unsalted butter, softened but still cool
( 2 sticks)
( about 4 3/4 ounces)
unbleached all-purpose flour
( 10 ounces)
- Adjust an oven rack to the middle position; heat the oven to 375°F In a small bowl, beat the egg yolk, cream, and vanilla with a fork until combined; set aside.
- In a standing mixer, cream the butter, sugar, and salt at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula. With the mixer running at medium speed, add the yolk-cream mixture and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the bowl. With the mixer running at low speed, gradually beat in the flour until combined. Scrape down the bowl and give a final stir with the rubber spatula to ensure that no flour pockets remain.
- If using a cookie press to form the cookies, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to fill the press; if using a pastry bag (see TECHNIQUE below). Press or pipe cookies onto ungreased baking sheets, spacing them about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake, one sheet at a time, until the cookies are light golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through the baking time. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet until just warm, 10 to 15 minutes; using a metal spatula, transfer them to a wire rack and cool to room temperature.
- FOR LEMON SPRITZ COOKIES: Follow the recipe for Spritz Cookies, adding 1 teaspoon lemon juice to the yolk-cream mixture in step 1 and adding 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest to the butter along with the sugar and salt in step 2.
- FOR ALMOND SPRITZ COOKIES: Grind ½ cup sliced almonds and 2 tablespoons of the flour called for in Spritz Cookies in a food processor until powdery and evenly fine, about 1 minute; combine the almond mixture with the remaining flour. Follow the recipe for Spritz Cookies, substituting 3/4 teaspoon almond extract for the vanilla.
- TECHNIQUE: Filling a Pastry Bag: (1) Make a C shape with one hand and hold the piping bag. Fold the bag over that hand about halfway down, insert the tip, and scrape the dough into the bag. (2) When the bag is about half full, pull up the sides, push down the dough, and twist tightly while again pushing down on the dough to squeeze out any air. (3) Grab the bag at the base of the twist. Using the other hand as a guide, hold the top at a 90-degree angle about 1/2-inch above the baking sheet and squeeze to form the shape.