One of the boys had Very Specific Ideas about what kind of cookie he wanted for Christmas this year. The round kind. The white ones, that taste like butter. They have green and red bits in the middle. They have vanilla and sugar in them. You know, those ones.
So we looked through pictures of cookies online (what did people do before Google? I can't even remember) until he found just the ones he was thinking of, which turned out to be Spritz cookies with glacé cherries in the middle. What is a mom to do when her son has such specific ideas about what will make Christmas just right? Learn how to make eggless Spritz cookies, that's what. Eggless because my sons have allergies...lots of 'em and some very severe ones, like to egg.
I tested a couple of recipes that just weren't up to snuff taste or texture-wise, then came up with what we think are the perfect crispy, tender, buttery, not too sweet little morsels of delight. Here's our recipe:
Eggless Spritz Cookies
Cream together, until very light and fluffy:
1.5 c. butter (use earth balance margarine instead to make it vegan)
1 c granulated sugar
Then add and beat well:
2 tbsp milk (soy for vegan)
2 tbsp water
1-2 tsp vanilla
Mix together, then add gradually, mixing well:
3.5 c all purpose flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
.5 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cornstarch
We then divided our dough into 4 equal parts so that we could make the different varieties of cookies pictured above. To the cookies with glacé cherries we added .5 tsp of almond extract (imitation for us due to allergies, which is actually made from peach pits), and then pressed half a cherry into the middle before baking. To the green trees we added .5 tsp of peppermint extract and some green food colouring, then sprinkled with green sugar before baking. To the clover shaped ones we added .5 of orange extract and the zest from about half an orange, and then glazed them with a citrus glaze after they were baked and cooled. To the brownish ones, freshly ground cardamom and cinnamon and then a drizzle of cinnamon, vanilla glaze when they were cooked and cooled (these are my favs). All of the cookies were made using a Wilton cookie press. My first time using, but a few of tips gleaned from online made it an easy smooth experience.
1. You need a pan without non stick coating.
2. This pan must be very clean (no residual grease from the previous batch), ungreased, dry and cold. I stuck my pans on a shelf in my freezer between batches.
3. You need the batter to be room temperature, soft and workable.
By following these steps your cookies stick to the pan rather than the cookie press. So you use the gun to shoot the cookies onto the cool, ungreased cookie sheet (just follow the instructions that come with), then decorate if you choose, then bake 375F for 10-ish minutes depending on your oven (watch your first batch like a hawk and then bake the rest accordingly). This recipe makes a lot of gorgeous little cookies...like 7-8 dozen a lot. But they are small, you need 2 or 3...or 4 to make proper serving.
So there you have it. The boy with the Very Specific Ideas was mollified, and we have several dozens of these darling ickle cookies stashed in the freezer for Christmas (we ate quite a few too).
9 more sleeps, and only 7 until we are all officially on holiday together. Both the boys and the DH have 2 weeks off this year, and this is the part I am soooo looking forward to. The time. No school, no work, sleeping in, games and yummy foods and playing in the snow.