December 24, 2012

Pressed for Time

Pin It
Margaret's Morsels  | Cinnamon Cookies

For the first time in almost 20 years, I won't be making German Christmas Cookies this year.  My mother made these delectable, melt in your mouth cookies flavored with nutmeg and frosted in icing tinted red, green and yellow every year at Christmas.  They were a holiday tradition just like her cheeseball and Kool-Aid Punch.  Although they epitomize Christmas to me, they have to be rolled, cut out and frosted, something I don't have time to do this year.  I'll still make cookies -- they'll even be shaped like trees and wreaths -- but the designs will come not from a cookie cutter but from a cookie press.

I remember the first time I ever saw a cookie press.  I was a teenager visiting my next door neighbor.  She was using a cookie press to make spritz cookies.  I remember thinking how much faster it was to use a cookie press to shape cookies rather than rolling them out and cutting them with cookie cutters.  It made an indelible impression on me and, when I was living on my own in my first apartment, I bought my very own cookie press. Although a cookie press makes things faster, you don't have to use one to make the recipe I'm sharing today.

Cookie presses come in two sizes:  regular and bite size.  I have one of each, but prefer the bite size cookie press.  I like serving miniature desserts, especially at the holidays when there's a wide variety of food -- including desserts -- available.

A cookie press consists of two parts:  a hollow tube and templates with various designs.


Margaret's Morsels  | Cinnamon Cookies

The tube is filled with cookie dough


Margaret's Morsels  | Cinnamon Cookies

and the template is screwed on the bottom of the tube.



Margaret's Morsels  | Cinnamon Cookies


The cookie dough is pressed through the template by pressing a trigger mechanism on the cookie press.  As the trigger is pressed, a plunger pushes the dough through the template.  Changing the template is as easy as unscrewing the template and screwing on a different one.  I don't recommend using a cookie press with nonstick cookie sheets.  Nonstick pans keep things from sticking which also includes the cookie dough from the cookie press!

The cinnamon cookie recipe is fairly straightforward.  The butter -- I use unsalted -- and sugar are creamed until light and fluffy.



Margaret's Morsels  | Cinnamon Cookies

Add the egg yolks and vanilla


Margaret's Morsels  | Cinnamon Cookies

and beat well.


Margaret's Morsels  | Cinnamon Cookies

Stir the dry ingredients together and add to the creamed mixture in three additions.


Margaret's Morsels  | Cinnamon Cookies

Fill the cookie press with dough and make the desired shapes directly on the cookie sheet.  You'll need to press the mechanism a couple of times before the dough starts coming out of the template.



Margaret's Morsels  | Cinnamon Cookies

Brush the cookies with the reserved egg whites; this helps the cinnamon sugar mixture adhere to the cookies.


Margaret's Morsels  | Cinnamon Cookies

Sprinkle the tops with the cinnamon sugar mixture.


Margaret's Morsels  | Cinnamon Cookies

Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes and immediately remove them to a cooling rack.


Margaret's Morsels  | Cinnamon Cookies

You'll need to wash the cookie sheet between batches to remove the egg white residue and leftover cinnamon sugar.

If you don't have a cookie press, make the cookies as directed, but refrigerate the dough until it's firm enough to roll into balls.  Omit the egg whites and roll the cookies in the cinnamon sugar mixture like you would for Snickerdoodles.  Proceed as directed.  You may need to increase the baking time for regular size cookies.

These cookies will never replace the Christmas cookies from my childhood, but they're a nice alternative this year since I'm pressed for time.


Cinnamon Cookies
150 Bite Size

1 cup butter (no substitutes), softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, separated
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
2 egg whites
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add egg yolks and vanilla; beat well.  Stir the flour, 2 teaspoons cinnamon and salt together; add to creamed mixture in three additions.  Place cookie dough in cookie press; make desired shapes on ungreased cookie sheet.  Brush cookies with the reserved egg whites.  Combine 1/4 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon; sprinkle over cookies.  Bake at 400° for 8 to 10 minutes.

© Margaret's Morsels

5 comments:

  1. Hi! We've recently launched the site www.Recipesup.com, on our website you can promote your blog. I invite you to go and take a look. Your blog will be in the top rank of Recipesup blogs. Hopefully your food blog will be up there in the top!

    Kind regards

    ReplyDelete
  2. These look like so much fun!

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jess! Thanks for hosting the opportunity to share the recipe.

      Delete
  3. What a great recipe and thanks so much for sharing it with us at Full Plate Thursday! Hope you had a great Thanksgiving and come back to see us real soon.
    Miz Helen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Miz Helen! I appreciate the opportunity to share recipes at your parties:)

      Delete