Spritz Cookies with Browned Butter and Chinese Five Spice are unique, autumnal and delicious–and perfect for a bake sale inspired by #CookiesforKidsCancer. I received some tools from OXO for the purpose of reviewing them and promoting Cookies for Kids Cancer. Because I already own their fabulous cookie press, I have given it away to a lucky reader (see below). Affiliate links have been used to link to items I am discussing.
I first wrote about Cookies for Kids Cancer in 2011, and I have continued to support them almost every fall since. The stats have changed a little bit, but in general everything I wrote then still stands. I have been affected by childhood cancer (I lost 2 cousins to it) and even if I had not, as a parent it is an organization that I would support. I love that OXO gets everyone excited about supporting it as well every fall through baking cookies. And if supporting cancer research through cookie bake sales sounds crazy to you? Cookies for Kids Cancer has provided over $7 million in grants since its inception in 2008. Every year since 2011, OXO has pledged up to $100,000 to match funds raised by Cookies for Kids Cancer bake sales. So I hope you check out the link if it sounds like something you would be interested in.
I am particularly proud of these spritz cookies. From a “baking as chemistry” perspective, I have used the same fabulous basic cookie press cookie that I adapted from Nancy Baggett–and if you are looking for a review of the OXO Good Grips Cookie Press with Stainless Steel Disks and Storage Case that I am giving away, that basic cookie press cookie post is a great place to start. But what I am proud of is the flavor combination I came up with. I wanted the butter to be browned, but I wanted a little bit more going on. However, I did not want a spice profile that was so strong that it overwhelmed or fought with the browned butter. Likewise for the apple brandy. When my dad tried them, he could not pick out any of the three flavors individually, and for me that meant I succeeded. The three flavor notes of browned butter, Chinese Five Spice (see the notes in the recipe for the exact spices in my blend) and apple brandy worked to create something new and delicious. My family often nibbles slowly at this kind of butter cookie, but these disappeared within days at my house.
As mentioned OXO sent me some tools to try out and write about in this post. One of them, the cookie press, I already owned so I ran a giveaway in order to share it with one of my lucky readers! They also sent their OXO Good Grips Cookie Press Autumn Disk Set, which was super exciting, their OXO Good Grips Silicone Cookie Spatula, and their OXO Good Grips Non-Stick Pro Cookie Sheet. The disc set was exciting just because I love having holiday options, and in addition to the leaves it also includes discs appropriate for Halloween and Thanksgiving. The cookie sheet is what I was super curious about, and so I actually baked my spritz cookies on three different surfaces: a standard, heavy rimmed nonstick baking sheet by a reputable brand, the OXO cookie sheet (pictured above) and a standard heavy baking sheet lined with a silicone mat. The OXO cookie sheet as you can see has a pebbled texture to it in addition to being nonstick and yes that made a difference. The spritz cookies released super easily from both the silicone mat and the OXO cookie sheet. I did not even need the spatula! I am super impressed with this cookie sheet and curious to try it with a drop cookie, like a chocolate chip cookie.
The giveaway is now over–thanks for playing!!!
Adapted from The Spiced Life.
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, browned
- scant 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 T apple brandy
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 T Chinese 5 Spice*
- ¼ t salt
- 2⅓ cups (294 g) AP flour
- 1 T milk, not skim, if needed (I did need)
- pink, red, orange and gold sanding sugar if desired for autumn cookies
Preheat oven to 350 F. Do NOT grease cookie sheets for this recipe, but parchment paper or silicone mats are fine. Have some cookie sheets ready.
Brown the butter and let cool for 5 minutes.
Mix the sugar into the butter--by hand is fine. Mix until incorporated. (If you use an electric mixer, do not beat a lot of air into the mixture.)
Once the sugar has dissolved, mix in the apple brandy.
Beat in the egg yolks and salt until incorporated.
Whisk the Chinese 5 Spice into the flour.
Gradually stir in the flour by hand: you are aiming for a dough that is not super soft, but also not too stiff to push through the cookie press. If the dough seems too stiff or crumbly, add more milk, ½ tablespoon at a time. Mine took an extra 1 tablespoon total.
Fill the tube of your cookie press and press the cookies out onto the un-greased cookie sheets, about 1½ inches apart. Sprinkle with sparkling sugar if using.
Bake for 12-16 minutes, until lightly browning at the edges. Rotate sheets if necessary for even browning.
Let cool on sheets for 5 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.
Cool completely before storing.
*I used Penzey's Chinese Five Spice, which is a combination of Chinese cinnamon (cassia), star anise, anise seed, ginger and cloves. You could make your own blend from those 5 spices or you could experiment with other blends. Do note that mine did not include Sichuan peppercorns, so these cookies as I made them are not at all hot.
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