Best Spritz Cookies
Spritz cookies are shortbread-like cookies made by pushing dough through a cookie press rather than rolling it out. They end up looking so impressive because of all of the fun shapes that you can create!
This recipe is very easy to make, but some must-know tips will help you succeed in making a great-looking batch.
What Are Spritz Cookies?
The word “spritz” comes from the German word spritzen, which means “to squirt.” These are literally cookies that are squirted through a cookie press.
They are very similar in taste to butter or shortbread cookies and can be decorated in all kinds of fun ways!
Ingredients and Equipment
My recipe uses kitchen basics like butter, cream cheese, sugar, flour, and eggs. I also love using vanilla bean paste, but regular vanilla extract will work just as well.
While a cookie press might not be considered an essential baking tool, it’s absolutely required for this recipe (and a fun extra to have in your kitchen, like a madeleine mold or a donut hole pan [paid link]).
Tip: If you are shopping for a cookie press, look for one that doesn’t have flimsy plastic parts. I’ve had several break after a few times making cookie press recipes. My current favorite is from Wilton [paid link]. It is well-crafted, ergonomic, and a pleasure to use. I highly recommend it.
How It’s Made
There are a few different kinds of classic spritz cookies. My preference is to make cream cheese spritz cookies. I find that cream cheese-based cookie batter (like the batter I use for my chocolate rugelach) is always extra rich and tangy.
Start by mixing butter, cream cheese, and sugar together until light and fluffy. This takes about three minutes using an electric mixer on high speed.
Mix in egg yolk and vanilla. To get a stronger vanilla flavor, try using vanilla bean paste instead of vanilla; with the paste, you’ll get actual specks of vanilla bean throughout the cookies.
Whisk flour and salt together.
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients a little bit at a time until just combined.
Using a cookie press fitted with your favorite design, press cookies directly onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly golden.
Cool on a cookie sheet for a few minutes. Then, transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Expert Tips and FAQs
How to Use a Cookie Press
Every press comes with its own set of instructions, but there are some general rules to follow for the best success:
- The dough must be a particular texture. Only certain recipes will work when using this tool. When selecting a recipe to use with your cookie press, make sure that the recipe is designed for one or is a spritz cookie recipe like mine. For example, the dough from my Christmas sugar cookies (which are classic cut out cookies) will not work for this recipe.
- It is best to use an ungreased cookie sheet. This is the one case where you want your cookie dough to stick to the cookie sheet. After using the tool a bit on parchment paper, I quickly learned how frustrating it is when you lift the cookie press and the dough comes up with it instead of making a pretty pattern on the cookie sheet.
- The dough sticks even better if the cookie sheet is cold, so try first putting the cookie sheet in the freezer.
- If you encounter any problems getting the dough to come through the press, mix in a little milk at a time until it is soft enough to push through.
- You do not need to refrigerate the cookie dough, but you may want to chill it for a few minutes if your house is warm and the dough becomes too soft to hold its shape.
There are so many options for decorating:
- Put festive sprinkles on them just before baking.
- Drizzle them with chocolate ganache after they bake.
- Make sandwich cookies out of them by putting caramel icing, dulce de leche or jam between the layers (as shown below).
- Bake a frozen cherry into the middle of each cookie (as shown at the top of this post).
Try adding spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamom to the cookie dough.
If you are making them in the spring or summer, consider adding orange or lemon zest for a fresh, bright flavor.
You can also try using brown butter instead of regular better. (I use this same technique in my cookie cupcakes!)
For another fun twist, try making chocolate spritz cookies.
These cookies can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for a week. They also freeze really well! And, since they hold up so nicely, they are perfect for shipping to friends and family.
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 3 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste [paid link] You can substitute vanilla extract, but it’s nice to have the beans.
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix butter, cream cheese, and sugar until light and fluffy, about three minutes when using an electric mixer on high speed.
- Mix in egg yolk and vanilla bean paste.
- Whisk flour and salt together in a small bowl.
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients a little bit at a time until just combined.
- Using a cookie press, press cookies onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly golden.
- Cool on a cookie sheet for a few minutes. Then, transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.
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