We are almost at the end of week two with one more post to go tomorrow. It's been quite a busy week but a fun one!
During the 1500s, the custom of making gingerbread transitioned into the making of Spritz cookies. The recipe was passed down from parents to children as a Christmas tradition. Spritz cookies are made with butter, flour, sugar and eggs. The dough is squirted through a cookie press to make various designs, and the cookie is buttery and crispy.
Scandinavian countries serve this dessert during the Christmas season. The shapes are often Christmas trees, flowers or various designs. A Norwegian version of the cookie is shaped in S's and O's. Food coloring, raisins, nuts, candied fruit and almond or citrus extract can be added for flavor.
Another popular recipe variation is the Chocolate Spritz. This is made by adding melted, unsweetened baking chocolate to the butter and sugar mixture. Almond Spritz and Lemon Spritz are also favorites. Some bakers also add toppings to their cookies. These can include a simple dusting of confectioner's sugar, colored sprinkles or desiccated coconut. Spritz cookies can also be dipped in melted chocolate, or iced with a vanilla or rum glaze made with powered sugar.
I chose to make a Lemon Spritz Cookie. I don't own a cookie press, so I piped some of the cookies and the rest were shaped into balls and flattened. They are sandwiched with a luscious chocolate buttercream. These cookies were refreshing and the lemon came through beautifully. They have a light texture and scrumptious buttery taste. Paired with the chocolate buttercream, it is cookie heaven! :D
You will need:
Makes: 35 1-inch cookies
1/2 cup Unsalted butter, at room temp
1/3 cup Granulated sugar
1/2 cup Powdered sugar
1 large egg, plus one yolk
1 tbsp Lemon zest
1 tsp Lemon extract
1 1/2 cups All- purpose flour, plus 2 tbsp
3 tbsp Cornstarch
For the filling:
½ cup Unsalted Butter, softened
2 2/3 cups Powdered sugar
1/3 cup Heavy whipping cream
1 ½ tsp Vanilla
Make the Cookies:
Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Cream the butter using an electric hand-mixer or a stand mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Sift the all purpose flour and cornstarch. Add the zest and combine. Set aside.
Add the granulated sugar and powdered sugar to the butter. Beat for another minute. Now add the egg and beat until combined. Add the yolk and beat for another minute. Add the lemon extract. Now slowly add in the flour mix with the mixer on low speed. Beat until just combined.
Transfer dough to a piping bag fitted with Wilton Tip #1M. Pipe rosettes onto lined baking sheets, an inch apart from each other. If you don’t want to pipe the cookies, you can roll them into marble sized balls. Flatten with a fork dipped in powdered sugar to prevent sticking. Form a criss- cross pattern with the tines of the fork.
Bake in the oven for 10-11 minutes until the bottoms are golden. The cookies will be pale on top. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely. They can be eaten as is or assembled into sandwiches.
Make the Filling:
Cream the butter until light and fluffy. Sift the cocoa and powdered sugar. Add it the butter alternately with the heavy cream. Blend in the vanilla. Beat for 3-4 minutes until smooth, creamy and fluffy.
Transfer buttercream into a piping bag fitted with Tip 1M. Once the cookies are completely cooled, pipe a layer of buttercream on the bottom of one cookie and top it with another. You can also spread the buttercream with a spatula. Piping makes it look elegant and gives it the effect of a real sandwich.
Plain cookies can be stored in air-tight container for 4-5 days. Sandwiched cookies are best eaten the same day.
A for ANZAC BISCUITS - AUSTRALIA
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