Christmas Gun Cookies

MERRY CHRISTMAS! I can’t believe it has already come and gone. I realized about two weeks beforehand that not only had I not done any shopping, I didn’t even have any ideas for anyone on my list.

 

Of the 12 shopping days left, we drove to Pittsburgh for four days to celebrate my father-in-law’s birthday, spent two days travelling for work, and did half marathon training runs four days after work. Leaving two days to get it all done.

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But I did get the chance to make these beauties for the party… recipes to come.

Gifts were, by some miracle, brainstormed, found, purchased and wrapped just in time. Some of my family  came to visit for the holiday weekend, so my day off on Friday was spent cleaning the entire house. Saturday was a relaxing morning with family, successful escape from an escape room challenge (with 10 minutes to spare!), lunch, Christmas Eve mass, then took one of our cats to the emergency room. Where he spent Christmas Eve and Day in the ICU. And I only wish I was kidding.

(He’s okay so far… diagnosed with asthma and currently extremely congested, but home and relaxing comfortably.)

After all of that, I did not successfully have cookies ready in time for Christmas. So I enlisted my Mom and sister to help bake them all on Christmas morning.

I did manage to find time to prep the dough before Christmas morning, which was fortunate. I don’t know why these cookies are called “gun” cookies. Technically, they are spritz cookies. Some cookie presses kinda sorta resemble guns, I suppose. When we started making them as kids, my Mom’s cookie press was the traditional hand-crank type, which looked absolutely nothing like a gun. But, the name stuck one way or another.

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Yep, that’s what two pounds of butter looks like.

I do these cookies a bit more low-tech than other desserts. Hand mixer to combine the wet ingredients, then a pastry blender to work in the flour.

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Just make sure butter, sugar, eggs and extract are WELL combined before adding flour.

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One of the tines on my pastry blender snapped off about two minutes after this photo was taken.

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Nine cups of flour later…

Making the dough is only half the battle for these cookies. Next up, press time.

My Mom’s old hand-crank press was TOUGH to operate. Then we upgrade to a newer style press. It had replaced the hand-crank with a trigger. Which was just as difficult to operate. I eventually got a hand-me-down battery powered press, which works a bit better, as long as the dough isn’t too cold.

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Of course we went with Christmas tree shapes.

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Just add sugar!

These are some of my favorite cookies, but they are a lot of work. I usually only make them twice a year – Christmas and when we go to the beach (because that’s normal, right?). Fortunately, the recipe does make between 12-15 dozen cookies. So lots of work, lots of reward!

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These taste like Christmas.

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