Italian Butter Spritz Cookies

butter-spritz-cookies

Are you ready to “wow” everyone you know with authentic professional bakery style Italian Butter Spritz Cookies?

They will think you have quit your job and opened up a bakery when you present these amazing butter spritz cookies at the cookie exchange this season!

Now of course this recipe is not just for Christmas, since when I owned my bakery these were the most sought after cookies all through the year!

The recipe is quick to mix and bake, but the real work comes when it’s time to decorate.

If you can even call that “work”!

What fun it is to fill these bite sized cookies with assorted jams, chocolates, ganaches, buttercreams and pretty much whatever you can come up with!

Dipped in nuts, non-pareils, sprinkles~ you name it!

One easy recipe, dozens of variations!

The holidays just got easier with Gretchen’s Bakery!

(Oh and by the way you can make either of these dough chocolate by  adding ¼ cup cocoa powder in place of ¼ cup flour)

And for my last note on these cookies since there are 3 to choose from:

The first one is the one I showed in the video below, it is a more dense, heavier, sturdy cookie. The kind you would think of for a cookie press and why you need a heavy duty pastry bag.

Whereas the 2nd and 3rd recipes are both very light, crispy and delicate. The dough is going to be very light and airy and easier to pipe for sure.

*Update: Some people have emailed me to say they have had failure with these recipes.

I have tested them 5 X and more! They come out great for me each time (as for many others too if you read the comments there are so many people LOVING this recipe!)

So I can only guess that the people having failure are not using the same ingredients that I listed here #1 being shortening!

**Except for the first recipe listed where I do use ALL BUTTER- that recipe has a higher amount of flour to compensate and create a tighter dough to avoid spreading and why (as you see above I have described each cookie and it’s texture, with the first recipe being the heaviest and most dense)

It is very important to use shortening in the other 2 recipes to avoid spreading upon baking.

Shortening has a higher melting point than butter which is why many cookie recipes call for it to help them keep their shape during baking.

The #2 important ingredient is the flour.

I understand that flour in other countries is not as simple to figure out, as it is here in the US~  being listed as All Purpose or Cake Flour or Bread Flour.

But CLICK HERE for the chart to get the most accurate substitution for which flour to use in which recipe as it pertains to the US graded flours.

I hope this helps, I’m sorry for those who have had failure, but based on the rave reviews of those who have not, it just must be something in the ingredients that are not “measuring up”  Ugggh bad pun.

But with that being said, be sure you are measuring correctly too!


5.0 from 2 reviews
Butter Spritz Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Be sure all ingredients are at room temperature before mixing
This is a very stiff dough, which is why I recommend a very durable pastry bag
Preheat oven to 350°F
Author:
Serves: 4dz cookies
Ingredients
  • Unsalted Butter 1 cup (226g)
  • Granulated Sugar 1 cup (200g)
  • Large Egg 1 (50g)
  • Whole Milk 2 Tablespoons (44ml)
  • Vanilla Extract 1 teaspoon (5ml)
  • All Purpose Flour 2½ cups (320g)
  • Salt ¼ teaspoon
Instructions
  1. Cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the salt
  3. Combine the egg and vanilla extract together and add to the creaming butter mixture.
  4. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl to incorporate well.
  5. Add the milk and mix until combined, scrape the sides again.
  6. Add the sifted flour all at once and mix on low speed just until combined.
  7. With your Heavy Duty Arrow Thermo Pastry Bag fitted with the #826 tip (or with a cookie press) pipe the dough onto a parchment lined sheet pan spaced about 1 inch apart.
  8. If you feel that your dough is too stiff to pipe, you may add a few tablespoons more milk to the recipe.
  9. 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° F.
  10. Bake for about 12 - 17 minutes or until the cookies are lightly browned on the edges.
  11. Cool completely and fill with jams, chocolates, ganaches, buttercream or your choice of fillings and adorn with nuts, sprinkles of your choice
Notes
Cookies will stay fresh for several weeks in an airtight container

You can freeze the cookie shells, but I do not recommend to freeze the sandwiched cookies once they are filled and adorned. (The thawing will cause condensation which is not great for chocolate and could cause bleeding of the colors of the sprinkles)
This next recipe is the real deal “Italian recipe” with the almond paste.

When I owned my bakery we would make 2 recipes of spritz cookies everyday.

