Classic Spritz Cookies are one treat you always see during the holidays. If you’re lucky enough to own a vintage cookie press, you’ll usually find a few Spritz recipes included. Many of these standard recipes incorporate cream cheese, but I prefer my mom’s variation based on a classic butter cookie recipe.
I collect cookie presses from vintage styles to modern ones. I used my great-grandmothers cookie press which worked remarkably well. In fact, it worked better than a brand new one. I altered the original Classic Spritz Cookies recipe to pump up the flavor – adding almond flour instead of more extract. The almond flour adds a nice nutty undertone. You could also add a bit of ground almonds too for additional texture texture.
Baker’s tips for Classic Spritz Cookies:
Better butter makes better cookies:
Use a good quality real butter since it is the main ingredient. My favorite brands are Challenge or Land O’ Lakes. Since this is a butter cookie, be sure to cream together the butter and sugar for a good five minutes to produce a tender crumb.
Always chill the dough:
Chill the dough for about 10 minutes before you fill the cookie press. When making spritz cookies a simple trick is to squeeze the dough on to a cold, ungreased baking sheet without a silpat non-stick baking mat or parchment paper. This ensures the dough will stick to the cold tray. To ensure even less spread, chill the pressed dough shapes for 5-10 minutes before placing in the oven.
Use the proper baking sheet:
Always use light-colored, aluminum cookie sheet. I use Nordic Ware aluminum 18×13 half-sheet pans. Aluminum is best for distributing and reflecting even heat during the baking process.
Spritz cookies typically have vanilla and almond flavoring. Be sure to use good quality all-natural, pure vanilla extract and all-natural, pure almond extract. I use Frontier Organic Almond Extract. You could also take out the almond extract and use lemon or orange extract instead along with a 1-2 teaspoons of lemon or orange zest to enhance the flavor.
When coloring cookie dough or frosting, use good quality gel food coloring. My favorite brand is Americolor. They are true to color and remain bright once mixed. To place on decorations such as jimmies, nonpareils, or course sanding sugar, paint on a light egg wash onto the cookie dough before you place on the decorations.
Classic Spritz Cookies
- 1 c. unsalted butter room temp
- 2/3 c. superfine sugar
- 1/3 c. confectioners sugar
- 1 egg (separated)
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 tsp. pure almond extract
- 2 c. unbleached flour
- 1/3 c. almond flour fine ground
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- Place baking sheets in the fridge to chill.
- Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy and light in color (5 minutes). Add in egg yolk and extracts.
- Whisk together dry ingredients and add to batter.
- Divide dough into 2 sections. Take one section out of the mixer and set aside. Use gel food coloring to tint the portion of dough still in the mixer, mix and take out of mixer and set aside. Rinse out mixer bowl and now take the other portion of dough and put back in mixer. Use gel food coloring to tint the second portion of dough.
- Chill the dough for 10-15 minutes before placing into the cookie press.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Place dough in cookie press and press shapes onto cold, ungreased/no parchment baking sheets. Lightly paint on the egg white on top of cookie and immediately sprinkle on sanding sugar or decorations.
- Chill cookies in the fridge for 5-10 minutes.
- Bake for about 7 minutes. Let cool and store in a container.