Love crisp and light cookies? Then, this Classic Spritz Cookies recipe is a must-have holiday treat!
Classic Spritz Cookies brings back so many childhood memories. My aunt would make these cookies and I looked forward to them every year. In my opinion, there’s just something about a good, melt in your mouth, buttery cookie that just can’t be beat!
What is a Spritz Cookie?
If you’ve never tried a Classic Spritz Cookie, it’s origin is supposedly from Scandinavian countries where it was a traditional holiday cookie; however, the word spritz comes from the word spritzen, which means ‘to squirt’ as the cookie dough is ‘squirted’ out through a press. Another interesting tid bit and a bit of cookie controversy is the origin and invention of the cookie press. Germans are given credit for the invention, but there is evidence that shows it may have been Scandinavians…hmmm. Either way, the cookie press has been around since the 16th century for years and years of cookie making goodness!
The Cookie Press
In case you’re wondering or have never used a cookie press, it’s basically a tube that you fill with cookie dough and then press out through a disc to form various shapes. The one I used for these cookies is the OXO Good Grips 14-piece cookie press set. It’s easy to use, light weight, comes with 14 discs, and the clear tube allows you to see when it’s time to refill with cookie dough.
Sugar Use in Spritz Cookie Making
The recipe below shares tips and several versions of the cookie dough recipe. Using less sugar helps the cookie keep its shape and the one with the most sugar will spread a bit more. All the versions taste good, it’s a just personal preference thing. If you like the look of the least amount of sugar, but want a sweeter cookie, use more sprinkles on top to help add a more sweetness. Personally, I like it somewhere inbetween and will make it with a tad bit more sugar or I will make the one with 1 cup of sugar and decorate with more sprinkles. Now, on to the recipe!
Classic Spritz Cookies
A sweet and buttery classic holiday cookie, the classic spritz cookies are a holiday must-have treat.
- 3 1/2 cups flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar + 2 T. (For a less sweet cookie, cut to 1 cup. For a sweet cookie, add 1 cup + 3 T.)* See notes
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. almond extract or add another 1/2 tsp. of vanilla
- Optional - various food coloring pastes - Americolor leaf green and super red used
- Optional - various decorative sugars and sprinkles
- Before starting this recipe, this is the difference in cookie apprearance when adding sugar. You can decide how much sugar you want to add. All versions taste good, but sugar will change how the cookie bakes.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.
- In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar on medium-high. Whip for 3 minutes until butter is light and fluffy. Make sure the scrape down the sides when needed to ensure everything is well blended. Add in the egg, vanilla and almond extract. Whip for 1-2 minutes until well incorporated.
- To incorporate the flour, hand mix or use the stand mixer on low. Add the flour into the butter mixture in small 3 - 4 batches and mix only until the flour is incorporated into the dough. The dough will be slightly dense, yet soft. If needed, turn on the mixer to medium-high, just until all the flour is mixed into the dough. Do not over beat as this will create a chewy cookie and we're looking for light and crisp.
- If adding color, portion the dough into the amount of sections needed for your chosen colors. I divided my dough into three sections. I kept one plain and added gel paste color into the remaining two portions. For the green, I added 4 dallops of gel paste. For the red, I added 5 dallops of get paste.
- Prep cookie press according to directions. Add dough into the press and apply to a light colored non-greased and cold cookie sheet.** Since these cookies don't spread, put them as close as you can get them. If decorating, sprinkle on the toppings on the unbaked dough. Note: If using the dough with the least amount of sugar (1 cup), add more sprinkle toppings to add a bit more sweetness.
- Bake for 7-8 minutes. Note: some ovens may take up to 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Let rest for 1 minute. Use a spatula and move cookies out of place and let cool on the pan or move to a cooling rack.
- When cookies are cool, move to a cooling rack or container for storing or gifting.
*Adding more sugar can cause the cookies to flatten out more. Less sugar helps the cookie keep a better shape. See image comparing 1 cup sugar and 1 cup + 3T.
**Use two or more cookie sheets when baking. Baking sheets should be light colored, grease free and cold to ensure the pressed dough will stick. Alternating two baking sheets is best to allow the sheets to cool between baking. The baking sheets can also be placed in the fridge to ensure they are cold. Make sure they have cooled down between baking before placing them in the fridge.
If the dough is getting too soft, place in the fridge for 10-15 minutes. Do not leave in the fridge to harden as this is not meant to be a refrigerator dough and should be slightly soft enable for it to be pressed through the cookie press.
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OXO Good Grips 14-Piece Cookie Press Set
Americolor Soft Gel Paste Food Color.75-Ounce, Leaf Green
USA Pan Bakeware Extra Large Sheet Baking Pan and Bakeable Nonstick Cooling Rack Set, XL, Metal
Commercial Aluminum Baking Sheet Pan, 1/2 Sheet, 17.9 x 12.9 Inch, Pack of 2
KitchenAid(R) Artisan Design Series Stand Mixer, Sugar Pearl Silver