vanilla and almond extract) in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl with an electric mixer) until pale and fluffy, about three minutes. Add egg and beat well. Gradually add flour mixture and mix at low speed until just combined.
Push as much dough as you can into a cookie press. Squeeze cookies onto ungreased cookie sheet (following the cookie press’s instructions), spacing them at least an inch apart. Sprinkle with decorating sugar or brush with egg wash (instructions below) and decorate with sprinkles.
Bake cookies until edges are golden, 10 to 15 minutes per batch. Transfer to racks to cool.
***I just read that if you freeze your cookie sheet first, the cookies will stick to the sheet better. I have no idea if that works, but you can try it if you’re having as much trouble as I had.***
Combine one lightly beaten egg yolk with 2 teaspoons water. Brush lightly over cookies before sprinkling them with decorating crystals. Bake.