One was what we called the “American Recipe” (above and as I showed in the video) and this one below is the “Italian Recipe”

5.0 from 2 reviews
Italian Butter Spritz Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
To make this dough chocolate you can add ¼ cup cocoa powder in place of ¼ cup flour
Author:
Serves: 4dz cookies
Ingredients
  • Unsalted Butter ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons (200g)
  • Solid Vegetable Shortening ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons (200g)
  • Confectioners Sugar 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons (135g)
  • Egg Whites 4 Large (120g)
  • Soft Almond Paste 3oz (1/3cup) (85g)
  • Salt ½ teaspoon
  • Almond Extract 1 teaspoon
  • Vanilla Extract 2 teaspoons
  • Bread Flour 3¼ cups (390g)
Instructions
  1. Cream the almond paste until soft and smooth.
  2. You can add a bit of the egg white if your almond paste seems to be on the dry side
  3. Remove from the mixer and reserve
  4. Next cream the shortening, butter and confectioners sugar on high speed until light and fluffy about 3 minutes.
  5. Add the salt and the softened almond paste
  6. Add the egg whites and extracts together then add to the creaming butter/almond paste mixture slowly while mixing on low to medium speed.
  7. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl to incorporate well.
  8. Now crank up the mixer to high speed and whip the butter mixture with the egg whites for about 1 minute on high
  9. Add the sifted flour all at once and mix on low speed just until combined.
  10. With your Heavy Duty Arrow Thermo Pastry Bag fitted with the #866 tip (or with a cookie press) pipe the dough onto a parchment lined sheet pan spaced about 1 inch apart.
  11. Bake in preheated 350°F oven for about 15 - 17 minutes or until the cookies are lightly browned on the edges.
  12. Cool completely and fill with jams, chocolates, ganaches, buttercream or your choice of fillings and adorn with nuts, sprinkles of your choice
And last but not least, and possibly should even be first:

The Original Recipe that I shared may moons ago in a lifetime far far away!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Original Recipe for Italian Butter Spritz Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2dz Sandwich Cookies
Ingredients
  • Confectioners Sugar 1¼ cup (150g)
  • Solid Vegetable Shortening ½ cup + 2 tablespoons (140g)
  • Unsalted Butter 10 Tablespoons (140g)
  • Egg large 1 (50g)
  • Vanilla Extract 1 teaspoon (5ml)
  • Pure Lemon Extract 1 teaspoon (5ml)
  • Salt ½ teaspoon (3g)
  • All Purpose Flour 2½ cups (325g)
Instructions
  1. Combine the softened butter and shortening in a mixing bowl and cream smooth
  2. Add the sifted confectioners sugar and mix well to fluffy on high speed about 1 minute.
  3. Add the egg and the extracts and mix on high speed until fluffy about 1 minute
  4. Add the sifted flour and salt all at once and mix smooth
  5. Transfer dough to a cookie press or a heavy duty pastry bag fitted with a #866 Ateco tip and pipe shapes onto a parchment lined sheet pan
  6. Bake in preheated 350°F oven for approximately 13-15 minutes or until golden brown
  7. Cool completely and fill with jams, chocolates, ganaches, buttercream or your choice of fillings and adorn with nuts, sprinkles of your choice
 

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166 Comments

  1. This is a great recipe and easy to make as I made these last Christmas. Everyone loved them. So glad you are sharing it with us again. Thanks and I cannot wait to see what’s next :).

  2. Oh! I have to try these for Christmas! Reminds me of my days working in a bakery. I miss being able to have these any time.

  3. Oh Gretchen, I have wanted this recipe for YEARS! THANK YOU so much for adding it and making a video to show HOW EASY it is. I LOVE YOU WOMAN!!! lol

    Hope your Turkey day is relaxing and you just take some time to breathe 🙂 Tks again!

  4. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have never had luck with Spritz cookies even though I have all the tools. I can’t wait to try them. You are the best.

  5. I can not wait to try both of these recipes!!! I have a Italian Butter cookie recipe that I’ve been using for about 6 years now,but I would be willing to bet ,yours is better! My Spritz recipe is one that I’ve eaten all of my life,and that’s a long time!
    But there’s always room for1more cookie recipe! My dad is from Germany so I’ve been really trying to make more authentic German cookies! But to tell the truth there hasn’t been too many homemade cookies that have come in contact with my lips over the past 54 yrs of my life that I’ve hated!! As always ,Thanks for sharing another fantastic recipe!

  6. Hi Gretchen,
    How can we make almond paste at home..I dun get ready to use almond paste.
    How long d ganache one can b stored since it has cream..4 days? Same goes for buttercream since it’s perishable too
    Do dey need refrigeration?
    Thanks 🙂

  7. Hi Gretchen,
    Thanks for sharing this recipe! I want to have a cookie table for my daughter’s wedding, December 11th. Could you please tell me if they can be made ahead of time. Do they freeze well?
    Thank you,
    Lisa

  8. I just love watching your video wen u had ur bakery. Then finding out u sold ur business n moved to Florida. Wat happened to the gentlemen who video taped u wen u were baking.

    1. HI Yvonne! I sold the bakery last September and due to some pretty serious business dysfunctions the Woodland Bakery Blog Business subsequently shut down. I am now doing everything alone here in Florida with an attempt to rebuild my business and my life! I hope you stick around!

  9. Thank you for all that you do and share with us! I am so excited to try both recipes, the possibilities for the decorations are endless! What a treat for bakers to adorn these lovely cookies.

  10. can you use a combination of bread flour and cake flour? also I baked these cookies added the choclolate coin and the chocolate looked like it was going to burn?

    1. Yes to a mixture sure- that is a good old fashioned AP right there! The cookies shouldnt take longer than 10-12 minutes to bake, so the coin (I use Merckens) has never burned for me

    1. Thanks! Im really backed up with filming and editing the footage. I have so much Christmas and thanksgiving still to do and then New years, but I will def have it by early 2016! I know it sounds ridiculous, but I can only go so fast! I work everyday all day at this stuff. Replacing 400+ videos & recipes is no small task! Thanks for your patience!!

  11. Hi Gretchen,
    Just wondering, when should I put the shortening with the Italian Spritz Cookie.
    It didn’t mention when the shortening to be put in the instruction.

    Thanks 🙂

  12. HI! I just love your video….I have a question in the italian recipe you mention 1/4 tsp baking powder but in the method you say baking soda so I am confused whether we should use baking powder or baking soda??? Please let me know as I would love to make your recipe for Christmas.

    Also when should I take them out to decorate. ?????

    Thank you,
    Bernadette

    1. sorry about that Ill update now (its baking powder)
      Im assuming you mean “take them out” of the freezer? If yes- then you can take them out whenever is convenient for you to decorate. They will stay fresh in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks

  13. Hey Gretchen! I see above you said these could be frozen. Is it best to decorate, and then freeze? Or can you freeze and then decorate?

    Thank you, and love your new site!
    Michelle

    1. Thanks and freeze UNFILLED cookie shells (however I know plenty of people who would buy these from me on trips to NJ and freeze the entire tray of filled decorated cookies for a later date and they had no problems)

  14. These are great. I love spritz and they work really good using a press since my hands just don’t work that good anymore using a bag with stiff dough. Speaking of which I am going to ask you for this request. PLEASE can you do a recipe/video for Italian Butter Cookies. ( no, not spritz ). These are only done in a pastry bag where they are swirled up a bit and they have chocolate icing/frosting that is also swirled on top. There is also different colored frostings such as pink, blue, yellow etc usually for Easter. It’s that certain chocolate frosting that keeps it shape that I adore as much as my family does. I really hope you know what I am talking about and these cookies are to die for. Since it is cookie season is there a way you can give out your recipe??

  15. His Gretchen! Made the almond paste version last year for Christmas for the first time and what a hit! I’d like to make them again this year, but my dough was much stiffer than yours in the videos and very difficult to pipe. Should I weigh the ingredients instead of using measuring cups? Or is there another tip for overly stiff dough? The other version says to add some extra milk if it’s too stiff to pipe .. do I try that?

    1. HI Great! This is the same recipes as from my past lives (LOL) so definitely weigh and see if that makes a difference the trouble with measuring cups is we all measure differently so you could be using a considerable amount of flour MORE than me by the way you measure into cups (Im a fluffer and a a scooper when it comes to measuring with cups)
      You could try to thin it with milk but be careful because too much will cause them to spread in the oven (Always use a scale CLICK HERE FOR MORE)

  16. Hi Gretchen,
    I just made your Italian Spritz cookies. OMG! they came out so good and tasty. Better than the ones at the bakery. I know your recipes are always reliable. Thanks so much. Can’t wait for my family and friends to try. Great for the holidays.

    Chef E @ E-Bakes

  17. Hi Gretchen:
    Thank you for all the wonderful recipes you graciously share with us, your fans. My question is: can I substitute half of bread flour and half of cake flour for the AP flour? Would I get similar results or should I use the AP flour instead?
    Thanks again.
    Wally

    1. Hi Wally! Thanks and you are welcome too!
      Im not sure Im 100% clear, but bread flour and cake flour when combines are like AP flour- thats basically what AP flour is. So you want to take out some of both and replace it with essentially the same thing?

      Oh wait- I re-read it, so yea you can use AP flour since again it is essentially the same thing! LOL

  18. I’m making these tomorrow and I can’t wait! I always figured making these cookies would be a long and complicated process but you make it look so easy! Thanks for that. 🙂 I heard in one of your videos that you lived in Florida. I do too and I was wondering if you ever considered doing some sort of baking classes or something like that. You are a great teacher and I would definitely try my hardest to attend if you ever decided to do it!

    1. HI Thanks and you are welcome too! I can’t wait to hear how your cookies go! I am in Florida yes! I have been scrambling for the last 5 months non stop just to get my channel replaced with all 400+ videos and blog posts I had with my old business, but I plan to take a short breather after Christmas and get my goals together for the new years! Some of those include creating classes, but Im not sure about live ones at this point!

  19. Sorry I posted this under Wally’s post.

    Hi Gretchen,
    I’m new at baking and love it thanks to you. My question is in the video you are filling the cookies with raspberry preserves and it not dripping mine is very lose what can I do.

      1. Hi G,
        I made the spritz cookies it was the first time and I used a pastry bag (that’s a first also lol) my problem is the cookies came out so flat please tell me what I did wrong.

          1. I made the Butter Spritz Cookies when I piped them on to the cookie sheet they looked great but when they cooked they flattened out what did I do wrong?

          2. Hmm, did you measure everything correctly?
            I only ask that – well- I ALWAYS ask that first- But since so many people have been commenting with success stories I am confident the recipe is not written wrong.

