Spritz Cookies – It’s All In The Bagging!

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Spritz cookies are my favorite cookie at the holidays. I don’t make them any other time of the year, just as I don’t watch “A Christmas Carol” or “The Grinch” in July. These cookies bring back strong childhood memories for me, mostly of my Mom’s frustration with her antique cookie press.

If I had only known how to use a pastry bag when I was 5, I would have helped ease some of that maternal angst. The correct use of a pastry bag is an easier way to make spritz cookies, and it allows you to make many different shapes with one bag.

Just like the other cookies we’ve been talking about this week, the key to making cookies from scratch is in the mixing method. The Creaming Method is most often used for cookies, and these holiday cookies are no different.

The creaming method means creaming together fat and sugar, adding eggs, then liquid, dry ingredients, and any nuts, spices, or seasonings at the end. The first stage of this procedure is most important, adding air to the fat and sugar mixture for a light and crunchy cookie.

When butter and sugar are creamed together correctly, it should look like ice cream on the mixer paddle. If the mixture is granular, sparkles, or crunches when you taste it, return to the mixture and continue to incorporate air until it’s very light and fluffy.

Spritz cookie dough does not rest in the refrigerator like the cookies for Santa we made with sugar cookie dough. Sugar cookie dough needs to be very firm to be rolled out and cut into shapes. With bagged cookies, the dough needs to be soft enough to push through the pastry bag opening.

The correct way to hold a pastry bag is by pushing all the dough toward the tip and twisting the top of the bag to force the contents outward. I’m right-handed, so I place the twisted end of the pastry bag between my thumb and fore-finger of my right hand.

Squeezing with my right hand is what pushes the dough toward the tip. The mistake most people make is exerting too much pressure with their other hand, thus pushing the dough upward. My left hand is used only as a guide, and doesn’t do any squeezing at all.

With even pressure from my right hand and a gentle guide from my left, I create a small spiral of dough about 1 inch in diameter. Coiling the spiral on top of itself, a final push downward then quickly upward will leave an attractive first portion of spritz cookies.

I can decorate with colored sugar, candy pearls, or ice cream sprinkles and bake them for beautiful cookies that ARE the definition of holiday baking for me and so many others.

Author Box:
See the spritz cookies video to by clicking here. Chef Todd Mohr has freed thousands of people from the frustration of written recipes with his online cooking classes. The Chef’s cooking DVD series “Burn Your Recipes” empowers people to cook with basic methods and the ingredients they desire.

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I am thrilled to be an E-zine Expert Author and have a number of articles published on a variety of cooking topics (and write new ones all the time!) Page down to see the entire list and click the ones that are helpful to you.

Before I became Chef Todd Mohr, I was Todd Mohr - a guy who liked to cook. A lot of people, including me, even thought I was a pretty good cook. For starters, I had my five meals, well, recipes, I suppose, that I could make well. Being a creative person, I also used some of the techniques from my tried and true \"recipes\" to experiment a bit with new dishes. Some were good and some not so good, and I usually never knew what the difference was.

Through a series of events, I decided to change careers in 1996 and pursue my passion for cooking, so I enrolled in Baltimore International Culinary College. 18 months later, I emerged: Chef Todd Mohr.

The greatest thing I learned in culinary school was the \"how\" and the \"why\" that had been missing from my cooking all those years. My recipes only gave me the \"what\" - which left so much out! The greatest thing I gained in the years after culinary school, was the practical experience from working in kitchens and experimenting at home. Being observant, I learned even more \"hows\" and \"whys\" in addition to \"whats\" along my culinary journey. This experience and experimentation, more than anything else, is what turned Todd Mohr into Chef Todd Mohr.

My experience includes kitchen experience - all the way up to Executive Chef, as well as college teaching experience, starting and operating a successful catering company and then finally, the culmination of all of my passion: opening The Cooking School in Cary NC in 2007.

From The Cooking School, came \"Cooking Coarse\", my daily video blog that quickly gained a loyal You Tube following due to the uniqueness of the instruction offered. It was through feedback received from \"Cooking Coarse\" viewers that I decided to launch WebCookingClasses.com and provide this information to the world.

When I started getting emails that my videos had changed people\'s lives, I knew I was on to something and that was when WebCookingClasses.com was born.

This is my passion - I am excited to share it with you!

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