This easy, rich and buttery classic Spritz cookies recipe is the best. It's homemade with a few simple ingredients. Also known as press cookies or butter cookies. They are old fashioned, colorful, crispy and tender and make a fantastic Homemade Gift and is perfect for Christmas holiday cookie exchanges. They make a great addition to Christmas Cookie Boxes too.
*Thank you Wilton for sponsoring today's post so that I can share this classic Spritz cookies recipe with all of you. As always, all opinions are mine.*
I have grown up eating these cookies my entire life. They are just as delicious as these Chocolate Spritz Cookies and Stained Glass Cookies. They are rich, buttery with a fragrant vanilla flavor and a hint of almond. They are not soft. Instead, they are crispy and tender and melt in your mouth. Based on my research, they appear to have originated in Germany, around the 16th century. In a couple of weeks, I will be preparing boxes of Christmas cookies for my family and they will include all these adorable cookies that look like mistletoe, Rudolph, flowers, and snowflakes.
Table of contents
- Butter- Always use unsalted so that your sweet treats aren't too salty.
- Sugar- This is your typical granulated sugar used so often in baked goods.
- Egg- Be sure it is room temperature to mix well with other ingredients.
- Milk- I like to use whole, because it gives the richest flavor and texture.
- Vanilla extract- Adds a nice warm flavor.
- Almond extract- To me this is what really gives this sweet treat its distinct flavor.
- Flour- Just use the all-purpose flour that you likely already have in your cupboard or pantry.
- Baking powder- This ingredient makes it so your cookies are as thin as paper.
- Gel colorings- I used blue, green, and red, but you can choose various other colors.
- Decoration- This includes chocolate, various sprinkles, and candies.
Use other extracts- You can flavor this dough with any extract of your choice, including coconut extract, lemon extract, or even peppermint extract for a festive taste.
Rainbow spritz- Make several dough balls of different colors, such as red, blue, yellow, and green. Then gently mash together in a log to put through the press and see a multicolored cookie.
Add various zests- Such as orange, lemon, or lime.
Use natural coloring- Although the color shades will not be as vibrant you can use the bi-products of fruits and vegetables to color the cookies.
Try different press discs- To make a various shapes of cookies for any occasion.
How to make the best easy spritz cookies recipe from scratch?
I know some people have a very hard time with these cookies. Today's post will be the ultimate guide for making these traditional holiday cookies, including the tools you need and all the tips and tricks I have picked up over the years.
Preparing the cookie dough
- Cream together butter and sugar- Until light and fluffy. (1)
- Mix in wet ingredients- Of Eggs and extracts to the creamed mixture. (2)
- Mix together- Flour and baking powder. (3)
- Add dry ingredients- to wet mixture. (4)
- Knead into a dough ball- This is where you can also knead in the gel coloring, if desired. (5,6)
- Place dough in a cookie press- By putting the dough in the barrel of cookie press gun. (7)
- Position it on top of a cookie tray- And press the trigger until dough squirts out through a patterned disc, yielding pretty cookie designs. (8)
- Bake cookies- And allow to cool before decorating.
Decorating the cookies
- Snowflake- Use a piping bag and white frosting to outline the design, then press into sanding sugar to coat. (9,10)
- Poinsettia- Pipe a circle in the center, then cover that with yellow sprinkles. (11,12)
- Holly Berries or mistletoe- Pipe frosting to "glue" the center red or white candy and to define the leaves. (13)
- Rudolph with bowtie- Use frosting to "glue" on candy eyes and a red candy nose. You can also add more red candies for a bow tie. For antlers you can use an edible marker or pipe on frosting(14)
- Greenish gold flower- Pipe a white dot in the center and sprinkle it with golden pearls. You can also dust them with edible gold spray. (15, 16)
How to decorate these classic holiday cookies?
You can decorate them before baking by tossing sprinkles or sanding sugar on each piece OR after baking through a variety of options, discussed below.
- Sprinkles- There are so many different kinds to choose from so have fun with your creativity.
- Gel food coloring- This can be a lot of fun and makes for great holiday themes.
- Colorful sanding sugar- You can dip frosted cookies in this to add shimmer and shine.
- Chopped nuts- Don't add these in the dough because it will not extrude through the cookie press.
- Candies- I like to use small ones that go with the color scheme I'm going for. Crushed candy canes are great for Christmas as well.
- Drizzle of melted chocolate- This can be white, milk, or dark chocolate.
- Jam, spreads and preserves- Use these to make cookie sandwiches or use them as a dip or to spread on top.
- Drizzle of Powdered Sugar Glaze (Vanilla Cake Glaze)- This takes these cookies up a notch.
- Royal Icing- This is classically used for Cut Out Sugar Cookies, but it is nice for these cookies as well, because it dries fast and hard.
- Glace Icing- This is great if you are looking for an egg free decorating option.
- American Buttercream Frosting- With just 4 simple ingredients this classic recipe will be a perfect pairing.
- Sugar Cookie Frosting- A creamy, fluffy choice that is easy to add coloring to for matching schemes.
- Drizzle of Caramel Sauce- An addition of smooth, creamy caramel only enhances the flavor. You can even try decorating them with Caramel Frosting.
