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Recipe: Cardamom spritz cookies

In butter spritz cookies, the cardamom complements the crushed pistachios and the big sugar crystals sprinkled on top. The cookie press, equipped with metal disks of a various shapes, can speed holiday baking by pumping out a dozen cookies in a minute.
(Ken Hively / LAT)

Total time: 1 hour

Makes: 5 dozen

Note: From Mary Ellen Rae. This dough works best in a cookie press when it is freshly made. If you must refrigerate it, bring it to room temperature before pressing out the cookies. Cookie press disk sizes vary; baking time given is for 1 1/2- to 2-inch cookies.

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled

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1/2cup superfine sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 egg yolks

2 cups flour

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1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cardamom seeds, crushed using a mortar and pestle

1/4 cup sparkling decorative sugar

1/4 cup chopped pistachio nuts

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1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and beat for one minute. Add the vanilla extract and egg yolks and beat an additional minute.

2. Sift together the flour and salt. Spoon the flour mixture into the butter mixture and add the cardamom. Beat on low speed, then increase to medium and mix until the batter is combined.

3. Spoon the dough into a cookie press and press out onto ungreased baking sheets. In a small bowl, combine the sparkling sugar and the pistachio nuts, then sprinkle some on each cookie.

4. Bake just until the edges of the cookies start to turn a pale golden color, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the cookies from the baking sheet immediately and cool on a wire rack. The cookies will firm up as they cool. When they are completely cool, store in an airtight container. They may be kept frozen up to two months.

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Each cookie: 57 calories; 1 gram protein; 6 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 4 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 15 mg. cholesterol; 20 mg. sodium.


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