Grandma Esther’s Spritz Cookies

Grandma Esther’s Spritz Cookies

Christmas just isn’t Christmas without Grandma Esther’s Spritz Cookies. I have wonderful memories of baking many different types of cookies with my grandmother, but making spritz cookies for the holidays was special.

I remember going to grandma’s house to help her make these small almond flavored cookies. First we would stir up the dough in her dark brown ceramic cookie making bowl (I still have this bowl). The dough taking on a deep yellow hue as rich orange egg yolks from our farm chickens were mixed in one by one with the hand-carved wooden spoon.

Next we’d taste the dough to make sure we put in enough almond flavoring. Then, it was time to put the dough into the cookie press. Those old arthritic hands would scoop just the right amount of dough out of the mixing bowl, into the press it would go, then the lid would be screwed on using the palm of her hand. There is a trick to getting a perfectly shaped cookies to stick to the ungreased cookie sheet–all of hers were perfect.

Once they were on the cookie sheet, it was my time to be the star of the cookie baking process by putting different color sprinkles on each cookie. Grandma was very particular about the sprinkles not too much….not too little.

After each cookie had a decoration inspection by grandma, it was time for them to go into her electric oven. At this point in the baking process she always complained that electric never baked as good as her old wood stove. We always baked several batches at a time.

As soon as the cookies came out of the oven, Grandpa would sample a few and declare the decorations the best ever! Then, we would package them up to freeze or to be given away to neighbors or elderly relatives as a well-remembered holiday treat.

Grandma Esther’s Spritz Cookies
In a large mixing bowl combine thoroughly:
1 cup soft shortening (mostly butter)
2/3 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon almond or vanilla flavoring
2 ½ cups sifted all-purpose flour

Once the dough is soft and well combined, put it into a cookie press to create desired cookie shape. Press onto an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake at 375 degrees until set, but not brown. Makes about six dozen cookies.

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