          3. I just made some and all but the last batch were perfect. The last batch flattened. Wonder if the dough got too warm?? Makes me feel like a kid back in Brooklyn! Thank you for the recipe!!

  20. First I love all of your recipes and videos!!! I have been doing a lot of reading on which ingredients to use. Would using a butter like pulgar vs land of lakes makes much of a difference in cookies and cakes. I want to start using the pulgar and kerrygold but afraid of the outcome. would love your input? thank you…

    1. Hi Grace! Of course those are higher quality butters so the taste may be noticeably- “higher quality”? But I have to be honest I use whatever butter is on sale right now since it’s close to $6 a lb just for regular brands! Yikes! I save the Euro style for things like Danish Dough, Croissant Dough, I also made a mention of it in my RainBow Cookie recipe

  21. Love your new format. I have learned more about baking from you than I learned from two years in culinary school. You are the best!!!

  22. Hi Gretchen. Today I was at the supermarket and I saw a tin of danish butter cookies. It brought back so many childhood memories and I told my boyfriend that for once in my life I saw that tin full of cookies instead of needles and threads. My question would be if you have a recipe for Danish cookies I would like to give away for the holidays.
    I love your blog and youtube channel I have made a few recipes and I loved them.
    Thank you.

      1. Here is a good Almond paste recipe Gretchen you fox….you! lol
        Ingredients:

        1 pound blanched almonds
        1 pound (16 oz package) confectioner’s sugar (also known as powdered sugar and icing sugar)
        3 pasteurized egg whites
        1 teaspoon almond extract

        Grind almonds in a blender. Thoroughly mix in confectioners sugar. Beat egg whites slightly, then stir into the almond mixture. Add almond extract, using your hands to blend the heavy mixture.

        Wrap well in plastic wrap and place in airtight container and it will last for weeks.

  23. Someone mentioned a cookie press. Is this thick enough to use my cookie press….that is still in the box…. because I’m so intimidated by it? Thanks for all the excellence.
    Linda

  24. Can the cookies be piped then frozen and kept in the freezer for a period of time? I would love to make a ton all at once and freeze then bake and decorate through out the season for all my holiday get togethers this year.

  25. Hi Gretchen!

    I made the butter spritz cookies today using my cookie press. They turned out fantastic. Buttery and crispy.

    It was my first time using my cookie press so it took some trial and error. I ended up needing to press the cookies on the baking sheets without any parchment paper (for some reason it wouldn’t stick on the parchment paper). Also, I baked these at 350 degrees for 7 minutes and they turned out awesome.

    Like always, Thank you!

  26. Hi Gretchen, I tried the Butter Spritz Cookies, the taste was excellent however I battled my way thru. 1. Guess my butter was too stiff. The dough was so stiff I had to empty my piping bag, add a few more tbs. of milk. OMG still too stiff, added an egg. By this time, I had such a mess. I dumped teaspoons of batter on my parchment lined trays. By now, I am sure you are bent over chuckling. Seriously, how can I tell the dough is just the right consistency to pipe. I’m enjoying my ugly tasty cookies but would like mine to be as pretty as yours. Thanks Gretchen.

  27. Hello Gretchen,
    I made these cookies yesterday and they were fantastic. Thank you so much for all of your recipes and talent in teaching us how to bake and decorate.

  28. I made the Butter Spritz Cookies when I piped them on to the cookie sheet they looked great but when they cooked they flattened out what did I do wrong?I thing is the granulated sugar…because the other with Confectioners Sugar its perfect…I am from Cyprus and i love all that you do Thanks for make us so happy with yours recipes …xxxx

    1. HI Maria! Im going to have to re-test this recipe. A few others have said the same thing, but then other people have had great success! Im not sure what is going on, Ill get back to yoU!

        1. Hi Maria! I tested the recipe and there is nothing wrong. So be sure to measure correctly and mix just as I instruct in the written.
          The dough itself is quite loose ad easy to pipe, very fluffy, however No spreading, if anything I thought they were slightly on the stiff side! LOL

          1. My cookies flattened out in the oven, too. As they were baking they appeared to becom “oily” on the top then proceeded to flatten.

            I used high yield shortening and kept the dough in the fridge overnight. Had to add one egg white to soften almond paste enough to cream it. Otherwise I believe I followed your recipe to the letter using all the recommended equipment including the #826 tip.

            I want to make these for Christmas (again). Can you offer any suggestion at all?

            Thanks much,

          2. Hi Barbara, I am really stumped as I made this recipe over and again with the people saying they are having trouble so naturally I always test and retest, but I am not having any trouble.
            I do wonder though, that you said you added AN EXTRA EGG WHITE? Perhaps I was unclear in my instructions that there is not an extra egg white, but merely a bit of egg (or just the white part) form the eggs that are included in the recipe, not an extra egg white to soften.
            This could be the problem area, please let me know if this was the case
            Additionally – I did freeze my dough and had no trouble baking them from the freezer, however I also wonder did your create severe condensation when removing from freezer?
            The excess egg white plus super condensation? Just trying to troubleshoot.

  29. Hi Gretchen,
    My name is Tom and I live in Debary Fl. ….not that far from where you are ( according to the website info). I graduated from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Orlando as a pastry chef. I presently work in DeLand, Fl. in a chocolate shop as a pastry chef in the bakery division of the store. Their Facebook site is Pat and Toni’s Chocolates and Sweet Things. Check it out when and IF ( big IF) you ever get a free moment. I make this Bailey’s Irish Cream Cake with a French pistachio buttercream that is out of this world.If you go to the Facebook page you can see it in the showcase. I would be more than happy to share my recipe with you so that you can pass it on to the Gretchenators on your site( lol @ Gretchenators). The recipe is actually several different recipes that I have strung together to create this marvelous cake. Keep up the fantastic work you are doing and I hope you can financially continue on your journey.
    P.S. Your are a so sexy and cute….

    1. HI Tom! LOL for the last sentence! Thanks! hahaha! I will certainly check out the website and the cake sounds FAB! Would love to check out the recipe and if I make it on a vid (would be great for St Pats right!?) I can give you a credit for sure! Get some peeps to check out your site as well! You can email it to me thank you Chef!

  30. Hi, Gretchen!

    Thank you for this recipe, I have been looking everywhere for this! One quick question, I don’t have the Ateco 826 tip, but I do have the Wilton 1M tip, would that work the same? Is it similar or is it too small?

    Thank you!

  31. these are definitely my favorite cookie – just one comment or thought and would like your input – why is the cookie so white? in the bakeries they have more of a yellow/butter coloring to it. what is your take on this? Also Gretchen I have a recipe for pignoli cookies that is beyond awesome and would love to share it with you. Can I send you some to taste 🙂

    thank you and merry Christmas!

    1. HI Grace! thanks! Im not sure the color difference, perhaps unbleached flour will make a difference (I use it from time to time- Ill have to test it with this one again) Would love to try your cookies!
      300 South Daytona Ave
      #527
      Flagler Beach FL 32136

  32. HI there,
    I will making these cookies tonight. One question: can I substitute almond flavoring instead of paste? And if so, what amount? Thanks for all the great recipes! I always enjoy your videos too!

    1. You cannot take out that entire amount of almond paste and just replace it with a small amount of extract it throws off the balance of the recipe. You can however use the first recipe listed the Butter Spritz Cookie which does not have almond past in it- and of course you can add almond Extract to that.

  33. Gretchen
    You are awesome. You have the best recipes, with wonderful instructions, that aid all of us simple bakers.
    This italian butter spritz is awesome and turns out beautiful.
    Thank you

  34. Thanks for posting the wonderful recipe for the Italian version of the cookies. I’m eager to try to make them, and wanted to find out why they include vegetable shortening and butter? I tend not to use vegetable shortening, and wonder what (if any) negative impact there would be if I just doubled the butter and eliminated the shortening?

    1. HI Tim great thanks and you are welcome too!
      Butter has a lower melting point than shortening and what that means is shortening helps cookies from over-spraeding in the oven.
      You can use all butter from sure.

      1. Quite grateful for this wonderful guidance! I’ve been looking for this recipe for years. Hopefully, there will be no meaningful change to the flavor if I just use butter. Do you think that either changing the baking temperature, or even pre-chilling the cookies prior to baking (to set the butter), would compensate for the over-spreading of the cookies due to using all butter?

        1. I would say to chill in fridge while your oven in preheated (or in between batches if your oven cannot fit 2 pans) But otherwise I do not see any disasters!) Let me know how it works out!

  35. Hi Gretchen, I tried this recipe today and even though I put them in the freezer for about half an hour and baked them for exactly 12 minutes, all of my cookies spread out completely into undefined sizes and patterns, all of the shells are basic round domed cookies 🙁 How did that happen … ? Can you please help me ? I love spritz cookies so much and now I am so sad !

    1. I am pasting my reply to Barbara since I dont really know what to say:
      I am really stumped as I made this recipe over and again with the people saying they are having trouble so naturally I always test and retest, but I am not having any trouble and additionaly many other people have has great success (Ive even seen pictures).
      Perhaps I was unclear in my instructions that there is not an extra egg white, but merely a bit of egg (or just the white part) form the eggs that are included in the recipe, not an extra egg white to soften.
      This could be the problem area, please let me know if this was the case
      Additionally – I did freeze my dough and had no trouble baking them from the freezer, however I also wonder did your create severe condensation when removing from freezer?
      The excess egg white plus super condensation? Just trying to troubleshoot.

    2. Thanks for getting back to me. The egg white could’ve made the difference.
      Didn’t freeze the dough…just kept in fridge overnight so excess condensation doesn’t seem likely.
      Will use regular white crisco shortening instead of the high density shortening this time, pipe and bake on the same day.
      When the first tray came out flat, thought the dough wasn’t cool enough so we refrigerated for an hour after piping. …Didn’t do the trick.
      Since the dough seemed to “ooze” shortening from the top while baking, then proceeded to the flattening stage, shortening seemed the likely culprit. Will let you know if the next batch with the “tweaking” mentioned above is successful.
      Thanks again. I am determined to find a way to make these. They taste wonderful and I can salvage the first “flat”batch with decorations.