Tips and techniques
Do no work in a hot kitchen- The heat makes the dough too soft and sticky and very difficult to work with.
Use room temperature ingredients- Because it all combines much smoother this way.
If the dough is sticking to your press- Chill it for 20 minutes and try again.
Divide the cookie dough into smaller portions- And roll them into long cylinders so that it is easier to put the dough inside the cookie press.
To prevent the cookie edges from becoming brown and ugly- Make sure your oven is calibrated so that you bake at the correct temperature for 6 minutes only or until the edges are firm. Do not over-bake!
Do not remove the cookies from the tray until they have fully cooled down- Or else they will break and then they won't be so pretty.
Wait until cookies cool down- Before decorating them to prevent the embellishments from melting into a mess.
Do not use liquid food coloring to color the dough- Because that will make the dough sticky. Only use gel food coloring.
Do not line your cookie tray- With parchment paper or wax paper or grease your pans. This dough does not stick to those surfaces so just use a good quality cookie tray and squeeze dough on it.
This handy picture will let you know what cookie press discs to use- In order to make the relevant cookie designs. (All of them were made with a press).
I highly recommend Wilton's Preferred Cookie Press- It's a cookie gun comes with 12 discs that have wonderful designs, suitable for many occasions. It is reasonably priced, easy to use and easy to clean. It has a FIRM grip and doesn't slip or move around while you are extruding the dough onto the cookie tray (Thank God!). This year, I also used Wilton's Treatology Flavor System today to add flavoring to these cookies. There were 8 amazing flavors in the box: Crisp Champagne, Sweet Meyer Lemon, Fresh Basil, Warm Cinnamon Graham, Juicy Peach, Salted Caramel, Creamy Vanilla Custard and Toasted Coconut.
That's probably because the dough is too soft and sticky. Chill the dough in the fridge for 20-30 minutes and then try again.
You can pipe the cookie dough. Basically, attach a big tip such as TIP # 1M to a piping bag and fill it with cookie dough. The, pipe designs on a cookie tray and then bake. You will not get a variety of cookie designs this way though. They would look like my Butter Cookies (Piped Cookies) or these Piped Rose Cookies.
They were probably over-baked or too much flour was added to the recipe.
There could be a few reasons:
- You did not use enough baking powder.
- Your cookie dough is too soft. Chill the dough for 20 minutes and then use it in the cookie press.
- There is something wrong with the ratio of your ingredients. You may have used too much butter.
- It's too hot in your kitchen, making your dough very soft. Chilling for 20-30 minutes will help.
The dough has become too warm, making it very soft and difficult to work with. Another reason could be that too much milk or butter was added to the recipe.
Do not line your cookie tray with parchment paper or wax paper. Do no grease your pans. This dough DOES NOT stick to those surfaces. Just use a good quality cookie tray and squeeze dough on it.
Make ahead- These can be made up to 1 week before the day you need them if stored in an airtight container at room temperature or up to 2 weeks if stored in the fridge.
Room temperature- Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Refrigerate- Place in sealed container or Ziploc bag for 2-3 weeks.
Freeze- You can freeze this cookie dough in sealed freezer bags for up to 1 month perfectly. You can also freeze baked cookies in sealed freezer bags for up to 1 month but in my opinion, they don't taste very fresh.
More Classic Cookie Recipes
- Small Batch of Sugar Cookies
- Chocolate Sugar Cookies
- Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies
- Nutella Cookies
- Ginger Molasses Cookies
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies
- Classic No Bake Cookies
- Funfetti Cookies (Cut Out Recipe)
- Easy Gingerbread Cookies (With Cake Mix)
- Molasses Cookies
- How to Make Gingerbread House
- Best Snickerdoodle Cookies
Easy Spritz Cookies (Almond Butter Press Cookies)
Spritz cookie dough:
- 1½ cups Butter Unsalted, room temperature
- 1 cup Sugar Granulated
- 1 Egg
- 2 tablespoon Milk Whole
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract OR creamy vanilla custard flavor from the Treatology system
- ¼-1/2 teaspoon Almond extract Adjust according to your preference
- 3½ cups Flour All-purpose
- 1 teaspoon Baking powder
- Gel colorings
- White chocolate Melted
- Sanding sugar
- In a mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Then, mix in egg, milk, vanilla and almond extracts.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder.
- Dump the dry mixture into the wet mixture and mix until it becomes lumpy. Then, use your hands to knead the dough into a ball.
- Separate the dough into 3 or 4 portions and use gel colorings to color them.
- Attach a disc of your choice to the cookie press. Fill the barrel with dough.
- Press cookies onto a cookie tray that is NOT greased and that is NOT lined with parchment paper.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 6-8 minutes or until the edges are firm but not brown.
- Allow the cookies to cool down completely and then decorate them, any way you like. Enjoy!
- Do not line your cookie tray with parchment paper or wax paper. Do no grease your pans. This dough does not stick to those surfaces. Just use a good quality cookie tray and squeeze dough on it.
- If the dough is too sticky, chill it for 20 minutes and try again.
- Use gel coloring rather than liquid food coloring since it is thicker and won't alter the dough consistency.
- Read additional tips and variations above.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.