Baking for the holidays! Christmas tree spritz cookies are a classic of the season, and in this video I show you how to get creative with your cookie press to make beautiful bite-sized butter cookies that almost rival the artistry of more elaborate cutout cookies.
No more sprinkling a little red and green sugar on those trees! This year, be inspired to get artistic with these sweet, quintessential little gems, and have lots of creative fun!
To create a whole forest of fun possibilities, we have three different pine tree disks. The Christmas Tree is in the Christmas set, the Rustic Tree is in the Woodland set, and the Skinny Winter Tree is in the Gingerbread set.
(*NOTE: As of our 2019 Re-Opening our new disks are made of a solid white material, but the designs are exactly the same, and press identically. There is also a new Christmas Tree in the Cookie Press Box set of disks!)
Here’s the cookie dough recipe and some photos of the pressed cookies and baked results. Watch the video for more spritz dough tips, pressing techniques and troubleshooting, and decorating ideas.
Impress! Vanilla-Honey Spritz
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened (not melted) (I recommend Land O Lakes brand as I know it creams well. I have had trouble with some generic butters not creaming properly and making the dough hard to press)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup honey
1 and 1/2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
GEL food coloring (NOT liquid), I used Kelly green
Preheat oven to 400°F.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter very well. Creaming your butter extremely well until it is fluffy is the key to great spritz cookies. I like to pretend I’m making frosting and use the “whip” setting on my mixer. Add the sugar, then the honey, then the extracts and egg, re-creaming the mixture after each new addition. Next add the flour mixture slowly, mixing on a slow speed until a soft dough forms. Perfect spritz dough has a soft malleable texture that is not too sticky or too stiff.
Get your disks and pack your dough into your cookie press barrel, using the back of a spoon to press the air bubbles out. This helps create consistent pressure to press with.
Place the disk in the bottom ring and start pressing onto an un-greased cookie sheet. Use a consistent rhythm to keep the shapes a uniform size. If you’re having trouble pressing (mis-shaped cookies, trouble sticking to the pan, etc) press one cookie into the air and wipe it off and toss back into the bowl to re-set your pressure in the press. You can also refrigerate your cookie sheets for 5 minutes if sticking is an issue.
TIP FOR THIS RECIPE! I did something unique in this bake. Using a slightly wet fingertip I flattened out some of the pressed cookie shapes as shown in the pictures. A friend gave me the idea to flatten them so that they could be decorated more like cutout cookies. The result is a slightly bigger spritz cookie, with a smooth surface that allows for a different kind of decorating than you can usually do with a spritz tree. See the photos and the decorating ideas below!
Bake for 6 to 10 minutes. Check early and often as spritz cookies brown quickly. Let sit 3 or 4 minutes and move to cooking rack. Makes about 110 cookies.
Use colored icing and decorating tips to add decorations. Watch the video for ideas! You can figure out a lot of the techniques I used from these pictures, too.
Jazz these little beauties up by piping dots of “lights” or “ornaments” or stripes of “garland” on with colored decorating icing and a round writing tip.
Or using dots or stripes of icing as a kind of decoration glue. Pipe it on under the branches of the trees and gently dip the cookies into a small dish of decors such as nonpareils.
By placing your decorations on the underside of the branches you’ll use the 3D effect of the ridged spritz cookies to your advantage. The “lights” or “ornaments” will appear to be hanging inside the tree, more like the real thing. It’s a wonderful effect.
Don’t press too hard or wiggle too much or they’ll smear! Dots make a more open pattern, stripes will make a garland-like line of decors.
For bigger decorations, pipe on the icing glue and then hand-place decors like snowflakes or large pearls. Use tweezers if needed. This takes some courage and patience. 😉
This works especially well for the cookies that are flattened. You can swoop a draping or swag of icing across their flat surfaces- if you try this with the ridged cookies the icing falls between the branches, so this flattening opens up a whole new way to decorate spritz trees!
You can also squiggle lines of icing along the branches to make “garland”. Watch the technique in the video if you need help or inspiration.
Speaking of inspiration, I hope this blog/video inspires you to make gorgeous, festive cookies this year and encourages you to let your inner creative person have fun!
Merry Christmas and as always, Happy Baking!
Disk Designer/Co-Owner at Impress! Bakeware, LLC
“Get creative with your cookie press!”
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The Christmas, Gingerbread, and Woodland disk sets:
Published by Susie the Disk Designer
Co-Owner/Disk Designer at Impress! Bakeware, LLC, maker of over 200 shapes of cookie press disks.