Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Splodgy Spritz Butter Cookies

My Alpha Baker project for this week, the Butter Spritz Cookies, came out looking very pretty if a little splodgy. I think the splodginess is due to the fact I should have refrigerated them before I baked them. I was lead astray from my hard-learnt Principles of Baking in High Heat and Humidity by the fact that these are so quick and easy to make and the dough is very well-behaved. 

Somehow this didn't dampen my enjoyment of these biscuits, both making and eating. The flavour is very nice, with a distinct almond taste, and the texture is soft with a slight crunch. If I was going to start a rating scale for Christmas biscuits (and why wouldn't I) these would be a 7 out of 10 for ease of baking and aesthetics, only losing marks for being a little plain in flavour (I enjoy the spice that comes with a lot of Christmas goodies but other may see plainness as a positive).

The only thing I wasn't too keen on for this recipe was the glace cherries which I grudgingly bought. I always pick them off but you do need some colour and shine to make the biscuits look a bit interesting (i.e. Christmassy). Happy days though, as I was strolling the aisles of the supermarket I spotted not one but two different types of jelly tots (one from the UK, one Australian version). I bought them both, a move which really heralds the start of my annual campaign of Christmas excess and general overkill. They do bring down the tone of the biscuits a bit (to something a bit more childish), but they taste a lot nicer that the cherries. Guess who's getting glace cherries in their stocking? (hello Mum).

Piping bag or ancient hand-me-down biscuit press? This is the type of big philosophical question we Alpha Bakers have to face week in, week out. And the answer is...biscuit press.

I tried the piping bag first (you can see the cute little test-biscuit below) but the biscuit came out so small and then my $2.99 piping bag started expelling dough from the sides, so I gave up. I got out a biscuit press which came from either my grandmother or great aunt, which I have never used.

The biscuit press took a little while to work out. You can't see too clearly in the photo but the biscuit closest to the camera is enormous with decreasing size as you move away around the baking sheet. I put these back in the dough pile and started again.

The first tray was pretty comical looking. Pressed too close to the tray, too far away from the tray, double press. I tried it all. But it was a lot of fun and the dough was very easy to deal with. I could have scooped them back in and started again but I wanted to see what shape the different models baked into. And how the different jelly tots held up in the oven.

*Phew* much more evenly sized. I started to get the hang of it. This is when I should have put them in the fridge.

The third tray - evenly sized with sparkles!

Now I'm off to the kitchen shop to see if I can find a modern biscuit press and a better piping bag.

Next week we're making Pumpkin Pecan Pie, which is what I said last week, but this week it's really true. See you then.

And Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends for Thursday!


  1. Soo creative! I like you put lollies on top! I like these jelly tots lollies too! Seems like I am the only one who likes glace!

  2. "Pretty if a bit splodgy"--I think I'll make that my aesthetic aim and motto!

  3. They look fantastic for your first time using a cookie press! Love the idea of putting candy on top. Great post, really enjoy your descriptions. Splodgy is my new favorite word.