My holiday baking would not seem complete without traditional Spritz cookies. I make them to honor my German heritage and they're my favorite Christmas cookie. You'll need a cookie press for these.
2 and 1/2 cups sifted all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup butter (half can be margarine)
1 and 1/4 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 egg yolks or 1 whole egg
1 tsp. pure almond extract
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Stir flour and salt together, mixing well. Beat butter (and margarine), gradually adding sugar, until creamy. Beat in eggs and flavorings. Load cookie dough into a cookie press or pastry bag. Press small amount out onto ungreased cookie sheets lined with parchment paper using any desired shape disc. Bake at 400° for 6 to 8 minutes. Do not overbake. Allow to cool before removing from cookie sheet. Yield: 6 1/2 dozen small cookies.
Variations: Food coloring may be added (such as green for trees). Sprinkle tops with colored crystal sugar or nonpareils. You can brush tops of cookies with egg white to help the decorations stick.