Spritz cookies are beautiful in appearance with their golden swirled shape, but in terms of flavor they frequently fall short—a bland, gummy, tasteless disappointment. This Scandinavian treat has fallen victim to failed recipe modifications, such as the use of vegetable shortening instead of butter, an overload of eggs, and an excess of starchy confectioners’ sugar. We set out to spruce up spritz and make them the light, crisp, buttery treats they were meant to be. For rich flavor, we used all butter and lots of it—16 tablespoons. Since these cookies are pressed or piped, the dough needs to be smooth. Adding a little heavy cream made the dough workable. Some recipes for spritz cookies call for whole eggs, while others use just yolks or even no eggs at all. Cookies made without eggs were too tender and crumbly, with an ill-defined shape. A whole egg made for chewy, tough cookies. Using just one yolk made spritz that were tender and crisp yet sturdy. You can use a cookie press or a pastry bag fitted with a star tip to create these cookies.
- Yield: 72 cookies
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 16 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 0.66 cup (4⅔ ounces) sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk egg yolk, cream, and vanilla in small bowl until combined; set aside.
- Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat butter, sugar, and salt on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down bowl as needed. Reduce speed to medium, add egg yolk mixture, and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Reduce speed to low and gradually add flour until combined, scraping down bowl as needed. Give dough final stir by hand. (Dough can be wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 4 days. Before using, let sit on counter until softened, about 45 minutes.)
- If using cookie press to form cookies, follow manufacturer’s instructions to fill press. If using pastry bag, fill pastry bag fitted with star tip with half of dough. Push dough down toward tip and twist top of bag tightly. Holding bag at base of twist and holding tip at 90-degree angle ½ inch above baking sheet, pipe cookies, spacing them about 1½ inches apart. Refill cookie press or pastry bag as needed. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, until cookies are light golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Let cookies cool on sheets for 10 to 15 minutes, then transfer to wire rack. Let cookies cool completely before serving.