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12 Days of Christmas Cookies: Spritz Trees

 spritz trees [1]

On the first day of Christmas,

My true love sent to me

A spritz cookie shaped like a Christmas tree.

Forget the exotic ingredients you have to visit 3 different grocers, a health food store, and a gourmet spice shop to find.

These classic Christmas cookies are simple and fun to make, pretty to look at, and of course – delicious to eat!

Whether you are making treats for Santa, holiday parties, or for gift-giving, these traditional favorites are sure to please.

My grandmother made about 15 different kinds of cookies every year for Christmas. On Christmas Eve, we’d arrive at her house in New York, give her and our grandfather a big hug, and run to the kitchen to sort through the tins she stored the goodies in. Grandpa owned an Italian bakery, but unfortunately, he didn’t write down any of his recipes.

But, one of the cookie recipe books Grandma used was this one [2], which was passed down to my mother, and is used by our family to this day.


cooky book [2]

Our tattered, well-loved, 38-year-old Cooky Book [2]

As a child, one of my favorites was – actually, still is – the Spritz Christmas Tree cookie.

That recipe is below.

And for the next 11 days, I’ll share a different Christmas cookie recipe with you, so be sure to check back daily!

Enjoy!

The first day of Christmas…

Spritz Christmas Tree Cookies

Makes about 5 dozen

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, combine flour and baking powder.
  3. In large bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg, vanilla, and almond extracts; mix well.
  4. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture; beat until combined. Do not chill.
  5. If desired, you can use green food coloring  [5]to tint the dough.
  6. Fill cookie press [9] with dough and with tree-shaped disk, press cookies onto ungreased cookie sheet [10].
  7. Bake 8 to 12 minutes until edges are firm but not browned.

Note: If you are decorating with holiday sprinkles [7] or white sparkling sugar [6], do so while the cookies are warm.

Cool 2 minutes on cooling rack. Remove from sheet; cool completely.

Optional: If you’d like to make chocolate-bottomed cookies, here’s how:

Melt the chocolate [8] of your choice (white, milk, or dark) in a double boiler, chocolate melting pot [11], or the microwave. Stir the chocolate until it is smooth and spreadable. Spread on the bottom of each cookie with a knife. Place on a pan or rack, chocolate side up, and put in refrigerator until the chocolate hardens.

Although this recipe is for Christmas tree-shaped cookies, your cookie press [9] likely has other holiday-shaped disks as well. We usually make a combination of green trees and wreaths, red flowers, and snowflakes or stars.

chocolate bottom [12]

Chocolate-bottomed flower spritz cookie

Store cooled and decorated cookies in sealed bags, containers, or decorative tins [13].

Be sure to come back tomorrow for the Second Day of Christmas cookie recipe!

Resources:

OXO Good Grips Cookie Press with Disk Storage Case [14]

Wilton Clear Almond Extract [4]

Wilton Clear Vanilla Extract [3]

Holiday food coloring [5]

White sparkling sugar  [6]

Sprinkles [7]

Christmas tree tins [13]

Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book [2]