Butter cookies are my nemesis. As much as I love sugar, these barely-sweet-but-boasting-a-rich-butter-flavor cookies are what really get me.
I recently combed through the cookbook section of our local library, and came home with The Gourmet Cookie Book. It contains the best cookie recipe from each year of the Gourmet magazine, dating all the way back to 1941.
While many of the cookies were intriguing, I knew I had to make these Norwegian butter cookies. And I knew I had everything in my kitchen to make these… like now.
And they can be piped! Yep, I’m still in a piping mood. 🙂
In the book, they are piped into an “S” shape, but I went with circles. (I’m partial to those tins of Danish butter cookies that pop up everywhere around Christmas, especially the little circle cookies…)
The recipe was fast and simple to mix up, and the almond extract brings such a subtle depth to the cookie. (But if you don’t have almond extract on hand, they would still be totally worth making without it.)
The salt in this recipe seriously raises the scrumptious factor. There’s a buttery salty-sweet taste at the end of each bite that makes you want another instantly.
After I made these cookies, I looked up various other “spritz” recipes for comparison. There are all sorts of variations, but this is definitely its own recipe.
Some of the recipes use powdered sugar, while this one uses granulated. For the amount of sugar and egg, this has more butter than most of the recipes I viewed. It also has a higher amount of flour percentage-wise than many of the other recipes. I think the extra flour produces a slightly crisper cookie, which I love.
It crumbles slightly in your mouth, in the best way. A little like shortbread.
Admittedly, the dough was very difficult to pipe. But it got easier as my hands warmed the pastry bag.
If you don’t feel like piping, the recipe mentions you can roll the dough into balls and flatten them slightly before baking.
Norwegian Butter Cookies (aka Spritz)
Adapted from The Gourmet Cookie Book (Also from the March 1983 issue of Gourmet)
*makes 7-8 dozen depending on the size
- 4 c. flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 c. unsalted butter (3 sticks), softened
- 1 c. sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 tsp. almond extract (optional, but SO good)
- 1 egg
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In a large bowl, cream the softened butter. Pour in the sugar a little at a time, beating well between each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extract and beat again until well incorporated. Beat in the egg until it disappears into the batter.
- Add the dry ingredients a little at a time to form the dough. Mix thoroughly.
- Prepare a pastry bag with a large star tip (such as a Wilton 1M tip). Fill the pastry bag (no more than halfway) and pipe slowly into small circles on the prepared baking sheet. The dough curls up a bit while piping, but just keep going around gently until you can join the circle. Adjust piped cookies if necessary to be sure they are at least one inch apart on the cookie sheet. Refill the pastry bag as necessary.
- Bake 10-15 minutes in the preheated oven until the edges are golden. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely before storing. The cookies will keep in an airtight container for a few days.