To Sweden With Love

photo-3 We had bought some store-bought cookies. Their cloying, artificial taste got me off my butt and facing the stand mixer with the triumvirate of cookie bliss: Butter, Flour, Sugar. I also decided to crack open the new Spritz Cookie Press I had bought at a warehouse store a few weeks ago. I had tried automatic cookie presses, Swedish cookie presses, but sadly, none could compare to my Mom’s cookie press which was purloined by a grinch who “borrowed” it one Christmas. After ignoring the directions that came with my new cookie press, I was off and running with a stainless-steel ratchet style tool that could double as a Krav Maga weapon! The only Spritz cookie recipe I found was in my Mom’s hand. She had telephoned a Minnesota woman she babysat for years ago for her recipe but she had apparently found it flawed: it was crossed out with the words. “NO, NO, NO…this is BAD.” Fortunately, the manual I had ignored boasted a single recipe. It was supposed to be mixed by hand. Not likely in my world.

CLASSIC SPRITZ COOKIE

2 sticks unsalted butter (1 cup)

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

2 cups all-purpose flour

pinch of salt

1 tsp each vanilla and almond extracts

colored sprinkles

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy; add egg and beat well. Add flour, salt, and extracts, mixing briefly. Follow directions (as if!) for cookie press, and bake for 10-12 minutes at 350. Decorate with sprinkles immediately after removing from oven. In a matter of under 30 minutes, a heavenly aroma emanated from the oven, and we had a crisp, not-to-sweet, Swedish classic cookie. The new cookie press sliced my hand like a knife when I washed it. I guess that’s why they said to put it in the dishwasher. But, as my mechanic says, “You’ve gotta suffer, man.” It was definitely worth it for this cookie that is both rich and austere, a tribute to cold nights and Swedish ingenuity.

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