When it comes to baking with the purpose of gift giving, a Christmas Chocolate Spritz Cookie is the best way to go, especially if they have sprinkles! Everyone loves spritz cookies; they’re so easy to make and one batch makes a lot of cookies!
Why is it we only see spritz cookies at Christmastime? Every year I see a resurgence of these beautiful, artistic – yet, so simple! – cookies. And I think why can’t we just use our cookie spritz all year and not just for the holidays? Dust off your cookie spritzer and make these Christmas Chocolate Spritz Cookies!
I went against societal norms this year when I broke out my cookie spritz for my Valentine Spritz Cookies. In my defense, John.e had placed a cookie spritz in my Christmas stocking last year and there was no way I was going to wait a whole year to break it in!
Inspiration for this particular version of a spritz cookie came from Dinner at the Zoo. I’m such a huge fan of Sara and her blog. I encourage you to visit her blog in your leisure.
DON’T HAVE A COOKIE PRESS?
I’m afraid the only answer that I would feel 100% comfortable giving you would be the following: 1. You might want to consider a different cookie recipe. 2. Buy one!
Those responses might seem rather abrasive, which was not my intent, but I’d prefer to be completely honest rather than provide you with some DIY cookie spritzer that does not work and as a result is a waste of your time and your ingredients.
The ONLY option is to roll out the cookies with a rolling pin and to use cookie cutters to cut out the shapes you want. The cookies will look nothing like these Christmas Chocolate Spritz Cookies you see in the photographs, but they will taste the same.
RECOMMENDATION, NOT AN ENDORSEMENT
Kitchen gadgets are not something that I own much of, and they’re certainly not something that I promote here at Lord Byron’s Kitchen, but I’m going to make an excuse for the cookie press. The reason for this is simple – I think most of us bakers already have one readily available, and if you don’t, I encourage you to purchase one, because it makes baking cookies so easy and so pretty!
As badly as I’ve wanted one, I’ve often thought that it would be something I’d use once and never use it again. I’ve also thought that the images of pressed cookies looked top damn perfect, and was of the mind that there was no way a cookie press could get cookies to look that precise and uniform. I was wrong. I can’t speak for all cookie presses, but the brand that I have – Marcato – works brilliantly and I couldn’t wait to break it in!
WHY ARE THEY CALL SPRITZ COOKIES?
Sprizgeback are the German name for spritz cookies. Like the popular spritz cookie, the cookies are crisp, fragile, somewhat dry, and buttery.
The German verb spritzen means to squirt in English. These cookies are made by squirting (or pushing) the dough through a press that has been fitted with patterned holes. These holes create a resemblance to an object when baked, such as Christmas trees!
In North America, the name Spritzgeback is shortened to spritz. In Germany, the cookie is prepared when parents bake with their children. Traditionally, the recipes that are used are passed down to the children.
MORE CHRISTMAS COOKIE RECIPES!
Did you know that I’ve been posting a 24 Cookies of Christmas series for a few years now? There are over 100 Christmas cookie recipes that you can find right here at Lord Byron’s Kitchen! To make it easier to find, I have created a page for each series. Just click on the image below and you’ll find the full series for that volume all one page!
MAKING THE BEST SPRITZ COOKIES
There are a couple of tips that I want to share with you to ensure you have the best Classic Spritz Cookies experience. First and foremost, please be absolutely sure that your butter, egg, and even the vanilla extract is at room temperature. This will make the dough soft and pliable so that you can squeeze it out of the spritz easily and perfectly.
Secondly, the cookie dough will need something to stick to – let me explain. When you spritz out the cookie dough, the spritzer is flush against the baking sheet. In order for the dough to come off of the spritzer and stick to pan, the right lining is needed.
You have two choices. First, you can do it right onto the pan. But, I have found that if I do not line my baking sheet first, then the cookies become too dark on the bottom. A sheet of parchment paper makes the job very frustrating. First, it moves around too easily. And, secondly, the dough doesn’t stick to it very well, meaning that when you lift the spritzer up, the dough usually comes with it.
The best results are achieved when using a silicone baking mat. Even when they are super clean, the still have a gel-like, almost sticky/gluey feel to them. It’s the perfect surface to stick the dough to, and they provide a great layer of heat protection between the baking sheet and the bottom of the cookie itself. Perfection every time!
MORE CHRISTMAS CONFECTIONS!
In some cases, we want more than a cookie. That’s why I have two more Christmas-themed collections you might want to consider. The first, is my 12 Bundt Cakes of Christmas, and the second is my 12 Biscotti of Christmas. Click on the image below to see each collection all on one page with links to each recipe!
STORING, PACKAGING, AND FREEZING
These cookies will stay fresh for about 5-7 days in a covered container and in a cool place. But, if you plan to freeze these cookies, use a food-safe container that can be frozen. You’ll want to ensure a very tight fitting lid too. (I use these quite often when freezing baked goods.) I like to place a sheet of plastic wrap over the top of the container before pushing the lid on. This helps to create a better seal. The goal is to keep all of that cookie freshness locked in!
You can freeze these cookies for up to three months. They will come out of the freezer looking just like they did when you put them in there. Once you thaw them, they will taste just as fresh as the day you first baked them.
If you’re feeling extra festive, make a double batch and share these with your friends and neighbours. I cannot tell you enough times how much people love to receive homemade Christmas cookies. And it feels so good to do so!
Just as an FYI, you don’t need to make this cookie only at Christmastime. Here’s a great Valentine Spritz Cookie recipe, and I have this Pumpkin Spice Spritz Cookie too. They’re great all year round. It offers a freshness and brightness that’s perfect for a summertime version of this cookie.
Spritz cookies are fun and whimsical. If you have a cookie spritz, experiment with each of the disc inserts to see what shape appears when the cookies are baked.
Try making your spritz cookies with different flavours. No one says they have to all taste the same. You can leave them plain, add sprinkles like I did, or even dip them in melted chocolate. When it comes to a Christmas Spritz Cookie, the possibilies are only limited by your imagination.
Lastly, these make the best Christmas gifts! Bake a huge batch. Pile them into cellophane bags and tie a nice ribbon on it. Give them to your coworkers, your neighbours, your kids’ teachers, and the school bus driver. The mailman and the UPS driver would love a bag of these goodies too!
Christmas Chocolate Spritz Cookies
- 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup candy sprinkles, Christmas themed
- Begin by preheating your oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat together the sugar and butter until well combined and light and fluffy.
- Add in the egg, vanilla extract, and milk. Beat into the butter and sugar mixture.
- Next, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder. Add the mixture to the butter and sugar mixture in thirds, mixing thoroughly after each addition.
- With the desired cookie press/spritz press attachment in your press, fill the press cylinder and press the cookies onto the baking sheet. (You will need to do this in batches.)
- Bake for 6 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
- Package cookies in a food-safe container once the chocolate has hardened.