Are you ready to elevate your holiday baking game? Look no further than my German spritz cookie recipe! These buttery and delicious cookies are a beloved Christmas tradition, and with our foolproof recipe, you’ll be able to create beautiful and tasty treats that everyone will love. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or a beginner, this post will give you all the information you need to make the perfect spritz cookies.
All About the German Spritz Cookie
What are Spritz Cookies?
Spritz cookies are classic Christmas cookies that are known for their buttery texture and intricate shapes. The word “spritz” comes from the German word “spritzen,” which means “to squirt.” Spritzgebäck is the actual name for these cookies so it’s no wonder that we shortened it to Spritz. The German name for the cookie refers to the method of shaping the cookies by squirting or pressing the dough through a cookie press into various designs. Spritz cookies are a nice cross between sugar cookies and shortbread cookies, with the addition of an egg to help the cookies hold their shape.
The History of Spritz Cookies
Spritz cookies have a rich history that can be traced back to European traditions. They are believed to have been brought to the United States by German immigrants. Spritz cookies quickly gained popularity and became a staple during the holiday season. Today, they are enjoyed by people all over the world and have become a symbol of Christmas baking.
Essential Equipment for Making a German Spritz Cookie Recipe
Before we delve into the recipe, let’s discuss the essential equipment you will need to make these little sweet buttery cookies.
Cookie Press, Gun or
The star of the show is the cookie press, cookie gun, or even a pastry bag. All of these options allow you to create shaped cookies. There are various options available in the market, ranging from electric presses to manual ones, below are the most basic options.
- Option A – Cookie Press – the OXO cookie press is known for being user-friendly and is very highly rated.
- Option B – Cookie Gun – the updated gun-style press has been around a bit longer and I’ve had great success with this style of cookie gun.
- Option C – Pastry Bag – Traditionally, German Spritz cookies were shaped with a pastry bag and tip. If you choose to go this route, you will not want to refrigerate your dough so that it is easy to squeeze through the pastry tip.
I like these cookie sheets because they are double-wall and stack nicely together. You can also find this type of cookie sheet in SAMS Club or Costco.
Silicone Baking Mats
Due to the butter content in these cookies, you do not need to spray your cookie sheets with nonstick cooking spray. My baked goods tend to be lighter on the bottom and I can prevent excessive browning. For this reason, I use silicone mats for nearly all my baking.
Tips for a Perfect German Spritz Cookie
- Make sure your butter is softened but not melted. Softened butter will cream better with the sugar, resulting in a lighter and fluffier texture.
- Don’t overmix the dough. Mix just until the ingredients are combined to avoid tough cookies.
- Chill your cookie sheets before pressing the dough onto them. This will help the cookies retain their shape during baking.
- Experiment with different shapes and designs using your cookie press. Get creative and have fun with it!
- If the dough becomes too soft and difficult to press, chill it in the refrigerator for a few minutes until it firms up.
Variations & Decorations
If you’d like to stray from the classic spritz cookie recipe, I have you covered with the options below
Chocolate Chip Spritz Cookies
For a delicious twist, add ¼ cup of coarsely grated semi-sweet chocolate to the dough. The chocolate adds a rich flavor to the cookies, making them even more irresistible.
Eggnog-Glazed Spritz Cookies
To infuse your spritz cookies with the flavors of the holiday season, add 1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg to the dough. For the glaze, stir together 1 cup of powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons of milk, and ¼ teaspoon of rum extract until smooth. Drizzle the glaze over the warm cookies for a festive touch.
Lebkuchen Spice Spritz Cookies
If you’re a fan of warm and aromatic spices, this variation is for you. Add a blend of 2 tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp cloves, ⅛ allspice, ⅛ coriander, ⅛ cardamom, ⅛ ginger, ⅛ star anise, a pinch of mace, & a pinch of nutmeg into the dough. For the glaze, stir together 1 cup of powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons of milk, and ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract until smooth. Drizzle the glaze over the warm cookies to enhance their flavor even further.
Mint Chocolate Spritz Cookies
In this sweet and minty twist, you’ll add ½ teaspoon of peppermint extract to the dough. After removing the cookies from the oven, drizzle with melted chocolate. The combination of mint and chocolate are classic winter flavor combination, (check out my Peppermint Hot Chocolate)
Almond-Glazed Spritz Cookies
For a delicious and fresh almond flavor, replace 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract with 1 teaspoon of almond extract in the batter and bake the cookies. Drizzle a glaze consisting of 1 cup of powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons of milk, and ¼ teaspoon of almond extract over the top of the warm cookies. Place a sliced almond over the top if desired.
Lemon Spritz Cookies
For a nice citrusy spritz cookie, replace 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract with 1 teaspoon of lemon extract. Add 1 tsp of lemon zest to the cookie batter.
Storing and Serving German Spritz Cookies
These cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week. If you’re planning to freeze them, make sure they are completely cooled before placing them in a freezer-safe container. They can be frozen for up to three months. Thaw the cookies at room temperature before serving.
Spritz cookies can be enjoyed on any occasion, but they truly shine during the holiday season. Serve them at your next holiday gathering, gift them to friends and family, or simply enjoy them with a cup of hot cocoa by the fireplace. They also make a lovely addition to cookie platters or dessert tables.
Ultimate German Spritz Cookie Recipe
- 1 c. butter
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 ¼ c. powdered sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 ½ c. flour
- Preheat oven to 375° F.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter, powdered sugar, and salt until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and the extracts.
- Gradually mix the flour into the creamed mixture. Add food coloring to your dough if desired.
- Assemble your cookie press with desired stamp shape. Press the dough through the press onto an ungreased cookie sheet, adjusting your dough amount as needed.
- Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, or until very light golden brown. Do not let them brown too much or they will be very hard.
- Remove the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.
- The cookies are finished and ready to enjoy or freeze for later.
- Chocolate Chip – Add ¼ cup of grated chocolate to your cookie dough, being mindful that it is small enough to not hinder the press.
- Eggnog Glaze – Add 1 tsp of ground nutmeg to the dough. Glaze the baked and still-warm cookies with a glaze consisting of 1 cup of powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons of milk, and ¼ teaspoon of rum extract.
- Lebkuchen Spice – Add a blend of 2 tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp cloves, ⅛ allspice, ⅛ coriander, ⅛ cardamom, ⅛ ginger, ⅛ star anise, a pinch of mace, & a pinch of nutmeg into the dough. You may also drizzle a glaze consisting of 1 cup of powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons of milk, and ½ a teaspoon of vanilla extract over the warm cookies.
- Mint Chocolate – Add ½ teaspoon of peppermint extract to your dough and bake. Once you've removed your cookies from the oven, drizzle with melted chocolate.
- Almond Glaze – Replace 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract with 1 teaspoon of almond extract in the batter and bake the cookies. Drizzle a glaze consisting of 1 cup of powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons of milk, and ¼ teaspoon of almond extract over the top of the warm cookies. Place a sliced almond over the top if desired.
- Lemon – Replace 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract with 1 teaspoon of lemon extract. Add 1 tsp of lemon zest to the cookie batter.
Now that you have the best spritz cookie recipe and all the tips and variations you need, it’s time to start baking! These buttery and beautiful cookies will bring joy and delight to your holiday season. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced baker, this recipe is sure to impress. So gather your ingredients, preheat your oven, and get ready to create the most delicious spritz cookies you’ve ever tasted. Happy baking!