What’s new in my kitchen is actually about seventy or so years old. It’s a Mirro Aluminum Cooky and Pastry Press that belonged to my mother’s mother and has been used to make Christmas cookies for three generations.
After my mother married a Jew many years ago, her own passion for making Christmas cookies fizzled a little, but my recent curiosity about the press has it back in action again. I used it to make a healthier version of what my mother and grandmother used to make. I researched online and found a number of “Spritz” cookie recipes, which are usually comprised mostly of sugar and butter. Merging several recipes, I cut back on the butter and added almond meal. I also cut back on some of the sugar, opting for a cookie that is more like a snack-like biscuit:
1/3 cup sugar
¾ cup butter
½ teaspoon salt
2 ½ teaspoon vanila
2 cup white whole wheat flour
½ cup almond meal
Heat oven to 400 F. Mix the wet ingredients with the salt and sugar and then add the flour and almond meal. I mixed it all in my Cuisinart, which made it a little fluffier. Then I packed the press full of dough and experimented with various shapes, turning the handle at the top and squeezing each cookie form out on to the baking sheet.
Since this dough has less butter and so is a little drier than the typical version, certain shapes worked better than others. They baked for only about 6 minutes before turning golden brown.
The result was not the most stimulating cookie I’ve ever had, but very pleasant and my daughter loves them. The word “spritz,” which is German for “squirt” refers to the oozing of dough through the tube out of a shape cut in to a disc. I enjoy the options of the various shapes and ended up making a bunch of different cookie forms. My favorite is the camel, maybe because it seems the most exotic.
If you want to purchase a new cookie press, there are a number of inexpensive contemporary options out there. This one looks nice and may be easier to use than my grandmother’s version which requires turning the nob at the end: