Sunday, December 26, 2010

Day 6: Spritz

One of the things I love more than anything else is an old, tried and true cookbook. It doesn't have to have the name of a famous chef on it, it doesn't have to be famous, period. Both of my parents grew up in Marinette, WI, a small town about an hour north of Green Bay. When I was growing up, we would make the trek up north every year for Christmas, and we would stay at my Nana's house. We always spent Christmas Eve at Grandma and Grandpa's, and Christmas morning with my Nana and the rest of my mom's family. During the days leading up to Christmas, all the women would be in the kitchen making dozens of holiday treats, and they got most of their recipes from this cookbook.
It's absolutely hilarious; it was published in 1958 by the Wisconsin Electric Power Company, and when you open the cover, the front page boldly proclaims, "Be Modern...Cook Electrically!" and "Electricity Does It Best!" Definitely an oldie but a goody. I have to say, there are some amazing recipes in here! Many of them are cookies I've had over the years during the holidays, but there are also some recipes I would like to try my hand at next year. The recipe in here for Spritz is one of my absolute favorites; it's very simple, very easy to throw together, but you can truly taste Christmas in every bite. Unfortunately my cookie press decided to punk out on me, so instead of pressing the cookies into pretty little shapes I kind of had to improvise.
Source: Wisconsin Electric Power Company cookbook, Christmas Cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup and 1 T sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp salt
colored sugar, food coloring, small candies for decorating

Directions:

1. Cream butter well. Add sugar. Cream until light and fluffy.
2. Add egg, vanilla and almond extract. Beat well.
3. Sift flour and salt together.
4. Add to creamed mixture. Blend.
5. Knead dough in hands until it is soft and pliable.
6. Press dough through cookie press onto ungreased cookie sheets.
7. Decorate with colored sugar or small candies.

8. Bake at 400 degrees for about 8 minutes.
9. Makes about six dozen.

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