Long, LONG time without a post! I've still been using my little blog to look up recipes I made, just haven't had the right recipe to post. Plus I was sick for a couple of months and had surgery, so didn't end up cooking during that time. My little blog has not been forgotten, I'm just very sporadic with my additions to it :)
Anyway, Chocolate Almond Spritz Cookies! My mom has made Spritz cookies since I was a kid, but they were of the standard, non-chocolate variety. She always made red poinsettias sprinkled with red sugar and green Christmas trees sprinkled with colored sugar. They're my grandpa's favorite cookie, but they've just never wowed me. Blah. Sorry to those that love the traditional recipe! Yesterday I made cheese straws for the first time (that recipe is for next year, I need to tweak the amount of cayenne pepper before sharing it- they're fantastic, though!) and needed a cookie press.
I've actually had a cookie press for about 7 years but only used it once to make some cheddar crackers. It's survived many a kitchen purging because I always think HEY! I'll surely use this one day! That day was yesterday, with the cheese straws. And today, with the Chocolate Almond Spritz! I found this basic Chocolate Spritz recipe on the Wilton website, halved it (still got 72 cookies from half a recipe), and used almond extract instead of vanilla. If I may say, these little cookies are wonderful. Crunchy, chocolaty, almondy, and the sugar on top makes them even better. Admittedly I am particular about cookies, but I think these are infinitely tastier than the regular kind. Sorry, Grandpa!
Chocolate Almond Spritz
10 tablespoons salted butter, softened
1/2 C white sugar
1/3 C brown sugar
1/2 t almond extract
1 1/4 C flour
1/3 C cocoa
1/4 t baking soda
1/8 t salt
Preheat oven to 375 and get out a couple of cookie sheets (do NOT grease them or use parchment paper or the dough won't come out of the cookie press properly). Beat together butter and sugars, then beat in almond extract and egg. Whisk together dry ingredients, and stir it into the butter mixture about 1/3 cup at a time, until everything is well combined. Do not over mix. Put the dough in the cookie press however the instruction manual says and pick whichever extruder disk you want. Follow the cookie press directions to get the cookies on the cookie sheet, then decorate with sugar and sprinkles in whatever way you want and lightly press the toppings on. Bake until set, about 10-12 minutes. If you decorate them with crushed candy canes (yum!), don't sprinkle on the candy canes before baking! Instead, sprinkle it on right after the cookies come out of the oven and gently press it into the tops of the cookies. Let cool completely, then store in a tightly sealed container.
Yield: About 72 cookies