That’s right, this is my 100th post!  And yes, I feel like I’m still learning this whole thing, and no, I haven’t blown up viewers (yet), but I’m okay with that because……

TwitterThat’s right!  Can you see that there?  That’s MY NAME in the middle of the Tea Time winners for yesterday’s broadcast!!!  AND they read one of my tweets out loud on the show!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I know, I know, I get excited about random things, but again, I’m okay with that 🙂

Besides, who doesn’t get excited about free books???

Anyway, my post today isn’t really so much about that, it’s about FOOD!  Yummy, yummy food :9  But I had to share my geeky news first! 🙂

Okay, so Netflix added two more seasons of Cake Boss that I hadn’t seen yet, and I may or may not have watched them all in a week…  For they record they are great to watch while crafting in front of the TV because you don’t have to watch every single second and they put you in the creative mood.

Anyway, sure enough by the time I finished my craft project I was ready to try something new with baking.  But not just any old thing, no this needed to be something cool that took some work.  So I remembered that over two years ago while playing Bigger, Better, Best with my Singles’ Ward at church I had ended up with this bad boy:

IMG_3734Only thing is, while the press was brand new, it did not actually come with directions.  Nor did it come with a sample recipe, and I had no idea what type of cookies went into a cookie press.  So of course, I hit the interwebs, and came up with this:

Taadaaaaaa!  So now, I not only had a visual on how to use the press, but a link in the description led me to the recipe I used.   (She said she’d tried a couple, but that her husband liked this one the best) Now I did try searching for other recipes, and came across a Martha Stewart one that looked possibly simple, but the comments underneath were either “This is amazing!  Use it all the time!” or people that couldn’t get it to work AT ALL or had to tweak it several times.  Now, I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be more confident that things are going to work right the first time, without the tweaking.  And here’s why:

After making a half dozen cookies, I was already frustrated.  The dough kept building up pressure inside the press, and trying to pop the end off.  Also, the dough wasn’t coming out very easily at all.  Turns out I had two problems: 1. I needed to turn the shaped tip around so that the curved edges of the shape faced the dough, and the flat side faced out.  THEN I realized that my dough had come out much too thick.  Now, this could either be from the recipe or from me not getting the butter warm enough before blending.  Either way, i wasn’t going to start over, so instead I just kept adding tablespoons of margarine until I got the dough to the right consistency.   (I think I added about 3 or 4 tablespoons by the end of it.)  After that, my dough matched the one in the video.  So, if you try this recipe and have the same problem, try margarine!*

SPRITZ COOKIES

(From http://kusinanimanang.blogspot.com/2010/02/butter-spritz-cookies.html)

 

Ingredients:
2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salst
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1-1/3 cups confectioners sugar
2 egg yolks
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 400 deg F. Sift together the flour and salt; set aside.
Cream together the softened butter and sugar. Mix in egg yolks, almond and vanilla extracts. Blend in dry ingredients. Fill cookie press and shoot cookies 1.5″ apart on ungreased aluminum non-insulated cookie sheet. You may decorate with sprinkles or sugar before baking.
Bake 6-8 minutes until slightly golden brown at the edges.

IMAG2194 IMAG2195Now you can leave them plain, or add sprinkles to them before they cook.  I also added cinnamon to some of mine, and they came out yummy! (I also tried the Cinnamon Sugar as well, but those didn’t come out as good.  Use the regular cinnamon to get the full effect!)

IMAG2193Also, when I first started, I had to squeeze the press’s trigger twice to get the dough to come out all the way and stick to the pan.  It works, but it will change the shape of your cookies (obviously).  It’s just up to you how much you care about that.

IMAG2198Also, after tasting these bad boys, I decided they would be GREAT dipped in some chocolate (Which, okay, might have been a Cake Boss side effect as well…)  Well, I was right!  They were scrumptious!  The only problem was, the hubby had used all of my almond bark for making molds of chess pieces.  (Married to an engineer.  Don’t ask.)  So I melted chocolate chips to use instead, which tasted great but never fully dried.  Hubby didn’t care, but it would make delivering these to people fairly hard…

IMAG2197

I don’t know about you, but I think these came out lovely!  And they remind me of Christmas, when my mom would buy that classic blue tin of butter cookies and they’d disappear in about a day.  Mmmmmm…..  Guess who’s making homemade ones for Christmas this year?!?

IMAG2199

*Margarine has a tendency to make cookies spread out more.  I wouldn’t use it for the whole recipe, or you’ll lose the taste of the butter in the butter cookies.  I’d only use it to smooth up the dough, and only as needed.

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