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Best ever cookie press cookie recipe

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This is x-posted deep inside RemudaMom's thread, but I thought it might be worthwhile to post separately. Cookie press cookies are so much easier than rolled sugar cookies, and just as much fun for kids to decorate, thus my separate thread. (I thought I'd lose my mind when I tried to bake rolled sugar cookies with my littles, so this was my "decorated" cookie recipe with them, and they did rolled cookies with my saint of a MIL who had the patience to do them with littles.)




Spruta (Norwegian name) or Spritz (German name) but we Americans just call it a Cookie Press cookie, right????? :lol:


This is my grandma's (Ruth Emily Lyngaas Johnson) recipe. She was a bonafide Norwegian--got off the boat when she was six in 1902, and her father settled them into an Italian neighborhood in Chicago so they'd all learn English! ;) They valued education tremendously; she went on to get a master's in organ performance and married Oscar, who became a Lutheran pastor. The two of them served in the pastorate for 55 years (!) together, and my mother swears that Mom Johnson's were the best sprutas in the entire church. From my own experience having eaten other sprutas that did taste like straw (RemudaMom's comment!), I'd have to say I believe my mom's opinion. Nana was a wonderful cook with a very generous heart: she would be pleased that I'm sharing her recipe.


Ruth Johnson's Spruta Cookies


1 c. butter

2/3 c. sugar

3 egg yolks

1 tsp. almond extract

1 tsp. salt

2 1/2 c. sifted flour (include in this 1 Tbsp. corn starch, or use half and half cake flour and regular flour)


Combine butter and sugar, creaming very thoroughly. Add yolks one at a time, mixing very well between additions to cream the mixture very well. Combine dry ingreds. and mix in. Chill dough to cool it moderately (not a "hard chill", though) and handle dough as little as possible. Fill spruta mold (cookie press) with dough and extrude dough to make

cookie shapes as desired. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes until just set. Cookies will continue to cook on the baking sheet, so do not overbake. (Cookies are done when they are just *beginning* to turn pale golden brown on the bottoms if you are using a plain cookie sheet.) Cool, then remove from the cookie sheet. Cookies freeze very well, if any make it to the freezer. LOL


One other note: if it is very warm in the kitchen, the dough will try to separate, butter oozing out, so make these in a cool kitchen. Never try to make them if you happen to be a homesick missionary living near the equator where a cool day "only" reaches 108 degrees F. You might end up with spruta rocks.


Shapes we do:


Make two batches of cookie dough and color one batch deep green for wreaths and Christmas trees: (I use a lot of food coloring to make it deep green. Once a year doesn't kill me, but ymmv!) Many people also use red to make the poinsettia shaped cookies.


For wreaths, use the tiny six-point star to pipe out a curved 2 - 2.5 inch long piece of dough. With a table knife cut off the dough from the cookie die, then form the two ends of the dough into a petite circle. The dough will spread a bit, and "gangly" big old wreaths aren't pretty, so make them petite. For the red bow on the wreath, cut a few marschino cherries into 8ths, making little red triangles. Put one piece on the wreath before baking--it makes a decently recognizable wreath impression. :lol:


For trees, we usually decorate with multicolored dot sprinkles, and we used to use one silver dragee at the top for the star. I don't know if the dragees are available any more; we've just gone without since they aren't available in the grocery store.


We make camels (undecorated), poinsettias and another flower shape with red and green sugar, and if the mood is right, we might even make that flat shape with the grooves in the top and dip it (when cooled) in choc glaze, but that's pretty rare.


Trust me when I tell you that sprutas are *so much easier* than rolled cookie cutter cookies. I've given you an excessive number of details, hoping that the "tips for perfection" will make it easier and that you'll have success with them, instead of having a steep learning curve.


However you say Bon Apetit! in Norwegian....that.


Tomorrow I'll try to post the other best-of-the-best, "world class" cookie recipe that I have, this one the best ever Ginger Snap recipe, which even my mother-in-law thought was the best she had ever tasted. In the mean time, for those with a penchant for lemon cookies who were turned off by the "sogginess," google "Melting Moments". They are a cross between an iced cookie, a lemon cookie, and a Mexican Wedding cookie--scrumptuous!!


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