Christmas Butter Spritz Cookies



I should clarify right away that this Christmas Butter Spritz recipe is NOT JUST FOR CHRISTMAS!

This is a fabulous cookie recipe to make all year round, but it seems to be made and sought after mostly during Holiday Time!
I suppose the insurgence of Cookie Exchanges from Thanksgiving through to the New Year is the trigger, but whatever the occasion you will not be sorry to have this cookie recipe in your repertoire!

This is a variation on my Famous Woodland Bakery Italian Butter Spritz Cookie Recipe which happens to have Almond Paste in it. Many have told me that they cannot use almond paste for allergy reasons or that they cannot find it anywhere, or that they simply Don’t like it!
So for those of you who are Sans Almond Paste, try this recipe on for size!


5 from 1 reviews
Christmas Butter Spritz Cookies
It is your option to fill and decorate the cookies as you wish, or you can watch the following video and see how I do it!
Yield: 2lbs dough approximately 4 dz cookies
  • Unsalted Butter at room temperature 2 sticks (8oz) (227g)
  • Granulated Sugar 1 cup (200g)
  • Large Egg 1 (50g)
  • Whole Milk 2 Tablespoons (44ml)
  • Vanilla Extract ½ teaspoon
  • Pastry Flour Or Cake Flour 2 cups (240g)
  • Salt ¼ teaspoon
  1. In the bowl of the Kitchen Aid Mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large mixing bowl with a hand beater) cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Combine the egg and vanilla extract together and add to the creaming butter mixture.
  3. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl to incorporate well.
  4. Add the milk and mix until combined, scrape the sides again.
  5. Sift the flour and salt together, then add to the mixer all at once and mix on low speed just until combined. Do not over mix or you will create a tough dough.
  6. With your Heavy Duty Arrow Thermo Pastry Bag fitted with the #866 tip all provided in your Woodland Bakery Professional Series XL Decorating Kit you will pipe the dough onto a parchment lined sheet pan spaced about 1 inch apart.
  7. You may of course use a cookie press as well
  8. This is a very stiff dough, which is why I recommend a very durable pastry bag
  9. Depending on your method of measuring ingredients, you may find if you are using the inferior method of cups/volume measure vs the superior Weighing with Scale you will have a dough that is inconsistent based on heavy handed measuring with cups.
  10. If you feel that your dough is too stiff to pipe, you may add a few tablespoons more milk to the recipe.
  11. To avoid spreading of the dough, you may place the sheet tray of piped cookie dough in the freezer while you preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  12. After about 15 minutes or once your oven has reached proper temperature bake for about 15-18 minutes or until the cookies are lightly browned on the edges.
Troubleshooting: Some have complained that their cookies are spreading too much and not holding their shape. I can only guess at some things to help you troubleshoot, as I am not there to actually see the condition of your dough.

~Make sure that the butter is not too soft before making the dough.

~Be sure to cool cookie sheets between batches. A hot cookie sheet can melt the butter before the cookie dough can set.

~There is no need to grease a cookie sheet unless the recipe indicates to do so. Greasing a cookie sheet when the recipe does not call for it can cause the cookies to spread too much and brown too quickly around the edges.

~Before baking an entire batch, bake a test cookie to give a good indication of dough condition. If it spreads too much, the dough may be too soft. Try refrigerating dough until well-chilled (1 to 2 hours). If the dough is still too soft, stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons of more flour.

Allow to cool completely before filling with your choice of Jam, Tempered Chocolate Ganache or Buttercream

Finished cookies can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 weeks in a clean, dry airtight container.

If you choose to use Ganache as a filling, you will have to be careful as that is a dairy product and will spoil faster, store ganache filled cookies in the refridge for up to 2 weeks


  • caroline

    Hi Gretchen! I was wondering what brand of raspberry jam you use at your bakery for filling cookies. I have tried hero brand, and it does not taste like the jam that all bakeries use to fill linzer tarts and cookies. I have tried your linzer tart from your bakery, and the jam was amazing. What brand do you use? Thank you!!

    • Gretchen Price

      Star Brand- Raspberry Peach Spread
      (Not sure that it is available to home cooks through- this is a commercial bulk product)

  • Carol

    Hi Gretchen, I’ve been making linzers and the finger cookies for years but always have a problem of the cookies sliding apart. I’ve tried warming the jam, not warming the jam, including freezing the cookies, but once they come to room temp they sort of slide apart. Is there a secret to making sure they stick together and don’t move apart? Thanks.

    • Gretchen Price

      Sounds like the jam you are using is too slippery, try Hero Brand

      • Carol

        Thanks Gretchen, just looked and saw I can purchase Hero at Walmart. One more question. I know you mentioned tempering chocolate for the filling but do you use tempered chocolate for dipping the cookies?

        • Gretchen Price

          I am confused when you say Tempering Chocolate. Do you mean Merckens? Or a compound chocolate which does NOT NEED TEMPERING? Or a couverture which DOES NEED TEMPERING?

