The Germans named these timeless treats after their word for "squirt" or "spray." We love them because their fancy shapes and endless design options betray how quick and easy they are to make.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine butter and cream cheese. Beat with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar and salt. Beat until combined, scraping bowl occasionally. Add egg yolk, vanilla, and almond extract. Beat until combined. Beat in as much flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour.
- Force unchilled dough through a cookie press fitted with a desired-shape plate. Press dough 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. If desired, sprinkle shapes with colored sugar. Bake in the preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are firm but not brown. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool. If desired, brush or drizzle cookies with Powdered Sugar Icing and decorate with colored sugars or candies. Makes about 96 cookies.
From the Test Kitchen
Layer cookies between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
- In a small bowl, stir together powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon of the milk, and vanilla. If necessary, add enough of the remaining milk until icing reaches desired consistency. If desired, tint icing to desired color.