This past year I made a commitment to myself to leave the house and my little Weelicious world and meet other food bloggers, chefs and writers. It was a big step for a homebody like me. One of the best parts about being a blogger and writer is that you get to wear sweats all day and work from your house. It's a dream in many ways, but one can also wind up feeling like an anti-social hermit.
My first outing was to a conference for IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals), which is kind of a big deal in the food world. Celebrities really don't do it for me, but well known people in the culinary trade do -- in a big way. I turn bright red and get super nerdy if I merely see a famous chef or blogger in person. While I always try to remind myself that they're just people too, so many of my idols are food professionals and it's hard not to get worked up if I happen to find myself breathing the same air as them.
During one day of the conference, an enormous room is devoted to major cookbook authors selling and signing their books and talking to fans like me. I was in total nerd heaven! I got to meet and talk with a few of my heroes as well as a few whose name I had heard before but didn't know much about. One such writer was Rebecca Miller French. We were introduced and I felt like I could sit around and chat with her all day long. Not only is Rebecca lovely and amazing, but her cookbook, Sweet Home, is too. I bought it immediately and have since cooked from it often.
When I was looking for a classic Spritz Cookie to make with the kids for the holidays, I looked no further than Sweet Home. Rebecca's incredible style and family friendly dessert recipes are detailed in over 150 beautifully photographed pages, featuring some of the most luscious creations you've ever seen. And of course she has a darn good spritz cookie recipe.
My kids loved pressing the dough through the spritzer using different shapes and then decorating them with mini chocolate chips and dried fruits. Rebecca's recipe made so many cookies, I stored a huge bag full of them in the freezer so that two weeks from now when things get so busy and I can't see straight, at least the requisite holiday baking will be easy.
If going out more often means I find recipes like this, I'm going to become much more social!
Classic Spritz Cookies (makes 6 dozen)
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup Sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1 large egg plus 1 yolk, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 2 cups All Purpose Flour
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
2. In the bowl of a standing mixer, or with an electric mixer, cream together the butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
3. Add the egg, egg yolk and vanilla and mix until combined. Gradually add the flour and mix until a dough forms.
4. Place the dough in a cookie spritzer fitted with desired shapes. Press cookies onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or until edges are just starting to turn golden.