Cardamom Spritz Cookies ~ these easy festive little Scandinavian Christmas cookies are so quick to make. Their colorful variety makes an instant holiday cookie assortment, so stamp them out by the dozen, and then watch them disappear!
Armed with a cookie press and spritz cookie dough, you can get your holiday baking done in an afternoon!
These simple cookies aren’t particularly special individually, but when you amass them together in a colorful collection they really are festive. So many of us are too busy to bake from scratch around the holidays, but this traditional little cookie could be a game changer. You can pump out 7+ dozen cookies in no time!
This is my first encounter with spritz cookies, and I’m enchanted. I ordered a cookie press from Amazon early in the season and I’ve been looking forward to trying it out. Turns out the dough is uber simple to make, and the process of stamping out cookie after cookie in no time is a blast.
What are spritz cookies?
- Spritz cookies are crisp little butter cookies that are a Christmas tradition in Scandinavian countries.
- Spritz cookie dough is stamped out through a cookie press into fancy shapes, making them super quick and easy.
- The name Spritz comes from the German ‘spritzen’, which means to squirt, and it refers to the way the cookie dough is squeezed through the disks in the cookie press.
The ingredients for spritz cookies
- The base ingredients for spritz cookies are super simple: flour, sugar, butter, and egg.
- Spritz dough differs from shortbread in that it contains an egg or egg yolk, making it an enriched dough.
- They can be flavored or spiced in many different ways, and I’ve chosen to use cardamom for mine. The cardamom flavor is lovely, and gets even stronger as the cookies age.
The secrets to making perfect spritz cookies
Spritz cookies are some of the easiest cookies out there, but they’re made in a very different manner from regular cookies. Here are a few tips to keep in mind…
- My number one tip is to use a recipe specifically formulated for spritz because it needs to have a specific consistency to be ‘spritz-able’ and not spread in the oven.
- The consistency of spritz dough should be soft like play dough.
- The dough itself does not get chilled, use it at room temperature so it can pass through the cookie press easily.
- Use unlined, un-greased, cold cookie sheets. I like to put mine in the freezer for a few minutes.
- You can place your spritzed cookies close together on a cookie sheet because there is little to no spreading when they bake.
- If you have trouble with the cookies spreading, pop the cookie trays in the freezer for 10 minutes before putting them in the oven.
- I find, if your oven is calibrated correctly, 10 minutes is perfect. They are crisp and soft at the same time…nirvana!
I think one of the main charms of these cookies is how easy they are to make. The process is magical to kids, so it’s a great opportunity to involve them in a holiday tradition.
How to use a cookie press
Cookie presses are quite easy to use and clean. Follow the instructions included with your press, but most will work in a similar way.
First load the dough into the press. You may need to prime the press to get the dough compacted and ready.
Place the press right onto a cold cookie sheet. Press down to release the stamped cookie. The first cookie will be always be a little wonky, but the rest should be perfect. You can place them close together on the cookie sheet because they don’t spread.
How to decorate spritz cookies
There are lots of ways to decorate these diminutive cookies, but simple is always best.
- If you want to decorate your cookies with colored sugar or tiny non-pareils, sprinkle them on before you bake.
- You can dip the baked and cooled cookies in chocolate, just dip half the cookie in melted chocolate and set on parchment paper to dry. You can add sugar or sprinkles while the chocolate is wet.
- If you’d like to color the dough itself, add food coloring and mix well. I recommend gel coloring because it gives the most vibrant results.
- Check out my post on how to make your own colored sugar for decorating.
How to freeze spritz cookies
Good news: spritz cookies freeze beautifully.
- You can freeze the cooked and cooled cookies easily. Just freeze them in a single layer on a baking tray, and then place them carefully in a heavy duty zip lock freezer bag or freezer container.
- Your decorated cookies should freeze ok, but don’t use a baggie, use a freezer container, and stack them carefully with waxed paper in between layers.
Happy holiday baking everybody ~ be sure to leave your questions and feedback in the comments below, I read and respond to every one!
Cardamom Spritz Cookies
- 1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter, cut in cubes
- 3 ounces cream cheese (not whipped) softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tsp vanilla paste (substitute vanilla or almond extract)
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- Preheat oven to 350F Put cookie sheet in refrigerator to chill.
- Cream the butter and cream cheese together until well blended. Add in the sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla (or almond extract ) beating until light and fluffy.
- Whisk together the flour, salt, and cardamom and slowly add it to the wet mixture, blending just until all the flour is incorporated. Don't over beat.
- Fill your cookie press with dough, and press out onto a cold cookie sheet. Sprinkle with colored sugar or small sprinkles if desired.
- Bake for 10 minutes, or just until set. The cookies will still be pale. Let them cool for 5 minutes on the sheet before tranferring onto a rack. The cookies will be soft but will crisp up as they cool.
notes and variations