Cream Cheese Spritz
Makes about 4 dozen tiny cookies
2 sticks (1 cup or 226 grams) butter, softened
4 ounces (about 1/2 cup or 100 grams) cream cheese, softened
1 cup (200 grams) sugar
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch of nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (or 1/2 teaspoon anise extract)
2 1/2 cups (312 grams) flour
food coloring + sprinkles + colored sanding sugars, for decorating
Cream together butter, cream cheese, and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add egg yolk, vanilla, salt, nutmeg and almond extract* until incorporated.
Add the flour and beat for a minute or so until it is almost all combined. At this point I usually divide the dough into thirds for coloring. I start with red and add a few drops of food coloring to the dough and beat until combined. Then I clean the beaters, wipe out the bowl, and repeat with the green. *You can also omit the almond extract (in the above step) and add any flavorings, such as anise, along with the food coloring so that each color has a different flavor.
At this point you can wrap the dough in plastic and chill for several days. Just be sure to let the dough come to room temperature before pressing them out. You want to dough to be soft enough so that your cookies will come out of the press nice and easy.
When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350. On an ungreased cookie sheet (this is important because otherwise the cookies won’t come off of the press and stick to the sheet like they are supposed to) stamp out as many cookies as will fit. You can fit them fairly close together. When you’ve filled a sheet, sprinkle with colored sugars and other festive decorations.
Bake 10-12 minutes or until the edges are stiff and the cookies are lightly browned on the bottom. Let cool on the sheet for several minutes, then transfer to a rack. Store cookies at room temperature in a covered container for a week or two.