There are so many spritz cookie recipes out there, trying out a new variation can turn out cookies that taste out of this world. But each recipe you come across will usually require you to use a cookie press. But is it possible to make these cookies without one? If you want to make spritz cookies, but you don’t have the right tools, it is possible to make spritz cookies without a press, but it’s not quite as easy. You’ll need to get a little creative to get the job done, or you can invest in the best cookie press for a faster process and consistent results. In this guide, I’ll go over how to make these cookies without a press, how to make them with a press, and the different flavor variations to choose from.
A Cookie Press-less Process
What’s a cookie press and do I really need to use one in order to make perfect spritz cookies? Cookie presses are used to make patterned cookies. With a press, the dough is forced through a tube and pushed through a disc. The disc can be shaped like a flower, tree, pumpkin, or another design. These cookies are usually topped with sprinkles, colored sugar, or icing, for added decoration. If a cookie press breaks when you’re in the middle of baking it can be difficult to continue, but there are some alternatives that you can use to finish a batch.
If you don’t have a press, you can try using some cake decorating supplies and make piped cookies. Try using a pastry bag or a heavy-duty icing tube. Be sure to avoid using the see-through plastic bags that tend to easily burst when the seams are under pressure.
To make this process easier, allow the dough to sit at room temperature for an hour. Place the tip on the bag and secure it tightly. Next, load the bag with dough and try to get as much air out of the bag as possible before you begin.
You can use a larger tip to create flowers or stars and pipe straight down, allowing the dough to fan out into a shape. You can also use large or medium tops to make a spiral cookie, simply choose a point, moving outward using a circular motion.
Rolling and Cutting
To make spritz cookies when you don’t have a cookie press on hand, you can also roll out the dough on a cutting board that’s lightly floured. Roll out the dough into a rectangular shape until it’s about half an inch thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes. If you don’t have any cookie cutters then you can also use oddly shaped lids or glasses. Just find an item to use that’s around the size you want the cookies to be. Add some cooking spray or flour before you use the cookie cutter or glass. Press the object straight down in the dough without twisting it. Next, you’ll use a thin spatula to gently transfer the cookies from the cutting board to the cookie sheet. The cookies should be placed on the baking sheet at least two inches apart to prevent them from sticking together as they expand during the baking process.
Another option is to make your own templates using cardboard and cutting out different shapes. You can place the shapes on the dough, then use a non-serrated knife that’s sharp, to cut around each of the shapes.
The Traditional Spritz Cookie Recipe and Baking Technique
Spritz cookies have a light buttery taste that makes them the perfect treat for a special occasion, the holidays, or even bake sales. The spritz recipe is pretty versatile, so you can get really creative and decorate or mix in different ingredients with each batch. Some bakers even love to drizzle melted chocolate or caramel on top and add chopped nuts and sprinkles. If you’re using a cookie press, you’ll want to avoid adding any large ingredients such as dried fruit or chocolate chips, since this can make it difficult for the dough to go through the press.
The standard recipe for spritz cookies calls for the following ingredients:
- One cup of softened butter
- Half a cup of granulated sugar
- Two and a half cups of all-purpose flour
- Quarter teaspoon of salt
- One egg
- One teaspoon of vanilla or almond extract
- Food coloring-options
Topping ideas include candy, candied fruit, choppy nuts, chocolate chips, or colored sugar.
The oven should be heated to four hundred degrees as you mix up the dough. Beat the sugar and butter in a large bowl using an electric mixer that’s placed on medium. You can also mix the dough with a spoon. Next, stir in the almond or vanilla extract, salt, and flour. If you want to use food coloring you can also add this now.
The dough should be placed in the tube of a cookie press. Press the trigger and dough will come out in the desired shape. The cookies should be placed on an ungreased baking sheet.
Bake the cookies for five to eight minutes or until the cookies are set. Do not cook them until they’re brown. The cookies should be removed from the oven immediately and placed on a wire baking rack. If you want to decorate cookies you can use a little corn syrup to attach decorations or add sprinkles, toppings, etc. Once the cookies have cooled, if your cookie press comes with tips, you can fill the press with icing and decorate the cookies at this time.
The press should be washed at this time, with the help of a bottle brush, which will allow you to access all of the nooks and crannies where dough loves to settle.
This is a well-tested spritz cookie recipe and it turns out cookies that have a nice buttery flavor. However, there are many variations out there.
Below I’ve included some variations to the recipe that you can try, which will give the cookies a new and unique flavor.
For spice spritz cookies, use one teaspoon of cinnamon, a quarter teaspoon of allspice with flour, and half a teaspoon of ground nutmeg.
Stir in two ounces of unsweetened baking chocolate.
For the holidays, use rum extract instead of vanilla or almond extract.
Other Popular Variations
- Brown sugar instead of white.
- Lemon zest
- Peppermint extract
- Orange zest
- Orange zest and pecans
- Peanut butter
Spritz Baking Tips
As you can see, the ingredients for these cookies are incredibly simple. All you need is some flour, eggs, salt, vanilla, sugar, and butter. Using the correct technique is the key to turning out great tasting cookies.
- First, make sure you really cream the sugar and butter. If possible, use a stand mixer to mix the sugar and butter for seven to eight minutes. This will produce the crispest, lightest cookies imaginable.
- If you add just the egg after the sugar and butter have been mixed and mix it for five more minutes, you’ll find that the cookies have a nice buttery flavor and a rich texture, with no greasiness.
- How you incorporate the flour is also important. Adding the flour to the stand mixer, then beating it can result in overdeveloped gluten. This results in a cookie that’s too dense and tough. Instead, try adding the flour and mixing by hand. You’ll need to stop mixing as soon as no dry flour is visible.
- When you use a press for your cookies, make sure you work directly on a baking sheet. The baking sheet should be nice and cold. You don’t want the cookies spreading while they bake so don’t use parchment paper, silicone, or nonstick spray. Just use a plain cookie sheet made out of aluminum. Keeping the cookie sheet cold as you work is similar to chilling a pie crust before you bake it because the cold can help it to retain its shape.
If you follow these steps, your cookies will turn out beautifully. You may be tempted to follow the standard instructions that you’ll come across in most variations of spritz cookie recipes, but if you do, you’ll have cookies that don’t turn out the way you want to. Some will taste too dense, others may crumble as soon as you try to remove them off the baking sheet. The tips I’ve included here have been used by professional bakers for years and they’re designed to produce cookies that are rich, crisp, light, and buttery.
Spritz cookies are a sweet addition to any christmas. Having canned goods also helps with having delicious meals throughout the winter. Learn how to make an excellent canned spaghetti sauce with meat by heading to my full article on the topic.
As you can see, it is possible to make spritz cookies without a press, however, it’s a lengthier process and one that will not turn out the same consistent results that you’ll get from using a cookie press. Fortunately, cookie presses are reasonably priced and easy to come by. However, if your press has stopped working in the middle of a batch, then the methods I’ve included here will work in a pinch and will allow you to finish out the baking process.