My Favorite Spritz Cookies

These are my favorite spritz cookies! Using a cookie press, shape this easy cookie dough into intricate shapes and have fun decorating with sprinkles, chocolate, and chocolate chips. No cookie dough chilling required and the cookies freeze and ship wonderfully.

Butter spritz cookies made with a cookie press

Welcome to day 2 in the 2018 Sally’s Cookie Palooza!

We started the 6th annual Christmas cookie countdown yesterday with Peppermint Bark Cookies and I have an equally festive CLASSIC CHRISTMAS COOKIE recipe for you today.

These are my favorite Spritz Cookies.

These are the BEST Christmas spritz cookies! Butter cookies made with a cookie press recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

What are Spritz Cookies?

Spritz cookies are a lot like sugar cookies. They’re buttery and sweet and, with the right recipe, hold their intricate shape when baked. Sugar cookies are shaped with cookie cutters and spritz cookies are shaped with a cookie press. Spritz cookies are also similar to shortbread cookies, but spritz cookies usually contain an egg. Eggs help the spritz cookies hold their shape when baked, so they don’t crumble like shortbread cookies do.

The word “spritz” actually comes from the German word spritzen which means “to squirt.” This refers to squirting or pushing the cookie dough through a cookie press. I don’t know why, but I always associate the word spritz with “spritely” because spritz cookies remind me of something little spritely fairies would eat!

What is a Cookie Press?

I added a cookie press to my baking tools collection a few years ago. Inside this baking tool is a metal plate with a stenciled shape. A cookie press presses your cookie dough through the metal plate to create beautifully shaped cookies. It’s actually a lot easier (and more fun) than a rolling pin and cookie cutter!

  • I recommend this OXO cookie press. This is not a sponsored post; I genuinely love this cookie press. It’s the easiest to use and comes with 12 different shapes you can swap out. Just read the hundreds of positive reviews. It also makes a wonderful holiday gift!

Butter spritz cookies made with a cookie press

How to Make Spritz Cookies

This is my favorite recipe for spritz cookies. I love it so much that I published it in my cookbook Sally’s Cookie Addiction. Here’s why this is my favorite:

  • BASIC INGREDIENTS. Butter, flour, egg, sugar.
  • 1 BOWL. Easy recipe.
  • FAST RECIPE. Chilling the cookie dough is not required.
  • STICKS TO THE BAKING SHEET. Not the cookie press.
  • FUN TO DECORATE. Use sprinkles, chocolate chips, melted chocolate, etc!
  • FREEZER-FRIENDLY. They literally taste like new after thawed.
  • SHIP WONDERFULLY. Hold their shape during the journey!

The dough comes together in 1 bowl using a mixer. There is no baking powder or baking soda needed; these buttery spritz cookies are dense, not airy. They hardly spread, so you can fit a bunch onto your baking sheets. Since the cookies are small, you can use 1 batch of dough to make a variety of shapes with your cookie press. You can even tint some of the cookie dough red or green like you see in my pictures!

Butter cookie dough with sprinkles

Cookie Press

Butter spritz cookies on a baking sheet

How Do I Use a Cookie Press?

Each press comes with a set of instructions and the OXO cookie press I recommend is super user-friendly. Select a plate, such as the snowflake shape, and place it in the bottom compartment. After your cookie dough is prepared, spoon it inside the tube. Attach the top of the cookie press to the tube. Hold the cookie press upright– the bottom pressed against your baking sheet. Press the lever until it clicks and lift up the cookie press. Shaped cookie will be on your baking sheet! *If the cookie dough sticks to the cookie press, use your fingers to release it and place onto the cookie sheet.

Butter spritz cookies made with a cookie press

Grab your kids, friends, cousins, grandkids, siblings, etc and have fun decorating. Can I admit I prefer these over decorating sugar cookies with royal icing? Ha!!! Spritz cookies are much neater and using a cookie press is really fun!

What is Sally's Cookie Palooza?

Sally’s Cookie Palooza is a tradition since 2013. Every December we countdown to Christmas with 10 new cookie recipes in a row. Over the next two weeks, I’m publishing 10 brand new cookie recipes as well as giveaways, the December Baking Challenge, Christmas cookie video tutorials, and so much more. This is the biggest, most delicious event of the year! Sign up for instant updates and you’ll receive a free email alert whenever I publish a new recipe. 🙂

Click to see Sally’s Cookie Palooza over the years!

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These are the BEST Christmas spritz cookies! Butter cookies made with a cookie press recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

My Favorite Spritz Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 84 bite-size cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These are my favorite spritz cookies! Using a cookie press, shape this easy cookie dough into intricate shapes and have fun decorating with sprinkles, chocolate, and chocolate chips. No cookie dough chilling required and they freeze and ship wonderfully.


Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks; 240g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 and 1/4 cups (270g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • optional: sprinkles, chocolate chips, and melted chocolate for decoration

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line 2-3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  2. In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and granulated sugar together on medium-high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the egg, vanilla extract, and almond extract, and beat on high speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl and beat again as needed to combine.
  3. On low speed, beat in the flour and salt. Turn up to high speed and beat until completely combined.
  4. Press the dough– follow manufacturer’s directions to fit your cookie press with a decorative plate. Scrape some of the dough into your cookie press. Hold the cookie press perpendicular to the lined baking sheet and press out the cookies 2 inches (5 cm) apart. If desired, decorate the shaped cookie dough with sprinkles or press a chocolate chip into the center.
  5. If the cookie dough becomes too soft as you work, chill the shaped cookie dough in the refrigerator for 10 minutes before baking.
  6. Bake until very lightly browned on the edges, 7 to 9 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. If desired, drizzle with melted chocolate.
  8. Cookies stay fresh in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: You can chill the cookie dough in the refrigerator for up to 4 days before pressing the dough through the cookie press. You can also freeze the cookie dough for up to 3 months; allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature before continuing with step 4. Baked cookies freeze well for up to 3 months; thaw before serving.
  2. Special Tools: KitchenAid Stand MixerGreen Food Coloring |  OXO Cookie Press | Silpat Baking Mat | Baking Sheet | Cooling Rack | Red Sanding SugarGreen Sanding Sugar | Wilton Pearlized Sugar | Christmas Nonpareils
  3. Almond Extract: Almond extract adds such a wonderful flavor and I don’t recommend skipping it. If desired, you can leave it out completely or add another 1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract in its place. You can also substitute with 3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract, lemon extract, or another flavor extract you enjoy. Adding 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon is delicious too!
  4. Food Coloring: I tinted 1/4 of the cookie dough green with 1 very tiny drop of green food coloring. I recommend gel food coloring. Use sparingly; 2 drops is plenty for the entire batch.
  5. No Cookie Press? No problem! Instead, use a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch (13 mm) open star tip.

Don’t miss my updated coconut macaroons!

Coconut macaroons drizzled with dark chocolate and topped with an almond! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

113 Comments

  1. I look forward to making these, just ordered the press. I am planning on peppermint extract with peppermint sprinkles. I don’t want to overdo my cookie trays with too much chocolate and frosted cookies.

  2. I make this type of cookie every Christmas. They are perfect for kids to help squeeze out and put sprinkles on. I just wanted to say that I often have trouble using a silpat for mine because I find the dough doesn’t adhere and won’t come off the press. For that reason I always squeeze mine onto a cold, grease free pan and they come off the press easily every time.

  3. Hi Sally! I tried to make these spritz cookies last night and at this time last year too because you have it also in your cookbook and I love them! But i cant seem to get the same width of cookie as you do. Mine spread a little more so they lose their shape and Im not sure what could be the reason to that???
    My cookie press works fine because ive always used the same one and the ingredients are room temp as the instructions say they need to be. But i cant seem to get ir right.
    Could you please help me figure it out
    Thankyou

    1. Hi Cecilia! My suggestion is to chill the shaped cookies for about 30 minutes prior to baking. Chill right on the cookie sheet 🙂

  4. Hi Sally!

    I’ve been following your blog for years, and always pick some recipes for holiday baking. 🙂 Getting ready to do a trial of the spritz cookies, and I was wondering particularly about decorating! Pretty cookies are very important after all! I was wondering how you get sprinkles to stick to the cookies without what looks like any frosting?

    1. Hi Mariah! After sprinkling some sprinkles on top, you can use your fingers to slightly press them down into the tops of the shaped cookies. That always helps!

    2. you can also brush a little egg white on top then decorate. That’s how my mom & grandmother always did theirs. Plus it makes them shiny. 🙂

      1. Hello – always love to try different Spritz cookie recipes, and doing those today. Two questions – (1) Do you ever decorate with sprinkles BEFORE you bake? That’s how I was always taught to do, but they melt a bit and smear. (2) My mother’s recipe uses 10x sugar instead of regular. I’ve seen recipes using either of them – what’s the difference?

      2. I keep a little travel-size spray bottle of water in my baking cupboard. Just give the cookies a little spritz before adding sprinkles.

  5. I make spritz every year! They are my favorite. The recipe I use is probably 40 years old. The only difference between the recipes is the almond extract which I’m excited to try out and my recipe calls for 1/4 tsp baking powder. It’s such a small amount. Is it just to help them rise? Curious what you think. Thanks

    1. Hi Kristine! I prefer not to use baking powder in my spritz cookies. If they rise, they’ll lose some shape. I like them to taste a little denser too. Let me know if you try my recipe!

  6. I just ordered a cookie press, but two weeks ago I tried making spritz cookies without a press and I and believe I didn’t think of piping them. Genius! I just made them as “rustic” drop cookies. They were yummy but definitely not as cute as they would have been if I had thought of piping them.

    I have my press now, so I’m going to try your recipe today!

  7. Love this recipe! We made almond and lemon cookies. The trees and flowers popped out great! The green wreathes less so. I’m going to try the cold ungreased pan next week.

    If you were going to do a chocolate spritz, how much flour would you take out and how much chocolate powder would you put in?

  8. Hi Sally,
    in a pinch, could I make these with a piping bag? I’m afraid my better half may flip, if I buy ANOTHER kitchen gadget… XD
    Lots of love from Germany!
    Jazz

  9. Haven’t tried this recipe, but it’s pretty similar to the recipe my family has been making for years and years, so I bet it’s good! Mostly just wanted to say I was so happy to see your green spritz cookies. Starting with my grandma, we’ve always tinted ours green! Don’t know why it got started, but it’s so festive looking and it got me to help out as a kid because I thought it looked like play dough!

  10. I have made Spritz cookies every year since I was a kid, and now I make them with my daughter. They are never the most delicious cookies, but we make and eat them anyway. I tried this recipe for the first time, and the cookies were delicious. My husband was surprised that they were good after years of eating bland cookies. This will be our new go-to! Also they stick on parchment, and I find it’s better to do it straight into the cookie sheet.

  11. About making these in advance, would it be advisable to freeze the pressed cookie dough and bake them from frozen as needed? I do cookie platters for Christmas and love to premake and freeze all my doughs. Easy enough to simply bake each one of those in the last couple days before serving. I am not particularly fond of freezing baked cookies. Thank you.

    1. Hi Faye! You can freeze the shaped cookie dough. Bake from frozen– they’ll need an extra minute in the oven.

      Love that you’re getting ahead on Christmas cookie baking! I do the same. 🙂

  12. I followed the recipe exactly. Measured using my scale, Butter and egg was room temp. The cookie dough won’t release from the press. I tried refrigerating and still no luck.

    Thank you!

  13. I just made these and the cookies didn’t hold there shape when baked. Should I refrigerate the dough? They were still yummy!

    1. Hi Sarah! Chilling the cookie dough always helps. Was your butter too soft? Make sure it is still cool to touch, which is the best foundation for these cookies. My preferred method, for these spritz cookies, is to chill the shaped cookies on the baking sheet, then bake them.

    1. Hi Rosanne! 1 cup of all-purpose flour is 125g. 2 and 1/4 cups is about 270g. I use a scale when I test recipes and 270-280g has been my accurate measure each time.

