1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon almond extract or vanilla
Food color, if desired
Currants, raisins, candies, colored sugar, finely chopped nuts, candied fruit or fruit peel, if desired to decorate.
1. Heat oven to 400ºF. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon. Stir in flour, salt, egg, almond extract and a few drops of food color.
2. Place dough in cookie press. Form desired shapes on ungreased cookie sheet. Decorate with currants.
3. Bake 5 to 8 minutes or until set but not brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. To decorate cookies after baking, use a drop of corn syrup to attach decorations to cookies.
Chocolate Spritz: Stir 2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, melted and cooled, into the butter-sugar mixture.
Holiday Spritz: Substitute rum extract for the almond extract or vanilla; tint dough with appropriate food colors. After baking, glaze cooled cookies with Butter-Rum Glaze: Melt 1/4 cup butter or margaine over low heat; remove from heat. Stir in 1 cup powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon rum extract. Stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons hot water until glaze is spreadable. Tint glaze with food color to match cookies if desired.
Spice Spritz: Stir in 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice with the flour.