Christmas wreaths are one of the most popular cookie press shapes. Buttery bite-sized rings adorn tables at cookie exchanges, class parties & office get-togethers. Most of the “wreaths” on the market are stylistically simple geometric circles, which serve pretty well as wreaths. I wanted something a little more realistic, more beautiful, more pine or holly garland-like. This inspired me to create new wreath and garland shaped disks for our “Christmas Two” disk collection this year! (Links at bottom of page.) I love the way the garland cookies can be used as a decorative plate border for any plate of treats.
I also tweaked the family spritz cookie recipe once again and have added a new recipe to our collection. This one is heavy on vanilla and butter, with a delightful aftertaste and exquisite texture. They last well and don’t break easily so they are perfect for shipping as gifts.
Vanilla Spritz Cookies
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened (not melted)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
Gather your ingredients.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter thoroughly, preferably with an electric mixer. The great secret to fantastic spritz cookies is creaming the butter. I like to pretend I’m making frosting and set the mixer on the highest “whip” speed.
After adding the sugar, cream it again, whipping it until a creamy, fluffy texture is achieved.
Add the vanilla and egg and – you guessed it – cream it all again!
Perfect spritz dough has a slightly stiff and not terribly sticky texture.
Add green gel food coloring and mix it in thoroughly. It is imperative that you use gel coloring as liquid will change the consistency of your dough.
Load the dough into your cookie press, packing it in as you go to remove any air pockets. This helps maintain consistent pressure while pressing. If your shapes are coming out a bit funky or missing parts, check that you’re packing your dough barrel right. It helps!
(*NOTE: As of our 2019 Re-Opening our new disks are made of a solid white material, but the designs are exactly the same, and press identically. Our packaging and logo has also been rebranded. 😉 )
Press the cookies onto a clean, dry, un-greased cookie sheet. Spritz cookies cannot stick to a greased cookie sheet. As you press, the dough will stick to the sheet, and as you pull the press up, the cookies will remain.
Important note about this recipe: this dough is a bit softer than my other recipes, and I had a little trouble getting the cookies to stick at times. The solution is simple, just chill the cookies sheets in the refrigerator for about 5 minutes before pressing. The cookies will then stick with no problems.
Some decors can be added before baking. Others you will want to add using a touch of icing as “glue”. Sanding sugars do well added before baking. Fancier decors like dragees can be added before or after baking, whatever you prefer.
Even the most experienced pressers will have a few duds come out looking like blobs. Just toss these misshapen accidents back in the bowl to be re-pressed. Don’t stress about it. Pressing cookies should be fun! If you need any troubleshooting don’t hesitate to reach out. I love helping people solve their spritz cookie issues.
Bake for 6-9 minutes until the edges begin to brown. All ovens are different, so check that first batch early- at 6 or 7 minutes to gauge your baking time. Let sit for just a minute or two then remove from the cookie sheet and cool on rack.
For many of these, I left the cookies plain to bake, then used red icing with round and star decorating tips to create dots like holly berries or stars that look like flowers or bows. Others I put tiny dots of white icing on and turned the cookies upside-down in colored nonpareils to look like Christmas lights or ornaments. I added gold decorating pearls/dragees to some, and brushed on edible gold decorating dust to create a shimmer.
That’s all there is to it. I sure love the simplicity of cookie press cookies, especially around all of the busy holidays. For the small effort involved, they sure do look impressive – no pun intended!
I hope these ideas bring you and your family some fun baking times and help you add a little sparkle to your tables.
Merry Christmas and Happy Baking!
Disk Designer/Co-Owner at Impress! Bakeware, LLC
“Get creative with your cookie press!”
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The Christmas and Christmas Two Disk sets: