There’s no doubt about it, spritz cookies are a holiday cookie platter classic. Everyone enjoys these delicate little snacks, whether they’re plain, covered in sprinkles or—better still—dunked into chocolate. These beloved cookies are delicious and incredibly customizable. Armed with a cookie press, you can make spritz cookie recipes that boast all kinds of shapes, colors, flavors and decorations.
Buttery spritz cookies are a great place to start if you’re new to spritz. The dough is easy to work with, so you can get the hang of using a cookie press. And they’re so delicious, you’ll want to make them year after year! In this recipe, we offer two decorating options: one with a simple confectioners’ sugar glaze, and another using melted chocolate.
Buttery Spritz Cookies Ingredients
- Butter: Butter is a signature ingredient here. It gives the cookies a tender texture and rich flavor. The best way to soften butter is to let it sit on the counter for about 45 minutes. If you forgot to take it out of the fridge, here’s how to soften butter quickly.
- Confectioners’ sugar: This powdery sugar dissolves easily when creamed with fat like butter. Make sure you don’t dump the entire amount at once into the cookie batter; some of the confectioners’ sugar is reserved for the cookie glaze.
- All-purpose flour: All-purpose flour is the best flour for cookies. It’s not too tough like high-protein bread flour or too delicate like cake flour.
- Eggs: Eggs hold the dough together and prevent the cookies from crumbling. Make sure to bake with room-temperature eggs for this recipe. They blend more easily than cold eggs.
- Vanilla and almond extract: This combination gives the cookies a bit more personality than if you used just one or the other. Once you’ve mastered this recipe, you can switch up the extracts and try options like orange or lemon.
Can you make buttery spritz cookies without a cookie press?
A cookie press is kind of a must to make spritz cookies. Now’s the time to dig that vintage model out of storage! If you’re new to making spritz (or just want an upgrade), we recommend this cookie press from OXO Good Grips.
If you don’t have a cookie press, it is possible to make spritz cookies with a piping bag. Experiment with different tips until you find the desired shape. Alternatively, you can scoop the dough into 1-inch balls, and press in a design with a fork. These rustic versions won’t have the same bakery aesthetic, but we bet they’ll still taste great.
Step 1: Cream the ingredients
Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, cream the softened butter, 1-1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar and salt until light and fluffy, five to seven minutes. Beat in the egg, vanilla extract and almond extract.
Editor’s Tip: Creaming butter and sugar creates pockets of air inside the batter. It’s the secret to making light, tender cookies, so keep that mixer going for at least five minutes.
Step 2: Add the flour
Gradually beat the flour into the creamed mixture.
Editor’s Tip: Don’t let the mixer run too long here. Overworked cookie dough makes for tough cookies. After the flour is fully incorporated, you can move directly to the next step. However, if the dough feels too soft, cover the bowl, and let it chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. The ideal spritz dough is just soft enough to squeeze through the press but firm enough to maintain its shape.
Step 3: Load the cookie press
Pack the dough into a cookie press fitted with the disk of your choice.
Editor’s tip: Press out any air pockets in the dough as you load the cookie press. Be sure to follow the directions included with your press. There are mechanical differences among models, particularly vintage cookie presses and new spritz makers.
Step 4: Press the cookies
Press the dough 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets.
Editor’s tip: If you’re new to spritz, it might take a few tries to get the cookies just right. Don’t fret! If your shapes turn out a little sloppy, you can always roll the dough back up and return it to the press. Be sure to use ungreased, unlined cookie sheets. The dough needs that ungreased metal to grip when they release from the cookie press.
Step 5: Bake the buttery spritz cookies
Bake the cookies until set, six to eight minutes. Do not let the cookies brown. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.
Step 6: Prepare the glaze
In a small bowl, mix the remaining 1 cup confectioners’ sugar with enough water to reach the desired consistency.
Step 7: Decorate the buttery spritz cookies
Dip the cookies into the glaze. Sprinkle with colored sugar and sprinkles. Let stand until set.
Editor’s Tip: Melted semisweet chocolate can be used in place of confectioners’ sugar glaze. Simply melt the chocolate of your choice, and dip the cookies into the melted chocolate.
- Have fun with shapes: There is a cookie press disk for every spritz occasion! Use the Christmas-themed trees and snowflakes for the holidays, or make Easter eggs and bunnies in the spring.
- Add color: Dye the dough with food coloring for a pop of extra color. Add your favorite color when you add the egg (like we do in these red velvet spritz cookies). Then load the cookie press, and proceed as directed.
- Change up the flavor: Substitute different extracts or add spices to customize this spritz cookie recipe for your holiday affair.
Can you make buttery spritz cookies in advance?
To make butter spritz cookies in advance, prepare the cookie dough up to three days ahead of time. Store it, completely wrapped, in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake. You can also freeze disks of dough for up to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator before using.
How to Store Buttery Spritz Cookies
Baked spritz cookies will last for about two weeks when stored in an airtight container at room temperature, or up to six months in the freezer. Get all the details in our guide for how to store cookies.
Buttery Spritz Cookies Tips
What are spritz cookies?
Spritz cookies are similar to shortbread cookies, but they’re not as crumbly (thanks to the addition of an egg). The name comes from the German word spritzen (“to squirt”), referring to the way the cookies are “squirted,” or pressed through, a cookie press. There are dozens of different cookie press disks, so you can form these cookies into festive shapes for the holidays.
How do you use a cookie press?
A cookie press works a little bit like a caulk gun: Load it up with dough, and press the trigger to release the dough. A disk at the bottom of the chute forms the dough into the desired cookie shape. You’ll want to refer to your owner’s manual for specifics on how to use your cookie press. There is more than one type of cookie press, and vintage models work slightly differently than modern spritz makers.