          At any rate- I use Merckens CLICK HERE

          • Carol

            Sorry Gretchen, I just meant if you don’t have Merkens, is it better to use chocolate that needs to be tempered or would melting regular chocolate chips be ok.

          • Gretchen Price

            Oh gotcha, well the thing about using chocolate that SHOULD be tempered but you are NOT- it will not set properly, so you will have drippy cookies that never get hard, because the chocoalte is out of temper.
            You can use chocolate chips, but again, chips were meant for Toll House Cookies, they have added ingredients that PREVENT them from melting so they keep their shape in your cookie. SO yes you can do it, but it is not ideal.
            I will recommend to pick up a small package of Wiltin candy Melts (at Michaels Crafts and Walmart and Target) and you WONT be sorry you did

  • Judy

    Hi Gretchen,

    thanks for redirecting me to this recipe, from the Rainbow Cookies recipe. No, the rainbow cookies I like had sprinkles all over. Do I just make the cookie onto some sprinkles and then turn the cookie over to bake? It wasn’t just on the corner.

    My hubby knows when I am eating one of the Rainbow Cookies because I oooh and ahhhh with each bite, LOL! You’re bringing out the kid in me again!

    Also, how do I make those 5 layer cookies pictured?

    Thanks, Judy

    • Gretchen Price
      • Judy

        <3 , Gretchen!

  • Carol

    Hi Gretchen. Just wanted to know if I wanted to make a full chocolate version would I use 1/2 cup cocoa. Just wanted you to know I spent the weekend watching all your videos. You are truly amazing for doing this for everyone.

    • Gretchen Price

      Great thank you!
      Yes to full recipe

  • dave

    Hi Gretchen , I just wanted to start by saying I like your site and your videos as they are very informative. I am currently trying your spritz cookie recipe( no almond paste version) its chilling right now in fact and my question is what is the best way to color the dough ? I plan on splitting the dough and coloring half for Halloween should I return it to the mixer and add color so its more uniform.
    Thanks and keep those recipes coming !

    • Gretchen Price

      sorry for the late response I have been away- but yes you can do it that way- just be sure not to overmix you don’t want a tough douhg1 You’ll kill your hands piping it!

      • Dave

        Thanks Gretchen , I did have one problem and that was getting the dough to stick to the cookie sheet. I was using a cookie press which I have used before with no problems but I think I am the cause because I chilled the dough. if you have any thoughts or recommendations on this it would be greatly appreciated.
        Thank you !

        • Gretchen Price

          Oh yikes, this dough is so difficult to work through the press or pastry bag as is, chilling will just make it stiffer!

  • Tim

    What are the flat round cookies on top? There kinda crunchy but chewy?

    • Gretchen Price

      those are called Florentine lace cookies (I have not done a video, but I will note that for the near future)

  • Ann Marie

    Hi Gretchen,
    I was wondering if you had updated this recipe, because a little over a year ago I have been using the one that has orange extract,vanilla extract, shortening plus butter, eggs and eggwhites etc. This one seems a lot easier to make. Does the cookies end up with the same outcome of texture? Thank you,

    PS. do you make “saviad” cookies? and if so are you willing to share the recipe? Its an oval shaped cookie with a cracks on the top from egg whites, that some confuse with lady fingers. I live in the carolinas now, was from SI/Bkyln and I really miss those cookies! Thx!

    • Gretchen Price

      Same cookie recipe, and feel free to add those extracts, sometimes I have to change things because too many people have trouble getting the ingredients and I get hundreds of questions, so it is easier to eliminate than answer the same thing over and again

      No I have not heard of that cookie

      • Ann Marie

        Thank you so much! :)

  • Maria

    I would like to try the green leaf cookies on this tray. Are they made with the butter spritz dough?

    • Gretchen Price

      No, the green leaf cookies are one what we bakeries (& supermarkets) here in NJ buy from a company called Continental Cookies
      You could however make your own, by using the Basic Cookie Dough colored GREEN, roll them and cut them with a leaf cutter, an then bake, cool and sandwich together with melted chocolate!

  • sabrina

    Tried this recipe and it was a hit. thank you for ur wonderful recipes.
    i divided my dough in 3 parts, one part with cocoa powder, the 2nd part plain and the 3rd with coconut had to add more flour as it was spreading. i think i added abt half a cup and i could pipe. thanks!

  • rima

    hi Gretchen……..just asking for some advise I love baking cakes and decorating with buttercream and also with fondant…I’ve made a few cakes that friends and family have orderd for special occasions and they loved them.Ijust wanted to know how I should get started by running a cake decorating from home as a hobby for now,and if u could share your experience on how u started and became so successful..thank u

  • Jack

    Fantastic taste. We divided dough in two parts, added 1/4 cup cocoa powder to one half and piped with pastry bag. Baked and tasted perfect. The other half spread too much and lost the fluted definition. So, I recommend to add 1/4 cup of (pastry flour, confection sugar, or corn starch) to the plain batch.

    Thanks again for the incredible recipes!!!


  • Lisa Ingersoll

    These turned out great. Thank you for the recipe!

