When I was a kid, my grandmother would keep tins of Royal Dansk–brand cookies at her house. I’d pick through the ruffled paper liners to find my favorite ones (the rings dusted with coarse sugar, of course), biting into them and feeling the crisp crumb melt away into buttery richness on my tongue.* Spritz cookies are great any time of year, but they’re especially nice around the holidays because you can bake them into festive shapes using the top rated cookie press and decorate them with colorful sanding or decorating sugar.

The ingredients list is remarkably simple: just butter, sugar, vanilla, salt, eggs, and flour. And even though spritz cookies with deformed features or overly browned edges will still taste great, as with most simple foods, it’s the technique that holds the key to taking good up to perfect. Our technique, which we first developed a few years ago, has its own tricks to ensure success.

The first is to cream the butter and the sugar. And I mean really cream that butter and sugar. A full seven minutes in the stand mixer is what we’re looking for to produce the lightest, crispest cookies possible.

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