My husband, Doug, has mentioned for years that he wanted not only to make, but to perfect his German grandmother’s butter cookies. He has mentioned them on a regular basis, always reminiscing about how he relished them as a child. Having no one still living in his family who has a copy of the recipe, he began searching various websites for the one that might be similar. Interestingly, most websites offer a basic butter dough for these cookies, which make sense because of their simplicity.
On a recent snowy Sunday afternoon, he traded his photography vest for a chef’s hat and took over the kitchen. He settled on the recipe here, half of the batch made with a cookie press and the other half rolled by hand. These cookies were definitely worth repeating.
|Photos by Maggie Kapustin|
That being said, according to Doug, these cookies were not exactly the same as he remembers from his visits to Grandma’s house, so we will continue looking for a closer match. I’m okay with this almost perfect find, though, since it gives us a reason to keep baking and taste testing. Especially the tasting; that’s the part I like best.
I’m including his near-win here because these little discs were simple and delicious. As I tasted one, warm from the oven, I realized that the buttery sweetness would lend itself perfectly to a weekend breakfast, served with fresh berry preserves this spring or summer. Doug disagrees, arguing that they are nice simply served with a hot beverage and no adornment. I prefer the added richness of jam, though, and I’m going to stick to my guns when I recommend these as sides to a French country breakfast in your house very soon.
Butter Spritz Cookies
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 sticks very cold butter, cut in cubes
½ tsp. salt
4 large egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla
Place flour, sugar, butter, and salt in the bowl of a food processor; process until mixture is texture of coarse meal.
In a small bowl, lightly beat egg yolks and vanilla. With motor running, add to food processor. Process just until a dough forms.
Use a cookie press, pastry bag, or your hands to shape cookies into bite-sized pieces. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes, until cookie bottoms are lightly browned/tanned.
Recipe from marthastewart.com, http://www.marthastewart.com/316755/basic-butter-cookie-dough