Thursday, May 28, 2020

Spritz Cookies

When I was growing up, my mum often made biscuits she calls “Pusher Biscuits”, because they are made with a biscuit press.  More commonly, these biscuits are known as Spritz Cookies, or Spritzgeback (squirt cookies) in Germany.

I was (and am) fascinated by the various shapes formed when the biscuit dough was extruded from the biscuit press. They are just so pretty.

These biscuits are shortbread like in flavour, and Mum always sandwiches them in pairs with water icing.

The dough is simple enough to make, but it is important to get a sufficiently firm consistency for the biscuits to be extruded correctly from the biscuit press. The biscuit press itself can be rather temperamental, and there were a couple of discs that would not work for me, no matter how hard I tried. If you don’t own a biscuit press, the dough can be extruded in short lengths from a pastry bag fitted with a wide star tip.

To make these biscuits, you will need:

120g butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten with a fork
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons cornflour
1 3/4 cups self raising flour
1 pinch salt

1 cup icing sugar, sifted
1-2 drops of food colouring (optional)
cold water

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and beat until pale and creamy. Place the egg into the bowl and beat well, followed by the vanilla.

In another bowl, sift the flour, cornflour and salt together. Add the sifted flours to the other ingredients, and beat until the ingredients just come together to form a firm dough with the consistency of pastry. (If your dough is not firm enough, it won’t extrude properly from the biscuit press; if this happens, just mix a little more self raising flour into the dough until the dough extrudes correctly.)

Form the dough into a log and fit it into a biscuit press fitted with your choice of disc and press the biscuits onto baking sheets lined with baking paper, leaving 2cm or so between the biscuits so that they have room to spread while baking.

Put the biscuit trays into the oven for approximately 10 minutes or until the biscuits turn lightly golden brown at the edges, turning the trays front to back and top to bottom half way during the baking time.

Remove the biscuits from the oven and transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

To make the icing, mix the icing sugar with just enough water to make a spreadable (not runny) icing, and colour as desired. (I used 2 drops of rose pink colouring.)

Arrange the cooled biscuits into pairs of the same shape and size. Spread the icing onto one biscuit of each pair, and place the other biscuit of the pair on top. Set the biscuits aside on a flat surface until the icing sets before storing in an airtight container.

1 comment:

Andrea_TheKitchenLioness said...

Dear Gaye, so you made Spritzgeb├Ąck - how fun! My mother used to make a huge batch every Christmas but she did no sandwich two cookies together but dunked the ends into dark chocolate. Since she did not own a cookie press, the neighbour always obliged. Your version looks so pretty and delicious and I would love to taste one or two with my morning coffee right now!