Cookies are a great Holiday Gift. In case you ever need to get me anything. I’m easy. Butter, sugar, eggs, and all purpose gluten free flour.
It’s best if you make this cookie dough with a food processor. It makes the dough all uniform in color.
If you (a) don’t have a food processor; or (b) don’t want to use your food processor (why?), do it by hand. In a bowl. Just be sure that the butter is at room temperature. Not melted and cooled, not cold. Room temp.
And then gather the dough together by squeezing it in your plastic covered hand. It won’t really be so uniform in color. Big whoop.
But whether you make this dough in the food processor (directions in the printable recipe below), or by hand, if you’re making spritz cookies, do not chill the dough.
For spritz cookies, you’ll need a cookie press. I have this one. It’s serviceable enough, and cheap as he**. Yet, still,I dream of sneaking up on it, and choking it to death with my bare hands.
But, instead, I fill it with butter cookie dough.
Then fit it with a disk. And press the lever until the dough is beginning to come out a bit.
Then I press it on an ungreased baking sheet. To my great displeasure, my beloved USA Pans will not work, since they’re so good at being nonstick. If the dough isn’t sticky, and the baking sheet doesn’t allow anything to stick to it … no spritz cookies. See those pretty spritz cookies? Yeah. There were, like, a million that didn’t turn out.
But if you ask me, even though you wouldn’t, I’d tell you that I much prefer this recipe as Icebox Cookies. Shape the dough, in plastic wrap, into a cylinder, square the edges, and chill. Then slice…
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (72 g) confectioner’s sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
8 tablespoons (112 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 egg yolks (75 g), at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Optional for topping 1 egg white
Sugar in the raw
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Set out large rimmed baking sheets, but don’t line them.
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, place the flour, xanthan gum, sugar and salt, and pulse to combine well. One at a time, add the butter, egg yolks and vanilla, pulsing to combine after each ingredient. Pulse again until the dough comes together in a ball. The dough should be smooth and a bit wet, but you should be able to handle it lightly.
You can easily make these cookies without a food processor, although the dough will not be as uniform in color. The process photos I show represent the dough as made without the use of a food processor. When it comes time to gather the dough together, you will need to squeeze it with your hand wrapped in a plastic bag or glove. Keep working. It will hold together.
For spritz cookies, do not chill the dough. It must be room temperature to adhere to the baking sheet. Fill your cookie press according to the manufacturer’s directions. You will want to form half the dough into a cylinder a bit smaller than the size of the chamber, and then slide the dough in. Place the disk you like on the end of the chamber, and screw the end on securely. On a bare, ungreased baking sheet that is NOT nonstick, dispense the cookie dough, spacing it evenly. I have the most luck getting the cookie shape to stick to the sheet when I place the press firmly onto the surface, press the lever on the press until I feel some resistance, hold steady, and then release quickly.
For icebox cookies, wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and shape it into a cylinder about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Square each of the sides with a straight edge to form a rectangle, and place the log in the freezer until firm (about 15 minutes). Remove the log from the freezer, unwrap it, and slice into cross-section pieces about 1/4 inch wide. Place the cookies on a nonstick baking sheet, evenly spaced.
With a pastry brush, brush the tops of all of the cookies on the baking sheet with the (optional) egg white, and sprinkle with (optional) sugar in the raw (or other large crystallized sugar). Place the baking sheet in the center of the preheated oven and bake, rotating once, until just beginning to turn lightly brown around the edges, about 8 minutes. Allow to cool completely on the pan before moving the cookies, or they will break.