1950s Spritz Cookies

spritzcardFor quite a few years, I’ve created personal memory-type Christmas cards for close family and friends.  In 1995, I sketched and scanned this Spritz cookie scene.  Since I didn’t have a printer with colored ink at the time, I hand water-colored each card.  This was the inside message:

In December of 1953, I took the trolley bus downtown and bought a beautiful copper and aluminum cookie press.  I could hardly wait until the next morning to try it out and kept getting up in the middle of the night to read the little recipe pamphlet that described all of the different shapes possible with this marvel.  I’ve baked hundreds of cookies of all kinds since that December, but every year I get out the old cookie press and look again with wonder at the dainty Christmas tree and wreath cookies, sparkling with green and red sugar.

Have a Christmas full of wonder.

Once again last week, I pulled out the press and the plates for the tree and wreath, making Spritz cookies from the 1950s for St. Nicholas on December 6.

fullpressHere is the recipe:


  • Servings: Approx. 60 cookies
  • Print
  • 1 cup margarine (I like Imperial)*
  • 1 large egg (should measure 1/4 cup when broken)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose fl0ur
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

*Back when I first started making these cookies, I couldn’t afford butter but in later, more affluent times, I’ve found that I prefer the consistency of the Spritz made with margarine.  Certainly, butter can be used if you prefer.

Cream margarine, egg, vanilla and sugar until smooth.  Add flour and salt.  Mix until blended.  Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least one hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Put one of the plates and half of the dough in the cookie press.  Press cookies onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

pressSprinkle with colored sugar and bake for 10-12 minutes until light brown.  Remove to rack to cool.


Repeat with other half of dough, changing to the star plate which I use to make long strips which can be cut and formed into wreaths.  On these cookies, I have traditionally added bits of red and green candied cherries.

I’ll make another batch of these cookies for Christmas and this year, I’ve been asked to make enough of the wreath cookies  to serve  14 of my granddaughter’s pre-school classmates at their Christmas party.   Since my granddaughter likes them so much, I hope her friends will, too.

Christmas Card for 2007


Each year, I try to come up with an original card to send to select friends and family members.  This year, my inspiration was a vintage card that we had found in an antique store. The original had a 1930-40s era graphic of county fair scenes and I remembered some pen & ink sketches I had made from photographs taken at the 1992 Hamilton County Fair (Ohio).  I scanned my sketches of some kids with sheep and a ferris wheel, the Agricultural Building, some ponies, and a horse barn that my father had used for his harness horses dating back to the early 1950s.

I found some beige card stock that closely matched the original and ordered blue ribbons with the imprint, Have a Blue Ribbon Year.  I filled in the name of the recipient in the “Awarded to” section and on the left inside of the card there was room for a personal holiday greeting.  Since I only needed cards for 11 special people, I printed them out on my home printer. 


My passion for county fairs is well known among friends and family, so I felt this was an appropriate card for me to send.