Vanilla Spritz Cookies

How is your holiday baking going? I’ve been squeezing it in while trying to finish up Christmas cards, Christmas shopping and Christmas gift crafting (i.e. knitting and crocheting.) I think I am on track to get it all done; if not there will be some late nights in my near future.

Today I am bringing you super simple and delicious Vanilla Spritz Cookies. So customarily when you make spritz cookies you pipe them through a cookie press, well, I tried that once and the results were horrible. So for these cookies I decided to pipe them using a pastry bag and a large star tip instead and the end result was great!

IMG_0069

To make the dough I began by beating butter in my stand mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Next I added in sugar and baking powder. Once those ingredients were well combined I added in an egg and vanilla bean paste. And finally flour.

IMG_0064

Next I transferred the dough to a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip and made simple piped drop cookies which I then sprinkled with festive colored sugar and sprinkles. Now, I went simple and just did simple drop cookies, but, you could get creative and pipe wreaths or different swirl designs.

IMG_0067

After baking them in a 375 F preheated oven for 8 minutes I removed them from the oven and transferred them to a wire rack to cool completely. Now, these cookies are of the dangerous variety… On the smaller side and super yummy. Which means you could grab a decent handful and munch away on them absentmindedly. But, since it’s the Holidays it’s okay!

IMG_0068

 

Vanilla Spritz Cookies

  • Servings: 72 cookies
  • Print

***Please note that I halved the recipe. Below is the original recipe with the original measurements. If you would like to make a smaller batch of cookies, i.e. 36, follow the measurements in the parenthesis. To get the 2 tablespoons of egg, whisk the egg and then measure it out. You might be tempted to use the entire egg, but, that would make the dough to watery and prevent you from being able to pipe or form the dough.

 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened (3/4 cup / 12 tablespoons)

1 cup granulated sugar (1/2 cup)

1 teaspoon baking powder (1/2 teaspoons)

1 egg (2 tablespoons)

1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste* (1/2 tablespoon)

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (1 3/4 cup)

Sprinkles and Sugar Crystals to decorate

*If you do not have vanilla bean paste you can use an equal amount of vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl beat butter with a mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add the sugar and baking powder, continue beating until well combined then add in the egg and vanilla bean paste. And finally the flour. Scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary during the mixing.

Transfer the dough to a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip and pipe drop cookies onto prepared cookies sheets. Sprinkle the cookies with decorative sugar and/or sprinkles.

Bake for 7-8 minutes, until the edges are firm but just beginning to brown. Remove from the oven and transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

Recipe slightly modified from Better Homes & Gardens 100 Best Cookies Magazine

Christmas Crafting

With Christmas just a few days away I finally got my cards in the mail the other day. I was so gung-ho about making them super early this year – I took out all of my supplies for them back in late October and put it on my crafting table all ready to go, but, got sidetracked with a few other Christmas crafts I wanted to get done first.

So, while I only have one main door to hang a wreath on – as most people – I ended up making three new wreaths this year. I only planned on making a new garland wreath to replace the one I made a few years back but while searching for ideas for that one I came across a yarn ball wreath that I had many of the supplies for – mainly yarn – and then I got an email that described how to make an ornament ball wreath in perfect detail. I tried making one of these a few years ago and didn’t have much success.

Up first… the Garland Wreath. While my local craft store did have those green wreaths I could have just bought and decorated I wasn’t too fond of the way they looked – that’s actually what my original wreath is made with and I never really liked it because of it – so I opted to wrap an 18″ grapevine wreath with garland. After that was done I then decorated it with various Christmas picks. I bought and returned quite a few of them before I was happy with the layout. This is actually the wreath that made it to my front door.

Garland Wreath 2 IMG_2027

Then there’s the Yarn Ball Wreath. I used different shades of green yarn I had leftover from different crocheting/knitting projects to wrap various sized Styrofoam balls. I then mapped out their placement on a wire wreath form and attached them using a hot glue gun. I then added in some red shatterproof ornaments for a pop of color and to make the wreath a bit more festive.

Yarn Wreath 2 IMG_2031

And finally, my favorite, the Ornament Ball Wreath. This was definitely the most time consuming, but, worth every minute. To begin I wrapped a Styrofoam ring with red ribbon tying a loop with the ribbon at one point so the wreath could be hung. I then lined the inside and outside of the ring with alternating sized shatterproof ornaments. I then filled in the flat part of the ring with various sized ornaments and finally – the part I couldn’t get too crazed with – I filled in the gaps with smaller sized ornaments. It’s very easy to go from beautiful to gaudy when adding the ornaments.

Ornament Wreath 2 IMG_2091

After the wreaths I moved on to making snowflake ornaments. I got the wire forms (6-inch) from Fusion Beads and then it was just a matter of decorating them with pearls, crystals and seed beads in colors that reflected the holiday season or the intended recipient’s favorite color. This was made all the more easier since I recently organized all of my jewelry supplies into storage containers.

IMG_1989

After a few wire mishaps (thankfully I bought extra wire forms) and a couple of wire gashes all of my snowflakes were done. After taking this picture I threaded all of them with coordinating ribbon so they could be hung from a Christmas tree, in a window, or wherever.

IMG_2107 IMG_2103

And finally… My handmade Christmas cards. While getting started is always a daunting task, by the third card I am full speed ahead. I even got a jump on next year’s cards by making a few extra this year. We’ll see if I still like them in a year’s time or I may just have other ideas of what I want to make by then.

IMG_2204

Happy Holidays!!!

IMG_1986

(And yes, I did make this as well.)