December 24, 2009

Cocoa Spritz Cookies

We can't forget about Santa this fine Christmas Eve. My Perfect Little Helper and I whipped up these super simple, super yummy spritz cookies for the jolly ol' fella tonight. I was suuuure Santa didn't want another plain old sugar cookie (not that there's anything wrong with them)... change is nice. Last year (seriously a year ago) hubby got me a Martha Stewart cookie press on clearance at K-Mart. I don't know people, I have no reason why it sat in the baking cupboard for an entire 11 months, it escapes me. But tonight that puppy got broken in, I imagine the whole technique takes a little getting used to, but for my first whirl it wasn't too bad.

(a tired little cookie press, poor thing)

My new favorite thing is baking with cocoa mix. You see, a while back the family and I loaded up the car to go "camping" and while we were there we thought Hmmmm, how super would it be to light a real fire and sip cocoa - so light and sip we did. Turns out a family of 2.5 with only 1.5 cocoa drinkers doesn't quite consume as much cocoa as you'd think in a 4 day stay in a cabin. So the car ride home was 1 box minus 2 packages of cocoa mix heavier. Not wanting it to go to waste I tried using it in the cookie recipes I was testing out this season. Sadly, the first batch - amazing as it was - never survived long enough to be photographed and shared with the world. But don't you worry, because you have these Cocoa Spritz Cookies just for you (and Santa).

So this (cocoa mountain that made the Perfect Little Helper burst into giddy laughter)...

Plus this (ordinary but still delicious spritz cookie base)...

Equals this! Mmmmm, cocoa-y

I love them - I really really love them, which is why it is my duty to share them with you. It may be too late to set these out for Santa but that's no reason to wait to try them. Make them for your Christmas dessert spread, they're so easy you won't sweat adding them on. And if you can't even squeeze them in for Christmas then make them when everyone has left and you finally get to sit down, kick your slippers off and say 'ahhhh'...ok so I recommend making them before you get to kick your feet up. Whichever method you prefer just do it, you'll be happy - I promise!

Cocoa Spritz Cookies
This recipe yields about 40 cookies, I imagine it depends on the size of the cookie press mold. You can simply double the recipe if using this for a cookie exchange or party.

1/2 C (1 stick) butter; softened
1/3 C sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large egg yolks
1 C all purpose flour
2 pkgs cocoa mix (I used the marshmallow lovers variety simply because that's what I had on hand, but I don't recommend it because the mini-mallows kept getting stuck and clogging the disks)
optional: sprinkles for decorating, but keep it simple

Preheat oven to 375F.

Combine the cocoa mix and the flour, set aside.

In bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter, sugar, and vanilla until very pale and fluffy. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, until thoroughly incorporated.

Scrape down the side of the bowl and beater. On low speed, add cocoa/flour mixture and mix only until all of the dry ingredients are blended. Finish the mixing with a large spatula if needed to prevent over-beating.

Prepare your cookie press and fill it with half of the dough at a time. Press onto ungreased cookie sheets, about 1 inch apart.

Bake about 8 minutes (mine only took 6 min) until edges just start to turn golden.

Remove cookies to wire racks to cool completely. Enjoy!

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