Spritzgebäck are one of the most delicious Christmas cookies you will ever eat. Pronounced ‘shplitz-ghe-beck,’ Spritzgebäck is a German and Alsatian-Mosellan Weihnachtskeks or Christmas cookie made of flour, butter, sugar and eggs. When made correctly these cookies are crisp, fragile and somewhat dry but buttery. A definite must on very Christmas cookie plate.
Spritzgebäck has always been a Christmas tradition in our family. The name comes from the German word ‘spritzen,’ which means ‘to squirt’ in English because the soft, buttery dough is squirted it pushed through a cookie press to make fancy designs. Spritzgebäck is also very popular in Scandinavian countries during Christmas time. In Norway, Spritzgebäck is usually squirted into S’s and O’s.
While the most standard equipment for this cookie is the spritz cookie press which is a kind of a tube which has a metal plate inserted on one end that determines the size and shape of the cookie, you can also squirt out the cookies by using a simple piping bag with a star nozzle attached to it (my mom used one while making these cookies). But even if you don’t have that, you can always just use a ziplock bag, place the dough in one corner and cut off the end and pipe – just like they do in Norway – S’s and O’s.
- 250 grams or 1 1/8 cup of butter
- 250 grams or 1 1/4 cup of sugar
- 500 grams or 4 cups of flour
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 packets of vanilla sugar
- 2 TL or 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- Peel of one lemon
For chocolate glaze:
- 100 grams or 3 1/2 oz. chopped dark or milk chocolate
- Some sprinkles (for decoration)
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line 2 to 3 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Place the butter into a mixing bowl and beat until nice and fluffy.
- Add the sugar, vanilla sugar, egg yolks, lemon peel and baking powder and continue to mix.
- Add the flour little by little until combined. (The dough should be soft enough to squeeze through a piping bag).
- Transfer the prepared mixture into a piping bag with a star nozzle and pipe the mixture into 3 inch lengths onto the cookie sheets.
- Bake for 12 minutes or until lightly golden.
- Remove and allow to cool for about 5 minutes before transferring the cookies to a cooling rack.
- To glaze with the melted chocolate, melt the chocolate in a bowl placed over simmering water or place in the microwave and heat in 30 second intervals.
- Dip the cookies half way into the melted chocolate.
- Let the chocolate harden completely before storing in a tin box.