Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Vegan MoFo Day 9: Spicy Spritz Cookies
Ahh Spritz Cookies. Nothing brings back warm holiday memories of Christmas as a child like Spritz Cookies. These memories specifically involve my brother, sister, and I decorating trays of Spritz cookies in the dining room, while my father cursed up a blue streak in the kitchen about the ineffective Spritz gun, and the *&(%ing dough is too cold or the $%(& gun trigger won't go. Epic, I'm telling you. As we got older, my sister and I just did all the spritzing ourselves. Saved everyone some trauma. For that matter, we also started putting up the tree, putting lights on the tree, and putting lights on the house ourselves too. Again, reduced the cursing and yelling around the holidays. That's not to say my dad is a crazy man, or abusive, or bad in any way, really. He's maybe just not so good at holidays.
He did have one thing right. Spritz guns can be a bitch. It's very difficult to find a good Spritz gun. Last Christmas, beeps and I tried to make Spritz cookies with a Pampered Chef Spritz Gun she inherited. Here's a tip: Don't buy a Pampered Chef Spritz Gun. It is completely useless. I registered for the Cookie Pro Ultra II Cookie Press for my wedding, and got it, and it is FABULOUS!! You DO need some hand strength, for sure, but man does it spritz nice. They have a bunch of different models, and I've tried some of them like their cordless battery operated cookie press, and that one was TERRIBLE. It just couldn't produce the force necessary to spritz out a cookie. The Cookie Pro Ultra II, however? The Cadillac of Cookie Presses. Buy one. Or two.
I have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA where this recipe came from. No joke. I wrote it down years ago in my recipe notebook, and later veganised it. It is a Spicy Spritz Cookie and is lighter and tastier than the buttery mess I remember eating as a kid. (Honestly, I didn't like Spritz cookies -- they tasted like a stick of butter rolled in flour. I was a sugar cookie kid all the way. I just liked decorating and traditions.) For this batch, I stuck dried cranberries in some of the cookies and it really made a nice contrast of sweet and tart against rich and spicy. You can also use sprinkles or chocolate lentils or just leave 'em plain if you like 'em that way!
Spicy Spritz Cookies
3/4 cup margarine, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup nondairy yogurt (plain or vanilla)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground allspice
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cream together margarine and sugar. Mix in the yogurt and stir to combine.
3. Sift in the flour, spices and salt and mix to combine.
4. Follow your Spritz Gun Manufacturer instructions for loading the dough into your gun, and spritzing.
5. Add sprinkles/candies/etc... as desired, then bake for 10 minutes or until the edges begin to get golden. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to finish cooling.