GRANDMA ANNA’S SPRITZ COOKIES
1 cup (2 sticks) butter*
⅔ cup sugar
3 egg yolks
2½ cups flour
1 tsp almond extract (optional)
cookie gun, aka cookie press
2 cookie pans
* = This was also made with NucoaTM. It’s hard to imagine how fiercely devoted some people were to this margarine.
** = Grandma didn’t use an electric beater. She used a hand-held one. However, those beaters are mighty hard to find these days.
Makes 80 cookies. Takes 50 minutes.
Preheat oven to 360 degrees. Add butter to large mixing bowl. Use beater set on high until butter is light and fluffy. Add sugar. Mix with beater until butter and sugar are well blended. Add 1 egg yolk at a time, blending each instance. Gradually add flour, mixing all the time. Add almond extract, if desired, and mix briefly with electric beater.
Grease cookie pan lightly with paper from butter. Choose a disk for the cookie gun. Add dough to cookie gun. (Follow instructions that come with cookie gun.) Use cookie gun to press out dough onto cookie pan. Be creative. Make whatever shape you want. (My grandma favored the letter s.) Bake at 360 degrees for 10 minutes or until cookies start to brown. You might have to cook in batches. Gently remove cookies from cookie pans using fork. Gently, gently, as some cookie shapes crumble easier than others.
1) Why are there so many towns in the western America named after Sweden? Culinary historians hold it is because of the wondrously sturdy wheels the immigrant Swedes used in their covered wagons. While others used wooden spokes in their wagon wheels, the Swedes made theirs from spritz cookie dough. Egg yolks were much stronger back then, making for more durable spokes than ones made from wood. Indeed, chickens were buffer in the 1800s, being able to bench press a 200-pound man.