Oh, how I love my cookie press. I have to admit that I had it for quite some time without using it for shaping cookies- for some reason it intimidated me. I just used it as a fabulous frosting piping tool, at least until I saw an article in a holiday issue of the late Blueprint Magazine (which was one of my favorite publications) with a recipe and short tutorial for baking spritz sugar cookies. So I went for it and with a few mess ups, I made some darn pretty cookies.
I have made this recipe a couple times since then. It makes some nice classic sugar cookies with a thin glassy glaze. If you don't have a cookie press, you are more than welcome to roll it out and use cookie cutters, just make sure you chill your dough in the fridge for about thirty minutes before rolling it out and cutting your shapes.
Sugar Cookies: from Blueprint Magazine
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, plus more for rolling and cutting
Sanding sugar and other decorations (optional)
In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, cream butter with sugar and salt until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat well to combine. Mix in vanilla. With mixer on low speed, add flour and mix just un-til incorporated (do not overmix).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Space cookies 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until just barely golden around the edges, 7 to 12 minutes (depending on size of cookies). Cool completely on baking sheets.
Decorate, if desired. Let dry. Store in an airtight container up to 1 week.
To make glaze: In a bowl, mix 1 cup confectioners' sugar and 2 tablespoons water. Add more water as necessary to achieve an easy-to-pour consistency. Tint with food coloring as desired.