Classic Christmas Spritz Cookies
How to make classic butter spritz cookies with a Christmas tree cookie press! They’re like shortbread meets sugar cookies, pressed into festive shapes and topped with colorful sprinkles. Rich, buttery, and sweet—like holiday spritz cookies should be—but lightened-up and made with less butter than traditional recipes.
For another fun Christmas cookie idea, try these Classic Thumbprint Cookies—filled with raspberry jam, or chocolate caramel!
What are spritz cookies?
Classic spritz cookies are crisp, buttery cookies that can come in many different shapes. Their name comes from the German word spritzen, meaning “to squirt,” referring to how the dough is shaped by pushing it through a cookie press. Spritz are traditional Christmas cookies originating from Germany and other Scandinavian countries, like Norway and Sweden. But they also happen to be the buttery sugar cookies that inspired the Starbucks sugar cookie latte—which is the perfect beverage to pair with these treats!
Tips for Using a Cookie Press
- Be patient. If you’re using a cookie press for the first time, it can take some trial and error to get the hang of it. Give yourself time to read the manual for your specific cookie press, experiment with it a bit, and let yourself get into a rhythm.
- Don’t use cooking spray. Each pressed cookie needs to stick to the baking surface to form properly, so skip greasing your baking sheet. Although many cookie press recipes recommend not even using parchment, I still baked my holiday spritz cookies on parchment—I just didn’t spray it.
- Reduce air inside the cookie press. When filling your cookie press, pack the dough in tightly so there’s minimal air inside. Then, when you’re ready to press your Christmas cookie shapes, press gently to move the dough closer to the tip before fully pressing out each cookie.
- Hold the cookie press flat against the baking sheet. There should be no space between the end of the cookie press and the surface you’re pressing onto. You don’t want to tilt the cookie press or let the dough drop out from it.
- Pause after each press. Before lifting up the cookie press, wait a second after each press to give the dough time to fully release.
- Mind your dough as you go. Most pressed cookie recipes recommend not chilling the dough, because it’s easier to press room temperature dough through a cookie press. In my experience, my Christmas spritz cookies pressed out less-cleanly as the dough softened over time. So I chose to chill it for just a few minutes, and then my cookies pressed out neatly again.
How to Make Spritz Cookies
- Make Dough in a Stand Mixer. I use a stand mixer with a whisk attachment to beat the dough together more evenly, but you could also do this with a hand mixer. First, cream together softened butter and sugar for 2-3 minutes, until the mixture is pale yellow and integrated. Then, beat in 1 egg, vanilla extract, almond extract, and salt, until the texture is creamy. Finally, slowly add your flour, a bit at a time, until your dough comes together.
- Press Dough Through Cookie Press. Using your hands, collect the dough from your stand mixer bowl and pack it tightly into your cookie press. Then, lay the cookie press flat against a clean surface and firmly press out each cookie. Arrange the pressed cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet, with about 1-1 ½-inches in between them,
- Add Sprinkles. Don’t forget to finish your holiday spritz cookies with some red & green sprinkles! Nonpareil sprinkles are a classic choice, but I also love confetti sprinkles or sparkling sugar.
- Bake Until Firm. Finally, bake your butter spritz cookies at 375°F (190°C) for 6-8 minutes. Since these are essentially buttery sugar cookies, made with all white sugar (not brown sugar), they won’t brown in the oven—so don’t wait for them! Just bake until they’re nice and firm.
I walk you through the step-by-step process for making spritz Christmas cookies in my Homemade Starbucks Holiday Drinks video!
Can I make spritz cookies without a cookie press?
Although holiday spritz cookies are traditionally made with a cookie press, you actually can make this recipe without a cookie press if you’d like. Honestly, filling and using the cookie press was sort of tricky, so this recipe could be a lot simpler if you skipped it. This is basically a sturdy sugar cookie dough, so for an alternative prep process, you could just roll out the dough and cut it into festive shapes with cookie cutters! Depending on the size, they may need to bake for a bit longer or shorter, but just monitor to see when they firm up.
Holiday Spritz Cookies
- ¾ cup salted butter, softened
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp almond extract
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1-2 Tbsp red & green sprinkles
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
- In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, cream together softened butter and sugar for 2-3 minutes, until pale yellow. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed.
- Add egg, vanilla extract, almond extract, and salt, beating together until creamy.
- Slowly add flour until dough comes together.
- Transfer dough into a cookie press and pipe cookies onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. (Or, roll out dough and cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters.)
- Add festive sprinkles.
- Bake 6-8 minutes. (These won’t brown, so don’t wait for them!)