Spritz Cookies

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Who knew the boy could bake? Here’s classic Christmas cookie from Hank. Enjoy! ~Elise

This cookie is my other favorite Christmas cookie, along with walnut snowballs. I am sure my mum made all kinds of Christmas cookies over the years, but none were as memorable as these two. Spritz, she called them, and little did I know that this was far more than a pet name she had for the cookie.

Flash forward 20 years, and here I am, looking to make these cookies again. I asked mum for her recipe and she gave it to me, and I then began researching this cookie. Wow. I had no idea spritz was one of the most popular cookies in all Cookiedom, made in thousands of variations of shape, ingredient and garnish.

I was blown away, but I needed to make mum’s version, which is a very simple butter cookie with a little vanilla added, topped with red or green colored sugar or a piece of walnut. Only thing was, mum warned, I’d need a cookie press.

Huh. I remember hers, a brass thing that looked like a fancy caulking gun. I reckoned I could do the same with a piping bag and a star tip. Wrong. Epic fail. So we went out and bought a cookie press, and then found out that using one requires practice and skill. After much fiddling, I learned to make decent enough cookies, but I’m certainly no expert.

So here it is: My mum’s spritz recipe. Simple, archaic—no mixer needed, just use your hands—but light, rich and full of memories. Surely there must be some of you out there who make spritz, right? How are yours different?

From the recipe archive, first posted 2010.

Spritz Cookies Recipe

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  • Prep time: 25 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Makes about 35 cookies, depending on how big you make them.

Make sure your butter has warmed to room temperature before making this recipe. It matters a lot!

Ingredients

Cookies:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour or cake flour
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into small cubes

Optional Garnishes:

  • Colored sugar
  • Sprinkles
  • Pieces of nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts, etc)
  • Frosting
  • Maraschino cherries
  • Powdered sugar

Method

1 Preheat the oven to 350°F. Whisk together the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl, then sprinkle with vanilla extract. Crack the egg into the center of the bowl and then dot the flour mixture with the pieces of butter. Mix everything together with your clean hands until you get a dough. Try not to knead it too much, as you will then make tough cookies. You just want everything to come together cohesively.

2 You will need a cookie press to make traditional spritz. Put on the die of your choice—I like a star or snowflake pattern—then load the press with the dough. Ratchet out the dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet. This takes practice, so be prepared to mess a bunch up at first.

Just return the not-so-good ones back to the dough ball and run it through again. Some people like larger cookies that require 2-3 cranks, others just one; this makes a dainty cookie. My mum sometimes twisted her wrist a little when making these to get a swirly pattern going on.

3 Bake the cookies at 350°F for 10-12 minutes. As they bake, get your garnish of choice ready, because you will need to act fast once they come out of the oven. As soon as the cookies are done—they will not brown, so don't wait for that to happen—take the cookies out and garnish them. My favorite toppings are colored sugar and pieces of walnut stuck in the center of a star pattern.

4 Let the cookies cool on the sheet for 5 minutes, then carefully move them to a rack. Let them cool completely before putting the cookies away. They freeze well.

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Links:

Cocoa-Hazelnut Spritz Cookies - from Delicious Days

Green Tea Spritz Cookies - from Nook & Pantry

Cardamom Spritz Cookies - from Stylish Cuisine

Spritz Cookies

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Showing 4 of 72 Comments

  • Ruth

    I’m from a German family (mostly) and we made these every year, though I haven’t thought of them in ages! I need to dig out my press and make them. These are good for those who are trying to limit sweets, as long as you don’t eat too many at a time, they are addictive..

  • Mitzi

    My daughter and I want to make cookies for putting in gift boxes for the neighbors and we will make cookies the day before and take them around. Is this a good recipe for that? I have never been very good at baking but these look really good and simple. I had planned on making basic sugar cookies and sprinkles as soon as they come out of oven. Thanks for any advice! :-)

  • Anna Marie

    Well it just isn’t Christmas without Spritz cookies! My mom and i made these every year, along with. Russiam Tea Cakes. i had no idea there were so many other pairs of moms n daughters out there doing the same thing. eevey year i make my Spritz and hope they’ll taste as good as Moms.i have been surprised to find so many variations for such a simple recipe! thid year im using your measurements but i will comnine the ingredients the way we did when i was young:cream butter and suger til fluffy,add eggs then vanilla. add flour. Don’t. overwork. we put sprinkles on before baking and most importantly-cinnamon imperials for the wreaths and tree tops! Thank. you for great memories

  • Julie

    I freeze my cookie sheets before I press out the dough. I find that it helps the dough adhere and they form better.

  • Anna

    Spritz cookies are a Christmas season standby in my family. I made these today with a little dye added (one batch red, another batch green)–so quick and easy! Out of necessity (pro tip: check pantry BEFORE starting cooking project), I replaced about half the sugar with xylitol and added a little milk to make up for the moisture–worked perfectly. Next time I’ll add almond extract for a twist.

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