Spritz butter cookies with chocolate
We love visiting Alsace in this time of the year. Two and a half hours by train and we are in another world, a world that sometimes seems like it was taken from a fantasy book, but real people live in it. This period in Alsace is one of the most beautiful, as it symbolizes the beginning of preparations for Christmas. Opening of the Christmas market- which originated in this region- decorating the colorful houses, and of course, the open doors event that our friend, Christine Ferber, is hosting.
One of our favorite things to do in Alsace is to take a car and wander between the picturesque villages. We can be in these villages again and again and we will never get tired. With no exact plan, every time we find another interesting house and another special shop while we meet fascinating people and breathe Alsacian air with a burning fireplace aroma.
Alsace has many culinary characteristics, one of which is the world of biscuits. When visiting the beautiful villages, almost every village has a cookie shop (in French: Biscuiterie), some are private shops, some are part of a famous chain in the area, and they all have a large variety of cookies of different types. One of the most famous cookies in the Alsace region is the SPRITZ cookie, in French it is also known as Sablés Viennois.
It is an addictive and very simple cookie to make that is usually baked for Christmas. The dough from which the cookie is made is very soft, so it’s piped using a pastry bag and a piping tip. After baking, the cookies can be dipped in chocolate, but you can eat it without chocolate as well.
I got this great recipe from my friend Pierre Hermé who, like the cookie, is also Alsatian. Pierre’s recipe is a treasure so you should keep it and of course make it yourself.
Spritz butter cookies with chocoalte
16 cookies (5 cm high and 7 cm wide)
190 g butter, very soft (not melted)
75 g confectioners sugar, sifted
Pinch of Fleur-de-Sel, or sea salt
Pinch of vanilla grains
1 egg white
225 g flour, sifted
For decoration: 200 g milk/dark chocolate
1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius, line a big baking sheet pan with parchment paper.
2. In a mixer bowl cream together butter, confectioners sugar, Fleur-de-Sel and vanilla.
3. Add egg white, blend.
4. Add sifted flour in 2 times. Blend at a low speed until well mixed.
5. Using a spatula, clean the sides of the bowl and unite the dough, which should be soft and sticky.
6. Insert a medium star piping tip (D63 for example) into a piping bag, fill the piping bag with cookie dough.
7. Pipe the desired shapes on a baking paper-lined pan, I like to pipe a “W” shape – 5 cm high and 7 cm wide. It is recommended to keep spaces between the cookies, they spread slightly in baking.
8. Bake for about 12-15 minutes until the cookies are very golden (deep gilding strengthens the taste of the cookie). Remove from the oven and cool on a cooling rack.
9. Melt chocolate, dip the cookies halfway into the chocolate and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.