Well, hello, and welcome back to my next cookie swap recipe in this year’s holiday cookie extravaganza! Yesterday, I did savory cookies with my Southern cheese straws recipe, and today, I’m taking it back to my childhood with a classic. These pressed butter cookies made in the shape of poinsettias remind me of my childhood and they are very festive!
These cookies are the perfect recipe for a holiday cookie swap, because the poinsettia shape and the red center from the candied cherry makes them look so festive and fun on the platter. These are always the cookies that stand out at the swap!
Don’t forget that if you sign up here, I’ll send you all of the holiday cookie recipes right to your Inbox. And if you missed any cookie swap recipes or baking secrets, I’ve archived it all on the blog for you so you can go back and bake any that you missed for this year…or all year long!
These butter cookies are from my childhood. I don’t remember a Christmas without these delicate, not too sweet, beautiful cookies. Their distinctive flower poinsettia shape is formed using a cookie press. I still use my vintage cookie press, but the new cookie presses available now make the job even easier. (I’ve linked my favorite cookie press and other baking essentials here.)
Pro baking tip for you: When you’re using your cookie press, be sure you keep the press straight above the cookie sheet…don’t slant it. This will make for the perfect cookie poinsettias.
What Are Pressed Cookies?
Pressed butter cookies are traditional Christmas cookies that your family might have called Spritz cookies. The name comes from the German word spritzen (to squirt) which makes total sense as they “squirt” right out of a cookie press.
These little butter cookies can be found in Scandinavian countries in all shapes. Every family has a recipe that might include flavors such as lemon, coffee, almond, and more. People may dress them up with sprinkles or put some food coloring in the dough.
You know me, I like the classics done right. I like my butter cookies simple and prefer a candied cherry in the center. The bright red cherry makes the cookies look like poinsettias, which is perfect for the holiday season, and has a yummy center.
If you are looking to start a holiday tradition with your family, I recommend starting with these cookies. As a child, my job was to place the candied cherries on the cookie dough. What fun memories and did I mention how yummy they are?
Cookie baking tip for you: Pressed butter cookies are great cookies to freeze, too. Just be sure to lay them flat in a freezer bag or container and separate each layer with parchment paper so they don’t stick.Print
- Preheat oven to 375° and use an ungreased baking pan. Do not line with parchment paper or wax paper.
- Cut candied cherries in half and place in small bowl. Set aside
- Have all ingredients at room temperature before mixing.
- In the bowl of a heavy duty mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Beat in egg and vanilla. Mix until combine.
- Blend in flour on low. You might need to mix in the last of the flour with your hands, kneading gently.
- Roll cookie dough into a log shape. Place the flower die in the cookie press. Load press with cookie dough. You will have enough dough for two batches.
- Depending on the type of cookie press you have, follow the directions for extracting dough. Place the cookie press firmly onto the baking sheet. Don’t tilt the cookie and be sure it is resting directly on the baking sheet before you begin. Depending on the type of cookie press you have, either pull the trigger or twist the handle to form the cookie. Once the cookie has formed on the baking sheet, lift the cookie press and move over two inches repeating the above process.
- Once the cookie sheet is full, add the cherry half by pressing into the center. The cherry will fill the center and give the cookie a flower appearance.
- Place in preheated oven and bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove cookies when the begin to turn light brown around the edges. Be careful not to brown or over bake.
- Makes 4 dozen.
- Cookies can be frozen. Place baked cookies in a freezer bag, single layer. Place parchment or wax paper on top before adding more cookies to the bag.
- Use a good quality butter, it’s the star of this recipe.
- These cookies keep well in a cookie tin or can be frozen. To defrost, remove from freezer and let come to room temperature in the freezer bag.
- What exactly is room temperature butter? Room temperature butter should hold its shape. When you stick your finger in it, your finger will leave a dent, but the butter will still be a little cool. Room temperature butter should not be overly soft or squishy. I find it best to remove butter from the refrigerator about an hour before I want to use it. Now if it’s warm-hot in your kitchen, it won’t take an hour. If your kitchen is cold, it might take longer. The rule of thumb for me…Press on the butter. If my finger goes in and leaves an indention but the butter holds its shape, if the butter has a slight coolness about it, then it’s ready to use. I think the biggest cookie fail has to be using the wrong consistency butter.
Join Minette’s Cookie Swap This Year!
So, what about you? Did you join my Cookie Swap and make the snowball cookies? I’d love to see your comments and experience with this recipe. Leave me a comment below and we can talk all things cookie swap and Southern snowball recipes!
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Did You Make These Pressed Butter Cookies?
If you made these pressed butter cookies or any other cookies in my cookie swap, be sure to leave a comment below.
I’d love to hear from you! If you have any baking questions, leave those in the comments too. Plus I know my readers always love reading the comments too!