Sunday, December 14, 2008

Butter Spritz Cookies

The MUST-HAVE Christmas cookie in our family is butter cookies. My sisters and I grew up with them and they've become a tradition in the family. Thanks, Grandmom, for starting this great tradition!

I used to have the worst trouble with cookie presses. I've thrown at least 2 of them away, and one year got blisters on my hand from trying to make one work. So the last 2 years I've tried the drop and press method, and the roll and cut method. No matter how you do it, these cookies are amazing, and always no-fail. There's something about the almond extract that's just warming to the soul. These cookies melt in your mouth without tasting greasy or too buttery. They're just perfect. So if you're looking for the perfect recipe to use in your cookie press, give this one a try! You won't be disappointed :)

And if you're looking for a nice reliable, easy to use cookie press, go get the
Wilton Pro Ultra II. Thanks to Nestie veniceforever for the recommendation!

Source: my grandmom

1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp almond extract
2 1/3 cups flour
Assorted decorations for cookies

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cream butter.
3. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
4. Beat in egg and almond extract.
5. Gradually blend in flour.
6. Fill cookie press and press cookies directly onto ungreased cookie sheet.
7. Decorate cookies with your desired topping - my personal favorite is the colored sugar.
8. Bake 8-10 minutes or until edges are lightly golden.
9. Remove to wire rack to cool completely.
*This recipe yields 7 dozen cookies and is easily doubled for 14 dozen. It sounds like a lot - but I'm making 1 double batch and 1 regular batch this year.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

One of my husband's favorite cookies to eat at Christmastime is chocolate peanut butter chip cookies. I had a problem with recipes I've tried in the past - they just weren't what I like in a cookie. I really only enjoy chewy cookies. So I went on the hunt for a recipe to try and came across this one on When I search for recipes there, I always look for recipes with 4-5 stars and a lot of reviews. So far, this method hasn't done me wrong.

I read the reviews for this 5 star cookie and adapted it based on what I read. Basically my only adaptions were using half white and half light brown sugar. I've learned that the brown sugar imparts a certain chewiness to a cookie. I also didn't add the called-for amount of chips, just because I dont love a lot of chips in them, but for appearances sake, after I dropped each ball of dough on the cookie sheet, I pressed in a few peanut butter chips just to make them look prettier. Also, I added a few regular chocolate chips in.

The hubs ended up loving this recipe, and I did, too - crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside. It's definitely going to be added to the yearly Christmas cookie list :)

Source: adapted from

1 cup salted butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used dutch-processed)
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup peanut butter chips
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a medium bowl, add dry ingredients and whisk together.

3. In stand mixer, cream the butter and sugars.

4. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.

5. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed sugar mixture in 3 increments and stir until blended in.

6. Stir in peanut butter and chocolate chips.

7. Drop heaping teaspoons onto parchment lined baking sheet.

8. Bake 9-11 minutes or until set.

9. Remove from oven, let sit 1-2 minutes and remove to wire rack to cool completely.

Notes: I found that this recipe baked up nicely right after mixed, and right out of the fridge.

Hope you love it!