Freedom Vanilla-Bean Spritz Cookies

Freedom Spritz CookiesThis is another recipe from Martha Stewart’s Cookies, the recipes have been consistently solid. They are listed as wreaths but I modified them for a flower design and added red, white, and blue sprinkles for the 4th of July.  I jokingly re-dubbed them “freedom cookies” in honor of all the food that was misguidedly renamed.   I halved the recipe and this made 28 cookies.   I increased the amount of cinnamon in the cookie since I didn’t sprinkle any sugar/cinnamon on top.  I also substituted vanilla bean paste for the beans, it gave the same appearance with the black flecks.   These were easy to make and simple and could easily be colored for any occasion.

Vanilla-Bean Spritz Wreaths

The name for these pressed cookies comes from the German word spritzen (“to squirt”); they can be quickly formed with a cookies press.  Although they have a very fine crumb, the wreaths are sturdy enough for packaging.  Makes about 5 dozen

3 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
3 tsps ground cinnamon
2 vanilla beans, halved lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved
1 c. plus 4 tsps sugar
3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large egg yolks

1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Whisk together flour, salt, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon.
2.Beat vanilla seeds and 1 cup sugar with a mixer on medium speed until incorporated, about 3 minutes (sugar will clump together slightly).  Add butter, and beat until pale and fluffy.  Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.  Reduce speed to low.  Add flour mixture, and beat just until smooth.
3. Divide dought into 3 portions.  Pack 1 portion into a cookies press fitted with wreath disk (cover remaining portions with an inverted bol or refirgerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days; bring to room temperature before using), and press shapes about 2 inches apart onto baking sheets.  Bake until edges are just golden, 9 to 12 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, combine remaining 2 teaspoons cinnamon with remaining 4 teaspoons sugar.  Sprinkle over hot cookies.  Let cool on sheets on wire racks.  Repeat.  Cookies can be stored in a single layer in airtight containers at room temperature up to 4 days.

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