      Much gratitude for all your help!!

    3. I read your comments about your cookies spreading during backing. Wonder if you used an almond paste or an almond filling? Solo Brand makes both and it could be confusing. I find measuring the butter and shortening into a cup rather than just using one stick as the measure makes a difference too. . And, measuring the shortening is important as well important. Even a tablespoon or two of either will throw your recipe off. Sometimes the weather will effect the flour as well. In humid weather the flour grains may swell, in hot dry weather they will shrink.

  36. Hi Gretchen I was wondering when you had your bakery how much did you sell these cookies for? did you sell them by the pound or did you sell them per cookie. I had somebody that wanted to order some and frankly I’m not really sure how to charge for these.
    These are amazing!!!!!
    Thanks, Rhonda

    1. Yes I sold them by the pound at $13.95 per lb
      Awesome! Im so glad you had success, many have been having trouble and I just don’t know where to start the troubleshooting! Since Ive tested it and tested it again myself!

  37. Hi, how did the cookies compare to the other butter spritz??? Anyway I do have a quick question if you dont mind answering…. If I make the butter cookies (with and without almond paste) want to make both. Can I make the dough pipe and freeze without baking? Then pop right in oven from freezer? Also, can most or all cookie doughs (not piped ones, drop cookies) be made ahead of time left wrapped well then dropped off in pan to be baked the next day or so? thank you for your help

    1. The recipes as written here are all great! The first one is a crispier, crunchier more dense sturdy cookie. Whereas the 2nd and 3rd recipes are both very light, crispy and delicate.
      yes to freezing – and I cannot speak for “all” since if I say yes there will be one or two that will not cooperate, but for the most part yes. (just not without some minor changes- there will be condensation that accumulates and this may change the texture of the dough slightly it is up to you to decide if this change is acceptable or not and why I suggest to do a test before making dozens of batches this way

  38. I made the 3rd recipe measuring everything by weight (whenever possible I bake by weight. I’m French so I learned this way). I used regular all-purpose flour. The batter was rather soft and immediately I suspected they would spread as it did for others who commented here. I decided to go ahead and fill my cookie press anyway. I baked only one small baking sheet so to check on how they turn out. As I suspected, they came out all spread out, no shape retained. They also were extremely fragile even after completely cooled. I added 80 grams (about 1/2 a cup) flour to the remaining dough. The cookies came out well shaped. No spreading. Gretchen, could it be that you use a different type of flour?

    1. I am using All Purpose flour for the first and the last recipes and bread flour for the middle recipe
      (Ill go to the kitchen right now and test again. (Ive made these cookies so many times now Im getting crazed on which is which!)
      1 hour later…………………..
      My cookies came out fine.
      They spread slightly and this is normal, but they still kept their shape.
      These are more fragile yes, than the first recipe listed which is a more dense, heavier cookie. The 2nd and 3rd recipes are more fragile, almost crispier.
      I used All Purpose flour here (whereas the 2nd recipe has bread flour) and high ratio shortening.
      Did you use shortening? (Shortening has a higher melting point which will prevent cookies from spreading severely, and why it is included in this recipe)
      Im not sure how flour is graded in France, but whichever is closer to AP for you is best and if necessary a bread flour will be your next choice since bread flour will absorb a bit more moisture than AP and will help your cookies not to spread – if the flour is the problem.

      Hope this helps, sorry for your trouble

    1. as far as remember this is the same recipe- however with my many moves and business transitions, I am not 100% – if you have a different version send it to my email

  39. Happy Holidays Gretchen,
    I made the second recipe you listed with the bread flour and High ratio shortening and they came out great. No problems, put them in a pastry bag and followed the recipe as posted.
    Will be making them again. Thanks again, love all your recipes..
    Carole

  40. I made the first message 3 times, using coconut oil instead of butter. The trick to getting the cookies not to spread is to stick the pressed cookies on the pan into the freezer for a few minutes before baking. Following that same logic, I stuck the cookie sheet into the freezer before using my cookie press and they were so easy to press. Before that I had to take the dough off of the press and try to reshape.

    Never realized that the freezer is such an important part of cooking!

  41. Hi Gretchen,

    I also had no problem with spreading. I measured everything by grams and made sure my oven was hot enough. I have two thermometers so I know for sure the temperature is accurate.

    Thank you for the great recipes and your guidance!

    Maria

  42. I had been looking for this recipe for years. I tried all of the recipes which I came across. No success. Until I found your recipe! I used the last recipe which uses confectioners sugar and both butter and shortening. They are perfect. There are so many ways to decorate these cookies and they always come out just like in the bakery. I worked in an Italian bakery when I was in school and always wanted to replicate them. Now I can and since I am the family baker for every event…large and small..I can now add these with pride. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Keep up the great work!

  43. After failing with another recipe, I found these recipes and tried the first one after watching the video. They came out great! And they taste delicious. The consistency was perfect for the cookie press I have. I’ve printed the recipe and put it in the box with my Marcato cookie press so that I never waste my time and ingredients on a different recipe. Thank you so much for sharing your recipes!

  44. Hello! I am about to try your Original Recipe for Italian Butter Spritz Cookies, but I am a little confused. In the instructions it says add flour and salt but salt is not listed in the ingredients. Is salt required or is that just a term on how to add the flour?

  45. Hi Gretchen,

    I made the butter spritz cookies today and they were awesome! Very delicious and beautiful; they looked professional. I’ve never pipped cookies before, but with your video examples I felt confident tackling a new technique.

    Thank you so much for sharing your recipes and experience.

    Merry Christmas!

  46. Dear Gretchen,
    I tried this recipe and it was all good before it went into the oven. When I baked them they totally lose their shapes and all became flat shapeless cookies.

    Where did I go Wrong?
    Please Advise

    1. Hey there, I am really stumped as to where some people are having trouble with this recipe. I have tested this and tested again…and TESTED AGAIN! I have about 5 batches of this recipe in my freezer and they all came out GREAT, others have complained the same as you but then more people have commented with great success and raves about these recipes. There must be something that it happening different but everyone claims they are doing it exactly as I show in the video with exactly the same ingredients. If this was true though- they would come out perfect, so I really have no idea what to say for this. I’m sorry this happened.
      You can read through the comments here to see what others are saying and maybe together we can all figure this out once and for all

  47. MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU IN YOUR BAKING WORLD. I TRIED THE recipe with the almond paste and they came out to thin ,dough was not thick enough ,as I look back a recipe I add to much confectionery sugar ,so can I add more flour ,or should I star all over.I love this cookies as a child I remember going to the bakery Sundays after church letting me pick out which ones I wanted (yes I was spoiled they say ) and getting a 7 layer cake .Oh what a childhood your recipes bring back such grand memories. Thank you Be Bless in the New Year.

    1. Great job in back tracking where the error was! Thank you for doing that, many people (I can guarantee) are having measuring errors and want to blame this recipe for being inferior! I can assure you (and them) it is not!
      it is difficult to adjust recipes after the error has been made, since it is not only the ingredients and their amounts but HOW they are incorporated into the recipe.
      Thankyou for the feedback

  48. I have been trying to replicate the Italian Butter Cookies I buy in Brooklyn, NY for 30 years. I have tried many recipes but no luck. I was excited to try yours. They were delish except after I decorated them they were put in containers and now they are soft. I doubled the recipe so I have plain ones in a baggie that haven’t lost their crunch, I don’t know why can you help me?

  49. Hi Gretchen, Happy New Year! My archived recipe for your Italian spritz butter cookies called for AP flour . Why did it change to bread flour . (It is the one with almond paste). I’ve never used bread flour what is the difference? Should I be using it instead. This is my go to cookie for holiday platters.
    Thanks ,

    1. Hi Heather if the original recipe is working for you stay with it.
      The orignal original recipe from my past life in the bakery! LOL was bread flour. But I found many years ago when i started this that alot of people could not get specialty flours, they had AP and that was about it. SO I found myself adjusting my recipes to accommodate those people.
      If you would like to try it as listed here, go for it!

  50. Hi Gretchen:
    I continued to make the “Italian Spritz Butter Cookies” from your recipe that I printed prior to Christmas without success. Using one of the egg whites already in the recipe helped to soften the almond paste made a difference but it was only after I noticed that your current recipe calls for BREAD FLOUR not ALL PURPOSE FLOUR am I willing to try one more time. Will keep you informed but this may be the reason the cookies didn’t retain their shape while baking.

    1. F.YI. Latest results after baking…Shape of piped cookies was better (but not perfect) this time. One issue is the consistency of the dough prior to baking. It appears “dry” and it’s difficult to pipe into shape. After re-watching your video, the dough you pipe out seems softer. When I lessen the “squeeze” pressure on the piping bag to create those “tails” on shells, the dough breaks. I read your info on different types of flour. The bread flour worked better than “all purpose” but the dough still doesn’t appear as pliable as yours. Any suggestions?

  51. Hello Gretchen, I am looking through comments and do not see it-
    The black and white hearts shown in the picture…are they made using this dough or a different dough- they look amazing- I would assume they are dipped in white and dark chocolate but would love to know which recipe for the actual cookie-
    thank you- I love ALL of your recipes (I am having the trouble with spreading also but will keep trying until it works- I measure and have followed all the comments and ‘tweaked’ here n there and although they TASTE AMAZING they still come out flat-

    1. Awesome thank you- those are also a favorite and I may have seen you mention it in a video but I do get forgetful
      Thank you !

    2. Hi Gretchen
      The raspberry jam do you add water to smooth it out. Before you put it in the pastry bag
      Thanks

  52. Hiii. Thank you you are beautiful and you cooking so mazing. . I make spritz cookies but not like you make you make soft if me make its coming like dough? and I put baking powder can you tell why?
    I’m sorry my English not good.
    Thank you sis.