  • Mandy

    My cookies spread as well. I can only guess it’s the American cup measurements instead of measuring by weight. They still had some ridges from where I piped and taste AMAZING, but they don’t look as pretty! I’ll still be giving them away. A little chocolate drizzle on them…no one will ever know!

    Gretchen – thanks for the time you put into this blog, the YouTube channel and your bakery! Only wish Virginia was a little closer! I would be there buying quite a bit!! I had thought about opening my own bakery at some point, but you solidified it for me that I NEVER want to open one! haha! LOVE baking, but I am not as committed as you!

    I’ll be making the Rainbow Layer cookies this weekend!

    Merry Christmas!

  • Carol

    I am so thrilled that I found your website. I have been trying different spritz recipes to make my Italian finger sandwiches for years and have yet to find a good one. So, I am getting ready to try yours. I have two questions, I normally just heat red raspberry jam, let it cool a bit, and then spread on the cookie. It seems like you put a little more on your cookie. How much would you say you put on the cookie and how do you do your raspberry filling. Also, I use fiori di sicilia in my cookies but keep trying different measurements. My Italian Bakery in NY used this in their cookies and everyone loves the flavor. I’ve tried 1/4 tsp and 1/2 tsp. Any recommendations? Thanks.

  • Patti

    I just made a batch of these butter spritz cookies and had a problem with them spreading even after I put them in the freezer for 15mins. My butter may have been too soft. I’m going to try your two suggestions chilling the dough and maybe adding more flour. My cookies look like milano’s. They piped beautifully using your kit but baked flat. I’ve made the ones with the almond paste and they came out perfect.
    I love your videos and have your cookie ebook vol 3. Thank you for sharing your ideas, tips and recipes.

    • Gretchen Price

      AWE! Bummer, I am always surprised at the different results people get from the SAME recipe. Some have complained that their dough was so stiff it was impossible to pipe and here you say yours flattened :(
      I have to suspect measureing errors (or maybe not so much errors but different styles of measuring in volume can affect the outcome- and why CLICK HERE FOR MEASUREMENTS 101 weighing is always no fail everytime)

      Thanks for the comment! Keep me posted as to the outcome!

  • Mary C

    I want to make the leaf shape shown in green on your plate. Is this a pressed cookie? If so, what brand press comes with the plate to make the leaf cookie?

    • Gretchen Price

      These cookies are called FILLER cookies, they are bought from a company called Continental Cookies

  • Dean

    Gretchen: I am curious why you use butter in this recipe, but shortening in the Italian version.

    • Gretchen Price

      its just two different recipes.
      I do not create all of the recipes –most of them I have happened upon over the years and stuck with them, some I change but many I do not.
      You can interchange shortening here for the butter if you wish.

  • patty

    hi there,

    this recipe changed completely from the original one which had crisco…we all loved the old recipe, before making this one…how different is the taste?

  • Petra Williams

    I have a question, on your Butter Spritz recipe you have a 5 layer cookie or cake that looks very interesting and I was wondering if you could share that recipe?

  • sara n

    Im curious if anyone that made the almond paste recipe tried this one yet. I did a test run with the almond paste last night and I couldnt decide how long to cook them for. I used my cookie press (first time and its an all aluminum one) and it was WONDERFUL. I was going to make plates of these for christmas to give out, I was wondering this recipe I think would be cheaper to make because the almond paste is like over $5 per batch just for that from my regular grocery store. It seems to me these would taste different with no almond in them at all.

    Can anyone comment on the taste? I also had questions if you put preserves in them what exactly do you use? Can I use normal from a jar at the store? What other kinds of fillings can I add? I think Im going to do some with the ganache recipe – any other suggestions?

    One more thing! I love your site and thank you so much for doing this. I have to check out your store to see what goodies you have there. Do you have recipes for any of the other cookies on this plate? My family is from new york and when I would visit we would always stop at the bakery and get a plate of these as a gift for whomevers house we were going to dinner at!

  • April

    No shortening ins this recipe.

    • Gretchen Price

      Not here, nut you can of course sub in for some of the butter if you prefer

  • Pat

    When you made this recipe in the original videos way back when, you mentioned adding orange emulsion flavoring…does that ring a bell? I have a bottle of that and was wondering if this recipe should indeed have some in it, or am I imagining things? Thanks!

    • Gretchen Price

      Yes sure, add it

  • Christian

    I love the your old recipe for the butter spritz cookies but I’m definitely gonna try this one too

  • Zhe Rong

    When did you guys film this? Because it seems like vol 3 of your book is already out but you are working on 2 in this vid. Plus this video was only uploaded on. 10 nov and is REALLY recent. But does your book come in hard copy or it is only ebook?

    • Gretchen Price

      The video is from Italian Butter Cookies, the RECIPE here though was just uploaded last night.

      • Zhe Rong

        I see…

  • Rose

    If you aren’t particular about the shape of the cookie, I’ve used a cookie scoop to put the spritz dough onto the pan then I flattened the dough gently in a criss cross motion with a fork. Often this is how peanut butter cookies are shaped. A bonus is that the grooves help to hold the sprinkles in place. Also, a mini scoop makes cookies that look like buttons.