A jolly chuckling Santa, happy elves, and beautiful angels are iconic images of Christmas. So I had to make cookies to bring these images to the holiday table! These whimsical and pretty petite butter cookies will be something unique at your holiday gathering.
The Santa and angel cookies are made with cookie press disks from the “Christmas” disk collection. The elf is new this year! He is making his debut in the “Christmas Two” disk collection. They’re available on our website or on Amazon.
(*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.)
My favorite, easiset-to-press recipe is the one I chose for these cookies: vanilla-honey spritz. It is a slight twist on my family’s basic vanilla spritz recipe. The honey makes for a very smooth dough to press, and it makes for sturdy cookies that travel well without breaking.
You’ll need a cookie press, un-greased cookies sheets, and the three disks.
Gather your ingredients.
Impress!™ Vanilla-Honey Spritz
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened (not melted)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup honey
1 and 1/2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 400°F.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
Cream the butter well. I can’t stress enough how important the creaming process is to making perfect spritz cookies. I use an electric mixer and set it on “whip”. When my butter is delightfully fluffy, I know it’s creamed.
Add the sugar and cream it very well again. Add the honey, then vanilla and egg and I can’t say it enough, cream it again after each addition.
Add the flour mixture a little at a time, until completely combined. Spritz dough should be soft but not sticky. It has an almost crumbly texture that doesn’t stick to your fingers.
Load the dough into your press barrel, packing it in with the back of a spoon to avoid any air pockets forming. Place your disk and begin pressing. It’s OK if the first few come out misshapen. That happens to even the most experienced pressers. It sometimes takes a few cookies to build up a consistent pressure in the barrel to make the cookies come out uniformly. Just throw the bad ones back in the dough bowl to be re-pressed. Keep a steady pressing rhythm for best results.
Bake for 7-10 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.
Definitely use a soft spritz dough for these cookies! The Santas, depending on your dough, can be just a little tricky. My honey-vanilla dough presses well, though I have to use more than one click on my press for the Santas. The angels came out perfectly with this recipe, as did the elves. If you’re having issues with the Santa cookies sticking, try refrigerating your cookie sheet for about 5 to 10 minutes before pressing. It helps the dough stick.
I did all of my decorating after these were baked. For the Santas and elves, I simply piped red decorating icing on for the hats and then smoothed the icing with a slightly wet finger to create a smooth finish. To make their beards, brows, moustache, and hat trim, I piped brown and white icing through star-shaped decorating tips.
I added candy eyes from The Baker’s Kitchen™ (link at bottom of page), but you could just pipe on dots of black, blue, or brown icing with a writing tip.
For the angels I used decorating icing, gel glitter icing and sanding sugars. I mixed and matched the icing types to create different effects.
To make the sanding sugars stick to the dresses or wings, I simply piped on icing, wet and smoothed it with a slightly damp finger, and turned the cookie upside-down into a dish of sanding sugars. You have to do this process first, as any other icing will sick to the sugars as well. Use a decorating brush to sweep away the excess sugars.
Once your sugars are on, ice the wings or dress, being careful to avoid touching the sugars. Pipe on your preferred icing and if needed, use a slightly wet finger to smooth it to the desired thickness and finish. You can use a toothpick to make the edges precise. Wet the tip of the toothpick if it’s sticking too much.
Angels! So pretty.
I also like the look of the angels with just the dresses decorated and the wings left plain. There is a simple elegance to the look that appeals to me. It’s also faster!
And that’s it!
Santas, angels, and elves to make something new with your cookie press this Christmas. These whimsical and pretty petite butter cookies will be something special at your holiday gathering, and will melt in everyone’s mouths faster than snowflakes on their tongues!
I wish you all a very 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:
The candy eyes I used here can be found at: http://www.thebakerskitchen.net/3/16-in-Candy-Eyes-Assorted-Colors—1000-Count-Pack.aspx