- 2 sticks (1 cup, 226 gr) unsalted butter, room temp
- 2/3 cup (135 gr) granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp almond extract (optional)
- 2 1/3 cup all-purpose flour (measured properly by spooning into measuring cups without packing in and level off)
- sprinkles for topping (optional)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fit with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, and salt on medium/high speed until combined. Only cream for about 30-45 seconds. The more you cream, the more the cookies will spread out instead of holding their shape.
- Add the egg yolks, vanilla extract, and almond extract if using to the mixing bowl. Mix until incorporated.
- Add the flour into the mixing bowl and mix until combined. The mixture will be very thick and slightly crumbly. Once the flour is incorporated, stop mixing.
- If you like, you can scoop out balls of dough and flatten them out to make circular butter cookies. If you want a spritz cookie, you can use a cookie press or fit a pastry bag with a large open star tip. Alternatively, you can just use a large round tip or a plastic bag with a corner cut off. I find that a large french tip like the Ateco 869 tip or the Wilton 8B tip work well. Fill your pastry bag with about 1/3rd of the mixture. The mixture is very thick so you don’t want too much dough in it or it will be almost impossible to pipe.
- Scoop or pipe the dough onto parchment lined baking sheets. If you want to make the wreaths like pictured, pipe circles of dough with the star tip. I like to also secure the parchment paper with a dab of dough on under each corner to hold it in place while I pipe. If the dough feels too thick to pipe, massage the bag with your hands to warm it up slightly so it is more pipeable. Add sprinkles on top if desired. I do reserve the larger decorative sprinkles, like the holly berry sprinkles pictured, until the cookies are done baking or they will bleed into the dough.
- Place the baking sheet in the freezer to set for 15-20 minutes before baking. This will ensure that the cookies really hold their shape. You can skip this step if you like, but the cookies will likely spread while baking.
- Preheat the oven to 375 F (190 C). Bake one sheet pan at a time for about 13-16 minutes. Try to avoid opening the oven during the first half of the baking time or the heat will escape and your cookies may spread. If you make much smaller cookies (the ones pictured are about 2 1/2 inches wide, you will need a shorter baking time about 8-12 minutes). Remove from the oven when the cookies are set and lightly golden brown. They will not brown very much. If using, press the larger decorative sprinkles into the cookies right when you remove them.
- Allow the cookies to cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before moving them to cooling racks to cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.