These are my hubby's favorite Christmas cookies. His Great Aunt Gin used to make them for him every year and it just isn't Christmas without them. She always made green Christmas Trees and pink Wreaths because those were her two favorite colors. Since they use all shortening they are a very crisp cookie. The recipe is originally from the cookbook that came with the Mirro cookie press. (If you prefer a butter cookie, I recommend Wilton Butter Press Cookies)
- Cream shortening, adding sugar in gradually.
- Add unbeaten egg, sifted dry ingredients, flavoring and a few drops of food coloring. Mix well.
- Fill cookie press. Form cookies on ungreased cookie sheets using the tree plate. Decorate with tiny multi-colored sprinkles.
- Bake at 400°F for 6-8 minutes. Cool just slightly and remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack. (If you wait too long, they will break when you try to move them.).
To me, this is the definitive spritz cookie recipe. My mom had a Mirro press, since I was a baby in the '50's, and I've been making them ever since. You can swap out butter for shortening, my mom used margarine, I use butter. I also swap out extracts to change it up now and then, but almond is my family's favorite. I've collected a bunch of Pampered Chef ceramic baking sheets at yard sales, and that's what I use exclusively. I bake for 7 minutes, and my cookies are perfect every time. If you use the ceramic baking sheets, they take a while to cool down, so have a couple of them handy so you can refrigerate (or put them outside if you live in a cool climate) the sheet before applying the next batch of cookies, or the butter will melt and they won't stick to the pan when you lift the press.
Let me preface this by saying that I am giving this 5 stars because of it's performance......I would prefer a butterier taste (is that even a word?) :) Last year we tried an old family recipe, and we couldn't get the dough to NOT stick to the press, so the images were all mushed and funky. We SWORE never to try again. Well, I tried this recipe and it made the most perfect, well-formed shapes and it tastes delicious to boot!!
This is a wonderfully bad for you cookie. It is our favorite, with a crisp, soft gentle flavor that melts in your mouth. We have been making this recipe for 30 years and it never fails to impress when you taste that first cookie. You will enjoy this cookie.