This Christmas cookie recipe is one that my mother made every year when I was growing up. In German, they're called Spritzgebäck. You might know them as Spritz Cookies.
They aren't difficult to make but you do need to have a large star tip and a pastry bag or a cookie press. They're most commonly seen in S-shapes or crescents. This recipe also includes finely ground hazelnuts, which is why you need the large star tip. Even if the nuts are very fine, they could clog anything smaller. While the original recipe does mention grinding them with a mortar and pestle, I find my handy dandy food processor or blender much faster and easier.
The chocolate dip isn't required at all. I dip about half of them because I like the chocolate. I think the chocolate also makes for a nice presentation. The original chocolate for dipping was made with cocoa powder and was a bit of a mess. I prefer simply melting chocolate chips. It's easier and tastes great!
2 sticks unsalted butter (8 ounces), softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 cup hazelnuts, finely ground
2/3 - 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat oven to 350. Cover baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cream the butter with the sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla and beat until smooth. Add the flour 1/2 cup at a time, beating in between. Add the hazelnuts and beat.
Attach a large star tip to a cookie press or pastry bag. Load with the dough and press into crescents or S-shapes about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until the cookies are light golden brown.
Move to a cooling rack immediately. When cool, microwave the chocolate chips in 40 second bursts, stirring in between. Dip half the cookie in the chocolate. Dry on a rack with plastic wrap, aluminum foil or wax paper underneath to catch drips.
|Grind the hazelnuts.|
|The dough will be a little stiff.|
|Cool on a rack.|