Spritz cookies can be a little tricky to make. I have heard complaints about the batter being too stiff to handle and that the cookies losing shape in the oven. In order to be successful, it is crucial for the batter to be at the right consistency. For how to achieve the optimal consistency without altering the recipe, please refer to my previous post, Viennese Sablés. Another key to success lies in the mixing method. The creaming of butter and sugar in cookies is a bit different than one in cake preparation. There is no need to incorporate lots of air into the cookie batter. You are good to go as long as the sugar-butter mixture is smooth and creamy. If the mixture is beaten to the light and fluffy stage, the excessive air bubbles trapped in the batter will rise and expand in the hot oven, resulting in cookies that spread and lose its pattern.
With the correct batter consistency and mixing method, the batter will be super easy to work with and won’t spread in the oven at all. In fact, cookie batter can be prepared quickly without any machine. I will demonstrate below with the use of just a whisk and a spatula. The cookies were made with whole eggs this time (I used egg white last time) and I boosted them up with some coffee flavor. More sugar is added to balance the slightly bitter flavor from the espresso powder.
For filled cookies, it is best to make an impression in the middle part of the dough. The deeper the indentation, the more filling it will hold. I filled mine with dark chocolate ganache but you could customize with other fillings like jam, Nutella, melted chocolate and caramel. For filled cookies that are shaped by hand instead of piping, please visit my other blog post, Peanut Butter & Chocolate Thumbprints with Sea Salt.
Chocolate Espresso Spritz Cookies
For the Espresso Cookies
125 g salted butter, very soft
150 g all-purpose flour, sifted
50 g icing sugar, sifted
20 g egg
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
1/2 Tbsp instant espresso powder
For the Ganache Filling
25 g whipping cream
50 g dark chocolate, chopped
含鹽牛油 (室溫回軟) 125克
Preheat oven to 325℉/160℃. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
To soften the butter, cut it into small pieces then place in a large mixing bowl. Set bowl over a double-boiler with simmering water. Whisk until the butter is very very soft. The butter should be like soft toothpaste and look a bit shiny. Remove from heat.
Add icing sugar and whisk until mixture is smooth and creamy. DO NOT mix until the mixture is light and fluffy. If too much air is incorporated, the cookies will spread and lose its shape in the oven.
Add beaten egg in two additions and whisk until fully Incorporated. Scrape down the side of the bowl with a spatula then beat in the vanilla.
Fold in the flour and espresso powder in two batches with a spatula. Stop mixing once a soft dough is formed. Do not over-mix.
Transfer batter into a piping bag fitted with a French star tip (I used SN7102 tip) then eliminate any trapped air bubbles. Pipe batter onto the baking sheet by drawing a letter e. With a clean finger, make an indentation in the middle of each cookie.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until the cookies are slightly golden brown around the edges. Cool completely on a cooling rack.
For the ganache, combine whipping cream and chocolate in a small bowl and melt over a double-boiler. Stir until smooth. Spoon ganache into the cavity of each cookie. Let set then serve.
The deeper the indentation, the more filling the cookie can take.
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