Spritz!

I think because it is my first Christmas without my family, I am suddenly remembering all the delicious treats my family would have Christmas. My mother, as phenomenal of a baker as she is, would have had to run an industrially outfitted and staffed kitchen to make all the things I remember having “every” Christmas. Realistically, it comes down to two realities: first, my extended family is huge and full of good cooks, and thus those goodies could have come from any number of recipe books; second, it is entirely possible they alternated years, or there were a few one-off treats.
One treat I know we made on a regular basis were spritz. They made such an impression on me that it was very important to register for a cookie gun when we got married. This was my first chance to test it out. So I busted off the cellophane, dusted the drywall off my KitchenAid (oh, yeah, we returned to Ottawa to find part of our ceiling had flaked off. Life in a “character” apartment!), and set to work on this Canadian Living recipe

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Now, thanks to my trusty KitchenAid, who I have named Hobart, making the dough took no time at all. Whipping butter? No problem for Hobart! To make them gluten-free, I used Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Mix, since I didn’t feel like crazy conversions.

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I don’t tire of pictures of Hobart. He’s such a lovable brute!
Now, a note on the recipe. When imagining the taste of my childhood Spritz, I seem to recall them having a smack of almond. However, every recipe I found called for vanilla, and my attempt to go rogue and throw almond in anyways was thwarted. Turns out, almond extract was one of the things “missing” (read: thrown out in chaos) from the move. So I tried vanilla. I was right – they are still good, but the key flavour is definitely almond not vanilla!

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The gun proved fairly user friendly. Still a bit stiff to open, and loading the dough is going to be a learned skill. I think I made the dough a little on the moist side because the cookies didn’t hold theirs shape well and were loathe to stick to the “cookie sheet” (or “boiler tray lined in foil”, because I’m resourceful). But they turned out alright. The addition of a temperature gauge for the oven and the return of my well-honed instinct for cookie-doneness, and they turned out pretty well. Solid and browned a touch on the outside, chewy on the inside.
Before the oven:

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After the oven:

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The Dahg was quite a help in the kitchen. He snuck up on me and hovered in the kitchen while Hobart and I worked, and he nestled comfortable at my feet the entire time I was at our new dining table shooting out the cookies. After they were finished, I gave him some broken cookies. He is still sitting by the table, in hopes the cookies will suddenly spring forth into Dahg-reachable territory.

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We bought ham at the Atwater market, along with a litre of wine, so tomorrow I will attempt to recreate my Mom’s Visit Wine-Glazed Ham. Provided of course fixing the ceiling doesn’t take all day – the repairman is showing up at 9 tomorrow, so he will hopefully be out before dinner!
-W-

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