I’ve been making spritz cookies with my mom since I was a kid. They are very similar to a shortbread in that they are very butter and a bit on the fragile side.
The name spritz is actually a shortened version of the German word Spritzgebäck. These cookies originated from Germany and Alasace (which the French region right along the German border) and they are very popular at Christmastime. Many families have their own recipes that get passed down from generation to generation.
Spritzen translates to squirt in English, which describes how these cookies are made. The dough is put into a cookie press and then extruded through the holes in the disk that fits into the press. You can also use a pastry bag fitted with various nozzles. The cookie press my mom gave me comes with a variety of designs to make different shaped spritz cookies.
Full disclosure, when I was making this dough, I lost track of how much flour I had put in, so I accidentally added too much. The dough was a bit hard to extrude through the press and didn’t stick to the baking sheet like it was supposed to when I pressed it out, so I had to do it by hand. The dough should be a bit on the sticky side and a rule of thumb to keep in mind is don’t refrigerate the dough before you use it. It should feel a little wetter than most cookie doughs. That’s just been my experience for a better spritz cookie.
The extra flour didn’t hurt the cookie much. It still tasted great and I was able to keep them all together, but it just made everything a little harder to get out of the press. The moral of the story is don’t get distracted while making cookies!
1 ½ sticks of butter, softened
½ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
2 ¼ cups flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
Food coloring (optional)
In a bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg and both extracts.
In another bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder. Mix into the wet ingredients. Add food coloring here if you want. I made snowflakes and Christmas trees, so I just took out half of the plain dough and made the snowflakes and then added green coloring to the other half for the trees.
Put the dough into a cookie press fitted with whatever shape you want.
If you don’t have a cookie press, you can use a pastry bag.
I forgot to take a picture of them being pressed onto the baking sheet, but I think you get the idea.