Spritz cookies are dainty-shaped cookies that are crisp and buttery. They are made by pushing soft cookie dough through a cookie press which is a cylinder fitted with a decorative disk that has patterned holes through which the dough is “squirted” or pressed into shapes. Typically, cookie presses come with many different decorative disks – mine has probably 20 or more.
These cookies are popular at Christmas, special occasions, and are very suitable for afternoon teas as they can be made in so many different shapes and colors and can be further embellished with icing, colored sugar, miniature gumdrops, or dragées.
My recipe for Lemon Spritz Cookies is buttery rich and delicate. I like the flavour burst of lemon juice and zest in these petite cookies.
This recipe does best when the dough is chilled for 24 hours to allow the egg yolk to get fully incorporated and absorbed into the other ingredients. Unlike most liquids, such as water or milk, for example, eggs take a lot more time to become incorporated into the dry ingredients. When the dough comes out of the refrigerator, it will be too hard to push through the cookie press so let the dough sit at room temperature for about an hour or so until it becomes pliable enough that it can be formed into a roll that can be inserted into the cookie press cylinder. You’ll notice this recipe has no baking powder or soda. This is because that would cause the cookies to raise which, in turn, would result in them losing their shape and design that makes them spritz cookies.
Lemon Spritz Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
½ cup icing sugar
½ cup cornstarch
1 egg yolk
½ tsp lemon juice
½ tsp vanilla
¼ tsp almond flavouring
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 2/3 cup flour
Cream butter and icing sugar.
Blend in cornstarch.
Add egg yolk, lemon juice, vanilla, almond flavouring, and lemon zest.
Add the flour, salt, and cardamom to creamed mixture, stirring until well combined.
Cover dough tightly with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 24 hours.
Remove dough from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for apx. 1 hour. Form dough into a roll that will fit inside the cookie press cylinder. Insert dough roll into the cookie press.
Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Follow manufacturer’s directions for your cookie press to form the cookies into decorative shapes. Decorate with colored sugar, if desired. Bake at 400F for 7-8 minutes. Watch the cookies closely as their high butter content and small size means they will burn easily and quickly. Let cookies cool on baking sheets for 2-3 minutes then transfer them to wire racks to finish cooling.