Simple and rustic is the way to go with these super buttery and tender Classic Spritz Cookies. A melt in your mouth cookie with festive sprinkles for fun and folly!
Spritz cookies have to be the most recognizable and the most loved holiday cookie. I know many people experience some difficulty with getting them just right, so I’ll address those issues in this post. You need the right recipe and the right technique. These cookies are perfect for gift giving, which is why you see them in stores packaged in cute little bags and tins at Christmastime. I think it’s best to make your own!
Before we get too into it, it might come as no surprise to my readers that I’m back with a third installment of Lord Byron’s 24 Cookies of Christmas. Should you be new here, let me tell you a bit about how this works. This is my third annual Christmas cookie extravaganza. Like the previous two years, I will post a brand new Christmas cookie recipe for 24 consecutive days. Yes, that means Saturdays and Sundays too! For your reference, you can find links to the first two years further down the page.
Fresh off of my 12 Biscotti of Christmas series, I’m excited to get this new series started. Last year, I also did 12 Bundt Cakes of Christmas. Now, who’s ready to get started on this journey with me? Do you have someone in the kitchen to help you? Is your cookie spritz ready? Have you picked out which discs you’re going to use? Are you sprinkles nearby? Is your apron on and your oven preheated? Good! Let’s get to it!
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.
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 the Classic 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!
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!
STORING, PACKAGING, AND FREEZING
If you plan to freeze these Classic Spritz Cookies, you certainly can! Once they are completely cooled, pile them into a clean, food-safe container. The container must be freezer friendly! 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.
As I said, every day I will be posting a new recipe. If you miss one, don’t fret. You can find my entire collection of Christmas Recipes right here! There are over 100 Christmas recipes and counting. There’s something for everyone! Cheers!
Classic Spritz Cookies
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, room temperature
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup candy sprinkles, Christmas themed
- Begin by preheating your oven to 350°F. 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 and vanilla extract. Beat into the butter and sugar mixture.
- Next, add the flour and salt. Beat into the butter mixture until just combined.
- 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.)
- Top each cookie with sprinkles, if desired.
- Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to finish cooling.