red velvet spritzies

red velvet cake doesn’t seem to be as popular a cake nowadays as when i was young. i remember having non-italian friends who always requested it for their birthday cakes (seriously, us italian kids loved rum-soaked sponge layer cakes with whipped buttercream and sprinkles or toasted almonds around the outside!)

a few years ago, i spotted this spritz cookie recipe and couldn’t resist. the color was perfect, and though this photo looks darker and more like chocolate cookies, they really are a deep red with hints of cocoa in the color. their texture is traditional spritz and their flavor is gentle – not too sugary, just enough buttery flavor to make them rich, yet light.

the nonpareils on top add a little crunch along with a festive look. and though it’s a bit late tonight, in the morning i may dip the bottom of these cookies in a melted rich dark chocolate glaze. i’ll let you know if i do (and i’ll upload a photo, because we all know it didn’t happen unless there’s a photo to go along with it, right?) (**editor’s note: i did dip and the cookies are even more perfect now! see the photo on the right for dipped versions!)

give these a try and let me know what you think. frankly, they’re easy to bake and i think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

red velvet spritzies

  

ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature (use the full-fat cream cheese)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, separated yolk from whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon red paste food coloring
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon dark cocoa powder
1 tablespoon water
white nonpareils

instructions:

1. preheat oven to 350 degrees. do not grease or add parchment paper to your baking sheets. spritz cookies bake better on plain baking sheets.
2. cream butter, cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy.
3. add egg yolk, vanilla, and food coloring to the buttery mixture. beat until completely combined.
4. add flour and cocoa, adding slowly into the butter mixture at low to medium speed on your mixer.
5. using a cookie press fitted with a flower disk (or whichever disk you wish!), press dough approximately 1″ apart onto the baking sheets. (these cookies don’t spread, so they can be fairly close together)
6. in a small bowl, combine the egg white and the water, and using a pastry brush, lightly brush over each cookies. be careful not to place too much egg white mixture on the cookies, and don’t let it drip down onto your baking sheet, as that may cause the cookies to stick to the sheet.
7. sprinkle the nonpareils lightly atop each cookie.
8. bake for 10-12 minutes until the cookies are just set, but not brown.
9. remove from oven. cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheets, then remove cookies from pan and cool completely on wire racks.
10. enjoy!

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