  14. Hello Sally! I’ve followed you for quite a long time and this recipe came in for me when I was in a pinch! TL;DR: Recipe 1 fell way way way flat (literally) so I needed a super quick cookie for a cookie exchange at…say 2pm today. Tada! I found this recipe and made a few little tweaks (I did one a rum cinnamon flavor, one batch orange ginger with nutella drizzle) and I’m off to the races! Giving lots and lots of credit for your greatness (i.e. the link to this recipe) on my recipe cards!

    1. I’m so glad that you tried these spritz cookies and thank you so much for adding my site on the recipe cards! That’s really kind of you.

  15. I have never in my adult life had any success making spritz cookies until today. This recipe is FANTASTIC it taste just like the ones from my childhood. This will be my go to recipe from now on. Thank you!!!

  16. Hi,
    I bought the cookie press you mentioned and followed the directions exactly as written. I could not get the cookie press to release the cookie onto the sheet. Any suggestions for what may have gone wrong?

    1. Hi Jessica, be sure that when you hold the cookie press the bottom is pressed against your baking sheet. I use a silicon baking mat but some readers have reported that it sticks better for them directly onto the baking sheet. Try it both ways and see which works better for you!

  17. I have my grandmother’s recipe but have always had trouble getting my cookies to come off the press well. So I just tried your recipe and it worked perfectly. It’s going in my Christmas binder, for sure!

  18. I was very excited to try making these. I used the same cookie press that’s in the link. I followed the directions but I’m not sure what I did wrong, but I had a very hard time with it because only two out of almost 80 cookies I made stayed on the cookie sheet. The rest of them stuck to the disk and had to be pried off with a knife, therefore losing definition. They’re all right because I rolled them in sprinkles, but it was a lot more time consuming than using cutters. I tried making them both with chilled dough and room temperature dough. the room temperature dough was better but the cookies still stuck to the disk and lost the detail. Any tips, anyone?

  19. I put these in a cookie press and use the serrated plate. We press out a long strip, put seedless black raspberry preserves on them, and cut them into smaller pieces prior to baking. They are AMAZING.

  20. Thank you so much for the recipe. It was a success! Perfect! I’ve tried to make these a couple of times and it was a disaster. Thanks again.

  21. I am so sad! I just tried my third batch of your spritz cookies. They have all failed! I have reread your instructions several times, read other people’s blogs, and talked to people who make spritz cookies. I just cannot keep them from spreading in the oven.

    All of my ingredients are at room temperature but not too warm. I have tried chilling the pans, chilling the dough before and/or after using the cookie press. I have tried OXO and Pampered Chef cookie presses. The cookies look beautiful before they go in the oven so it is not the press. But they spread every time I cook them.

    My cookies look like round blobs after they cook but they are oh so delicious!!

    1. Hi Karen! I understand the frustration. If you decide to make the cookies again, I suggest chilling the shaped cookies before they go into the oven. The colder the shaped dough, the less they will over-spread. Sorry for the trouble!

  22. I tried your recipe and ended up throwing the dough away. It was way too soft and sticky. And I couldn’t get it to come out of the press. I compared it to a recipe that I have been using for over 20 years and found the difference to be in the amt of sugar and extract that is in your recipe. I wanted to try something new and it was a costly experiment that did not turn out well.

    1. Hi Lucy! I wonder if your butter was too soft? Sorry you had trouble with the recipe and let me know if you ever decide to try it again.

  23. I made these a couple weeks ago and though they did spread more than the cookies in your photos, they tasted great. I’ve made spritz cookies many times, but not recently and these taste just as I remember. I did chill my dough before pressing it, so I’m not sure why mine spread. No matter. They had enough shape that they looked festive, they tasted great and to me they were worth the effort. Thanks for reminding me of an old friend. Happy holidays!

  24. Hi Sally!
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I just got the cookie press for Christmas that you recommended, and it is amazing! I already made citrus spritz cookies using 1 tsp of lemon zest, 2 tsp of orange zest, and a colored egg paint on top! I also made chocolate cookies, and all of the molds are so cute. I can’t wait to make more!

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