Almond Spritz Cookies
Try these melt-in-your-mouth almond spritz cookies this Christmas. Made with a little almond extract, these butter cookies are hard to resist! Use different cookie press discs to create various festive shapes and decorate with some holiday sprinkles. This will be the perfect addition to your Christmas cookie box!
This traditional spritz cookie recipe has been passed down for a couple generations in my family. I’m pretty sure it originated from the first publication of Joy of Cooking (maybe). Regardless, they are one of my absolute favorite Christmas cookies! In light of the holiday, I made tree and wreath-shaped cookies with plenty of sprinkles!
What are spritz cookies?
They are butter cookies that are shaped using a cookie press. They taste like sugar cookies, but more buttery with a melt-in-your-mouth texture.
The word “spritz” originates from the German word “spritzen,” which means to squirt. The cookie dough squirts or spritzes out of the cookie press and onto the baking sheet into beautiful shapes!
Why this recipe works
This recipe has the perfect ratio of ingredients to create the best spritz cookie dough. It won’t get stuck in the cookie press and it will create perfect shapes! The dough also adapts well to various flavors and extracts.
While these cookies are popular around Christmas, you can make them for any holiday! You can find assorted disc shapes for Valentine’s Day, Easter and Halloween. To make the cookies even more festive, decorate with holiday sprinkles or add a couple drops of food dye. The options are endless!
- Unsalted butter: Use room temperature butter, which is about 65 degrees F. Make sure the butter is not too soft or greasy.
- Egg yolks: This makes a rich flavor, but also binds the ingredients together.
- Vanilla extract: I suggest using pure vanilla extract as a base flavor.
- Almond extract: This is what makes these spritz cookies the best. You’ll love this almond flavor!
Try different flavors in your spritz cookies! Swap out the almond extract for an equal amount of another extract flavor, such as peppermint, anise, orange or lemon. I suggest keeping the vanilla extract as a base flavor.
You can also add various spices for more flavor. When adding the flour and salt, sprinkle in 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon or ground cardamom. You can either keep the almond extract or use only vanilla.
If you don’t have a cookie press, you can make spritz cookies using a piping bag and a large frosting tip, such as the Wilton 8B open star tip or Ateco 869 French star tip. Pipe the dough onto the baking sheet in a swirl, about 1.5 inches in diameter.
How to make almond spritz cookies
- Combine wet ingredients. Beat butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks, vanilla and almond extracts. Mix until combined. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
- Add flour and salt. Mix just until incorporated.
- Transfer the dough to your cookie press fit with desired disc.
- Press and bake. Press dough onto baking sheet. Add sprinkles if desired. Bake at 350 F for 10 minutes at 350 F.
- Add sprinkles before baking spritz cookies. I have found that sugar sprinkles stick better than normal sprinkles.
- Dip the cookies in melted chocolate and sprinkle with chopped nuts such as almonds or hazelnuts.
- Dye the cookie dough with gel food dye (just a couple drops). This is a good way to add festive colors to the batch!
- Drizzle icing over the cookies after they cool. Whisk together 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar with 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract and 2-3 teaspoons milk.
- Add a teaspoon of jam to the center of the cookies before baking. This works best with round shapes, such as the wreath.
The key to successful spritz cookies is the right dough consistency. You want the dough to be firm, but not dry and crumbly. To prevent this, I suggest weighing your flour with a kitchen scale. If you don’t have a kitchen scale, spoon the flour into a measuring cup and level it with a fork (don’t pack it down). If the dough is still dry, add 1-2 teaspoons of milk.
If the dough is too soft then the cookies will not hold their shape. In this case, I suggest adding another tablespoon or two of flour if you are baking in a warm/humid climate. Do not refrigerate spritz cookie dough.
Use an ungreased nonstick cookie sheet (no parchment paper or silpat mat). This will help the dough stick to the pan. The butter in the cookies will help prevent them from getting stuck to the pan after baking.
Put the sprinkles on before baking the cookies. Sugar sprinkles tend to stick best. If your sprinkles aren’t staying put, lightly brush a little milk on the cookies before baking and add the sprinkles.
Make ahead tips
There are few ways to make spritz cookies ahead of time. The first option is to refrigerate the dough in an airtight container for up to 48 hours. Bring dough to room temperature before transferring it to the cookie press.
The cookie dough may also be frozen for up to 3 months. Shape the dough into a log and wrap it in plastic wrap. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight before bringing to room temperature and pressing.
Finally, baked cookies may be kept in an airtight container for up to 1 week. They will also last in the freezer for up to 2 months. I suggest wrapping the cookies in plastic wrap and storing in an airtight container to keep them fresh in the freezer.
Frequently Asked Questions
The dough was too warm or the baking sheet was still warm when you pressed the cookie dough on it. Try refrigerating the dough or adding a tablespoon of flour to it.
The dough consistency might be off. If it’s too stiff or dry, try adding a tablespoon of milk to the dough. If it’s too cold, let the dough sit at room temperature to soften up. If that doesn’t work, check the manufacturer’s instructions to make sure you’re using the cooke press correctly.
The dough is probably too cold. It needs to be a little sticky to adhere to the pan. Let it sit at room temperature, preferably in a warmer spot in your kitchen, before pressing the dough again.
It’s too warm or too soft. Add another tablespoon of flour or try chilling the dough for 10 minutes.
‘Tis the season for baking! Here are some similar recipes you may enjoy.
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Almond Spritz Cookies
- 1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
- 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ¾ teaspoon almond extract, optional
- 2 cups (250 grams) all purpose flour, sifted
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Holiday sprinkles
- Preheat your oven to 350° F. Set aside two ungreased cookie sheets.
- In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer and a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy (2-3 minutes). Add the egg yolks and vanilla extract. Beat until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour and salt. Beat until incorporated, about 1 minute.
- Scrape some of the dough into your cookie press that has been fitted with a decorative disc (follow manufacturer's instructions). Hold the cookie press perpendicular to your baking sheet, and press out the cookies. Continue to press out the cookies, spacing about 2 inches apart. Decorate with desired sprinkles.
- Bake cookies for 10 to 12 minutes or just until the edges of the cookies are turning golden. Gently transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Store cookies in a covered container for up to a week.