your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Butter two baking sheets and place
them in the refrigerator to chill while you make the batter.
In the bowl of your
electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar
until fluffy (2-3 minutes). Add the egg yolks and vanilla extract and beat
until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add
the flour and salt and beat until you have a well mixed dough.
To Press Cookies: Scrape some of the dough into your cookie
press that has been fitted with a decorative plate (follow
manufacturer's instructions). Hold the cookie press perpendicular to
your baking sheet, and press out the cookies. (If you find the dough is too soft, because
the shape of the cookies is not clearly defined, then chill the
dough.) Continue to press out the cookies, spacing about 2 inches (5
apart. If desired, decorate the cookies with pieces of candied
cherries, nuts, colored sprinkles or colored sugars.
To Pipe Cookies: Have ready a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch
(1.5 cm) diameter open star tip. Fill the pastry bag about half full, twist
the end of the bag to close, and pipe rosettes
or stars by holding the pastry bag perpendicular to your
baking sheet, with the tip almost touching the sheet. Squeeze the
pastry bag firmly and evenly without moving it until the shape is
the desired size. Stop squeezing and push the pastry bag down a
little and then lift the pastry bag straight up. Continue to pipe
cookies, spacing about 2 inches (5 cm) apart.
Bake cookies for about
or just until the edges of the cookies are barely tinged with brown. Remove from
oven and gently transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. In a
covered container, these
cookies will keep at room temperature for about 10 days or they can be frozen
for several months.
Makes about 30-35