Today I am joining my sweet blog friend, Erin, at The Speckled Palate, for her annual The Sweetest Season Cookie Exchange. Erin invited other bloggers to her annual celebration of sugar and butter, a gathering of Internet friends around a virtual cookie table. Of course, I was in!
This year, we’re also raising money in support of Cookies for Kids’ Cancer.
Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is a recognized 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to funding research for new, innovative, and less-toxic treatments for childhood cancer. Since 2008, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer has granted nearly $17 million to pediatric cancer research in the form of 100+ research grants to leading pediatric cancer centers across the country. From these grants have stemmed 35+ treatments available to kids battling cancer today.
What better time of the year than the holiday season to support such an important cause. Here is the fundraising page, if you’d like to donate.
But now, let’s talk about the cookies!
I am sharing a recipe for some traditional German Spritz Cookies. Spritzgebäck is the traditional holiday cookie in my family. Everybody gets involved. My Mom prepares the dough, my Dad and the kids (first my sister and I, then my cousin, now my niece and nephew) make the cookies. My Dad used to have a manual meat mincer and cookie inset that he used for years and years, but they upgraded to an electric food grinder attachment for a stand mixer a couple of years ago (which makes it much easier). Everybody in the family brings a cookie tin that gets filled to the top with spritz cookies and in recent years, when I couldn’t go home for the holidays, my Mom always sent me some in her Christmas package. They’re always the most coveted items.
The trick for these cookies is to chill the dough overnight, then prepare the cookies the next day by pressing it through the meat grinder into thin strips which bake into extra crispy, hard cookies.
If you are “team soft cookie”, I still recommend you give these a try. Maybe they’ll change your mind. Although, you will have to invest in the equipment first… but it’s worth it, IMHO. The cookies are crisp, but not too sweet. Just perfect with a cup of coffee or tea. Great for dunking, too. Our family traditionally makes them ‘plain’, but you can also dip one end into melted chocolate if you’re into that.
If you try them, let me know if you enjoy them. Meanwhile, I’ll sit here with my nostalgia, nibbling on a cookie.
SPRITZGEBÄCK (GERMAN SPRITZ COOKIES)
- 500 g wheat flour
- 250 g sugar
- 250 g butter ((unsalted))
- 1 egg
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pouch vanilla sugar
- Beat the soft butter until fluffy.
- Add the sugar and eggs and keep beating.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and form into a ball. Wrap in aluminum foil and place in the fridge overnight.
The next day:
- Bring dough to room temperature before proceeding (2-3 hours).
- Add dough to your meat grinder and press through the cookie attachment and line them up on your cookie sheet.
- Bake at 375°F for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.
- Let cool down on a cooling rack.