Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Red Velvet Spritz Cookies with Peppermint Extract

Spritz cookies are a traditional staple of holiday baking for many families.  The German verb spritzen means to squirt in English. As the name implies, these cookies are made by extruding, or "squirting," the dough with a press fitted with patterned holes (a cookie press) or with a cake decorator, or pastry bag, to which a variety of nozzles may be fitted. In the United States, the name Spritzgeb√§ck is often shortened to Spritz becoming known as the Spritz Cookie.  Although I love the traditional Spritz Cookie recipe I have been itching to see what other flavor combinations can be made to elevate this simple pressed cookie into a more unique treat.

Tonight I dusted off my cookie press and baked up a batch of Red Velvet Spritz Cookies with a hint of Peppermint extract.  I discovered this recipe in the Taste of Home - Special Collectors Edition - Ultimate Cookie Swap magazine - 2015.  These cookies are as simple to make as the traditional Spritz Cookie recipe and the cocoa and peppermint add a subtle and delicious flavor.

Red Velvet Spritz Cookies 

1 cup butter, softened
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp. food paste coloring, optional
1/2 tsp. peppermint extract, optional
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking cocoa
Sprinkles or decorations

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, cream butter, cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in the egg yolk, vanilla and if desires, food coloring and extract.  In another bowl, whisk the flour and cocoa; gradually beat into the creamed mixture.

Using a cookie press fitted with a disk of your choice, press dough 1 inch apart onto ungreased baking sheets.  Decorate as desired wit sprinkles.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until set.  Cool on pans2 minutes.  Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.

Freezer Option:  Transfer dough to a resealable plastic freezer bag; freeze.  To use, thaw dough in refrigerator overnight or ntil soft enough to press.  Prepare and bake cookies as directed.

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