  53. Hi!

    I haven’t tried the recipe yet, but I was confused when I read it, and after reading the comments about spreading I can’t help but wonder if I might be onto something here?

    What sort of tablespoons do you use? In my part of the world, a tablespoon is 15 ml, so how can two tablespoons equal 44 ml?? could a difference of 14 ml of milk cause such a difference in this recipe?

    It would explain why some people have great results while others might not, if people are using different volumes.

  54. I’m looking for an Italian butter cookie with more texture and crunch and there are so many variations using all butter, or a combination of both butter and shortening, some with powder sugar and/or regular sugar. Can you tell me what the difference is between the both. I really appreciate your recipes and learning the art of a famous pastry chef!!!!

    1. Hi Thanks! I like the shortening addition (in some cookies) because shortening has a higher melting point than butter. Meaning it will spread less in the oven.

  55. I MUST SAY THESE ARE THE BEST YOU CANNOT MESS THESE UP, I DID CHANGE A LITTLE ONE STICK OF BUTTER THEN CRISCO ONE CUP ALSO I USED CHOCOLATE ALMOND PASTE AND A TABLESOON OF DOUBLE DUTCH DARK COCOA COOKED 15 MIN SO I GET A NICE COOKIE CRUNCH WILL PUT FUDGE BUTTERCREAM ON TOP. GRETCHEN YOU ARE THE BEST THANKYOU FOR HELPING EVERYONE

  56. now I need to try to master the perfect Florentine with almonds no oats do you think sticky bun sugar and almonds would work I need to make them with a nice snap . I have the mats with rings to cook them on .in the world of baking everything is worth a try ya just never know what could happen

  57. I normally don’t care for unsalted butter in my cookie dough, can I substitute salted, sweet cream butter instead. I know I have to half the salt but will it affect the taste otherwise.
    Thank you

  58. do I have to use the hero preserves or can I use regular jam? Becuse if I use regular jam doesn.t that have to be refrigerated?

    1. jam doesnt have to be refrigerated, the sugar content is so high it would take a long time to go bad. I use Hero because it is a thicker, stickier jam. If you use regular Smuckers or whatever supermarket brand, it is loose and will turn a bit watery and cause all your cookies to slide apart.

  59. Hi Gretchen, I would love to make the Italian leaf cookies that are sold in the bakeries. Would any of these recipes work with a cookie cutter stamp to make the leaf shape? Or do you have another recipe for the leaf cookies?

  60. Hi Gretchen, I’m so happy to have stumbled across your site in my search for Italian bakery cookies. One question. You wrote above that you’d amended a recipe to include baking powder, but I don’t see baking powder listed in any of the three. Can you clarify, please? Also, have you ever used ammonium carbonate in your cookie recipes? I just learned of this ingredient, which is supposed to be the secret to baking really light, crispy cookies.

    Thank you for taking the time to provide so much valuable information!

    1. Hi Cathy! Sorry for the late response, I just moved back to NJ from Florida! Im not seeing where I wrote I updated it with baking powder? I do not use the ammonium carbonate but there is some good info here if you choose to try it

  61. hi, I made these last february and everyone went crazy for them, especially, my NY and NJ friends. I made a double batch this time and was wondering if I can freeze the dough. What are your thoughts?

    1. Great thanks! I prefer to freeze the baked cookies not the dough, upon thawing it will create too much condensation and they will bake funny

  62. I wanted to thank you for the Original Italian Spritz Cookie recipe and tell you how much joy it has brought me. I am a novice baker. I have been experimenting with cookies and decided to try yours. I filled them with raspberry jelly and dipped them in semi-sweet chocolate and then a mixture of chopped almonds and rainbow sprinkles. I brought them to my uncle’s birthday party, who is turning 90 years young today. EVERYONE raved about the cookies! They told me how delicious they were and how they reminded them of the cookies they used to be able to buy at their local bakery before the mega-stores took over. There was not a single cookie left. Not only was I overjoyed that the cookies were such a hit, but the joy on my 90 year old uncle’s face as he bit into a cookie that brought him back to his youth was absolutely priceless. Thank you so much. God Bless you!

  63. Hi,
    I just made the 1st recipe listed here. They were good, but way to hard to pipe thru the pastry bag. It would start ok, but the dough was so thick, it would not release from the tip after making a cookie. I did add a few tablespoons extra to try thin out the dough as recommended. Is the 2nd and 3rd recipe much easier to pipe out? thanks for your help

  64. Hi Gretchen,

    In the butter spritz cookie recipe you have mentioned 1 cup of sugar= 200gms,please correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t a cup of sugar slightly more than 200gms. Coz when I weigh 200gms of sugar and then put it into the 1 cup measuring cup does not fill it right to the top.

    I made this recipe before and didn’t get it right, so just making sure.

    Thank you

    1. HI Irene, the standard weight for 1 cup of granulated sugar is 200g
      Its possible your cup measure is slightly different since they all can be slightly different which is very frustrating when it comes to measuring cups in general
      CLICK HERE for more info

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