I found the following recipe for Spritz Cookies in Mother's oldest recipe box -- the one from the '30s.
2 1/4 c sifted flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 c shortening (part butter)
3/4 c sugar
1 egg (or 3 egg yolks), broken
1 tsp almond extract
Sift flour with baking powder and salt. Cream shortening, add sugar gradually, beat 'til light and fluffy; add eggs and almond extract. Add dry ingredients; work with hands if dough seems crumbly. Force dough through cookie press onto ungreased sheets. Bake at 400 -- 7 to 10 minutes -- until set but not brown. 6 dozen.
And "force" was the word, too. My mother didn't work out (a term unknown in that day, wasn't it?) and she wasn't a particularly strong woman, but at Christmastime she could force that dough through the manual cookie press with the best of them. My sister, Nina, was often there to help, but I remember Mother handled the press. She formed strips of dough into wreaths and canes -- most important -- and also camels, stars, and trees. We painstakingly cut red and green candied cherries and used the pieces to decorate the cookies. We also used "red hots" and colored sugar.
Even then -- in childhood -- I knew this was a tradition I would never adopt. So much time and effort into something that disappears into the mouth and is gone forever. I know, I know -- there are many people who find satisfaction in this work, and I'm so glad. It's just not my thing and I admit it. I do have a cookie shooter that I use very occasionally.
When I first saw "Pinkie" amongst the 1946 Christmas cards, I thought surely it was a mistake., but as you can see, the greeting inside the card is meant for Christmas.On the back is a notation: "adaptation of a precious old masterpiece." KW