These gluten-free spritz cookies are buttery and delicate with a little crunch. They are perfect for any occasion. Troubleshooting tips and tricks are included to help with using a cookie press so you can create perfectly shaped cookies that don’t spread.
How to Make Spritz Cookies
Spritz cookies get their wonderful shapes with the use of a cookie press. I don’t know of any replacement for this tool, other than piping with a pastry bag, but the shapes will be limited. See my recipe for gluten-free Danish butter cookies for cookie dough that is the right consistency for piping.
Luckily, cookie presses are not too pricy and make the process fun and easy. They come with discs that will create different shaped cookies like snowflakes, wreaths, flowers, shells, hearts and butterflies. This makes it the perfect year-round recipe.
- Fill the cookie press with dough.
- Place it directly onto a cold, ungreased, unlined cookie sheet.
- Hold the cookie press firmly down onto the sheet and pump out one cookie. Wait a second then lift the press.
- If all worked well, there should be a perfectly shaped cookie on your pan. If not, see some troubleshooting tips below.
Gluten-free flour blend – Gluten-free cookies are particularly fussy about which flour you use. I find that a change from one brand to another can turn cookies from perfect to flat as a pancake.
The dough for these cookies needs to be just the right consistency so that the cookies hold their shape when pressed onto the pan. If the dough has too much flour, the cookie may not stick to the pan when you press it out. If the dough is too runny, it won’t hold its shape.
I tested this recipe with King Arthur Gluten-Free Measure for Measure Flour. It is my go-to flour for gluten-free baking. If you use a different flour blend and the cookies do not come out as they should, see below for some tips on how to make adjustments.
This recipe uses a combination of regular granulated sugar and powdered sugar. The powdered sugar gives these cookies a wonderful delicate texture.
This recipe uses just one egg but it is very important the the egg is at room temperature. A cold egg mixed with warm butter will cause the butter to become chunky. So place the egg in a bowl of warm water before you start. About 10 minutes will be enough to warm it up.
Then just butter, vanilla, and a little bit of salt. That’s it, just simple, basic ingredients.
Cookie Press Tips and Tricks
If you use King Arthur Measure for Measure Flour, your results should be consistent with mine. However temperature and humidity can have a little bit of an effect too. So here are a few tips to help you fix cookie dough that is not working.
Do not grease the pan or line with parchment. This will prevent the dough from releasing from the cookie press and adhering to the pan. If using the same pan for more than one batch, wash it in between to remove any crumbs or grease as this will affect the next batch.
The next tip is to be aware that the first one or two that you pump out are not likely to work. I find that the first one is always a little misshapen and the second one doesn’t stick. If it’s still not working by the third or fourth try, then move on to troubleshooting with the tips below.
Dough doesn’t release onto the pan – The press should be standing vertically and held firmly on the pan. First be sure that the disk is in the correct way. Some have a side that should be facing out to make it work properly. Read the instructions that came with your cookie press.
Next, be sure to wait a second between pumping the press and lifting it off the pan. Last, if you pump out one cookie, lift the press, and the dough is still connected to the press, your dough may be too dry. You can gently release it by pushing it off with a knife or . . .
To fix this problem, return all of the dough to the bowl and add one tablespoon of soft butter. Beat on high until the butter is incorporated.
Dough does not hold its shape when pumped out of the press – This means that your dough is a little too runny. Return the dough to the mixing bowl, add 1 tablespoon of flour and beat it in.
Cookies do not hold their shape when baked – This could be one of a few issues. First, the pressed cookie dough may need to be chilled longer in the refrigerator. If you chilled the dough for at least 20 minutes, then turn the temperature up on your oven by 10-15 degrees. This will help the cookies to set more quickly.
How to Decorate Spritz Cookies
- The easiest way to decorate spritz cookies is to sprinkle a little sanding sugar or sprinkles on top before baking.
- This cookie dough can also get some food coloring for festive colored cookies. Gel colors are best because they are least likely to change the texture of the dough.
- Cookie icing creates a beautiful glossy coating. Add color to the icing or top it with sprinkles.
- To decorate baked cookies with confetti or other types of sprinkles, use a small paint brush to to brush on a light coating of corn syrup. Then dip in your favorite decoration.
Buttery Gluten-Free Spritz Cookies
- 2 sticks (1 cup/8 oz) unsalted butter, room temperature
- ⅔ c granulated sugar
- ½ c powdered sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract, powder or bean paste
- 2 c + 2 Tbsp gluten-free flour blend*
- ⅛ tsp salt
- gel food coloring for colored cookies (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. DO NOT grease or line the cookie sheet.
- For best results with the cookie press, place the cookie sheet in the freezer. This will help the cookie dough to adhere to the pan.If the egg is cold, place it in a bowl of warm water to bring to room temperature.
- In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of stand mixer, cream the butter and both sugars. Beat for 1 minute. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl and beat on high for one more minute until the mixture is creamy.
- Add the egg and vanilla and beat just until combined.
- Add the flour and salt and beat on low for 15 seconds. Then scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Beat for another 15 seconds or until the dough is uniform. Overmixing will create too much air which will cause the cookies to spread.
- If you want to dye the dough with food coloring, the dough will get nicely saturated with about 15 drops of gel color. Or divide the dough and dye portions of it in different colors.
- Fill the cookie press with dough and cover the remaining dough with plastic to keep it from drying out.
- Pump the lever until the dough is compressed inside the tube. Pump twice and remove the dough that comes out. This will help remove any large air pockets.
- Place the press vertically onto the pan and hold it down firmly. Pump once then wait a second and lift the press. If the dough did not stick to the pan, remove the dough that came out and try pressing another one onto the pan. I find that the first one is always a little misshapen and the second one doesn't stick. If it's still not working by the third or fourth try, then move on to troubleshooting with the tips above.
- If the pressed dough does not hold its shape on the pan (before baking) see troubleshooting tip #4 above.
- You can pack the pan full of cookies as they will not spread. If using sprinkles or sanding sugar, sprinkle it on now.
- Place the pan into the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes before baking.
- Bake 9-11 minutes or until the cookies are set – they do not need to brown.
- Let the cookies cool on the pan for no more than 5 minutes or they may stick. Transfer to a wire rack too cool completely before decorating. See my easy cookie icing recipe for an quick, simple decoration.
- NOTE: If using a pan for more than one batch, wash the pan in between to remove any crumbs or grease as this will affect the next batch.