I have to admit that I was never a fan of Italian cookies before I started dating my boyfriend. I didn’t hate them, I just never really had too many growing up. My boyfriend loves them because he grew up in Queens and was always surrounded by really good and authentic Italian bakeries. After we moved in together, he was always bringing home cookies from different bakeries for me to try. The cookie that is my favorite is the Italian Butter Spritz Cookie with the rainbow sprinkles.
I have searched for the recipe to make these cookies now that we don’t have the NYC bakeries right around us anymore. The only problem with finding these recipes are is that they heavily guarded by Italian families, understandably because they are so tasty. After reading a few forums of people trying to find the same recipe I was trying to find, I came across a women, Gretchen Price, that owns a bakery in New Jersey. She has several You Tube videos on how to make the Italian butter cookies she makes in her bakery. Score!
The results? Amazing! Let’s just say the boyfriend was very impressed.
- 7 oz. butter at room temp (about 1¾ stick)
- 7 oz. shortening (Crisco)
- 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. confectioners’ sugar
- 3 oz. almond paste (before starting soften first by mixing in the bowl of your mixer until it gets almost butter like in consistency)
- 4 egg whites
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tsp. almond extract
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3¼ cups flour
- In the bowl of a mixer, combine the butter and shortening.
- Mix in confectioners' sugar and then scrape down the side of the bowl
- Add in salt, vanilla extract, and almond extract and mix until combined
- Add in almond paste, mix until completely combined- may take few minutes especially if you are using almond paste from the grocery store. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add in egg whites and mix until combined.
- Mix in all of the flour,gradually working the mixer up from slow until medium speed until dough forms.
- In a pastry bag fitted with a large coupler and a large star tip (like what you would frost cupcakes with) fill bag with cookie dough.
- Line baking sheets with parchment paper and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Just like frosting a cupcake, apply pressure to the bag, starting on the outside start to move in a small circle ending in the middle.
- Add sprinkles to the top
- Bake for 10-12 minutes until it they just start to turn golden on the outside.
- Move to a wire rack and let cool. Store in an airtight container for 2-3 or freeze for later use.
Source– Adapted slightly from Crumb Boss