Chocolate spritz cookies are fun and festive! These easily shaped cookies are made in a flash using a cookie press, and can be decorated any way you please. These cookies freeze well!
Now that Turkey Day has come and gone, I suppose it’s prime time for sharing a new Christmas cookie recipe with you! Last year these gingerbread spritz cookies were a big hit, so why not chocolate next? Same fun shapes, in a delicious flavor that pleases year round.
Spritz cookies are the perfect option if you love the look of festive holiday cookies but aren’t so skilled in decorating with royal icing. –> That’s me. <– More rustic and less polished is my speed.
Since these tender chocolate spritz cookies are made with a cookie press, all the shaping work is done for you. You can change out the discs multiple times to yield as many different shaped cookies as you like.
This spritz cookie recipe yields between six and seven dozen cookies, leaving you with plenty of opportunities to make different shapes.
Spritz cookies traditionally pack a rich and buttery taste in a small package, so it should come at no surprise that softening a fair amount of unsalted butter is the first step here. Two sticks!
Once softened to room temperature, cream the butter together with sugar, salt, and a little bit of instant espresso powder. While the espresso powder is optional, it enhances the overall chocolate flavor and is mainstay in so many of the chocolate desserts I make.
And there’s no need to go to a specialty store. My espresso powder isn’t anything fancy or spendy, rather I find it in the coffee aisle of my local grocery store. A jar is just a few bucks and will last you a long, long time.
All that’s left to add is an egg, vanilla extract, flour, and unsweetened cocoa powder. I love that chocolate spritz cookie dough is straight-forward and uses many (if not all) fridge and pantry staples.
Shaping spritz cookies
I use this cookie press (affiliate link) for my spritz cookies. All of the shapes you see here were formed using the standard set of shapes that come with the press, including snowflakes, trees, bears, hearts, wreaths, and fleur-de-lis.
You’ll notice a few extra shapes if you peep back to the gingerbread spritz cookies I shared last year, notably the gingerbread girl and boy. Those came from a Christmas-themed set I found on Amazon, however per the manufacturer it appears they are not being sold at the moment. Other holiday-themed expansion packs are available though if you’re looking for more shapes.
When it comes to cookie press discs, you’ll see some made of metal and others made of plastic. I prefer the metal discs (the kind that come with the cookie press) for their precision in producing shapes, though the very thick and sturdy plastic kind aren’t too bad.
Another thing I love about spritz cookies is how efficiently they can be formed. Once you get in a groove of filling the canister with dough and swapping out discs, you can fill up an entire baking sheet of cookies in under a minute.
Less time than it would take me to decorate one sugar cookie, that’s for sure. 🙂
Something to note here would be to use as many cookie sheets as you can. This recipe produces about eighty cookies, so you’ll likely bake them in several batches.
Since placing cookie dough on warm cookie sheets can cause them to spread more than we want from the heat, you’d ideally want to press these chocolate spritz cookies onto a fresh (read: cool) cookie sheet each time. Cycling through three or so sheets should allow them time to cool down.
Spritz cookie decoration
You can choose to decorate these chocolate spritz cookies in a few different ways. For starters, you can lightly press sprinkles into the tops of them before they bake for an easy decorating route.
You can also do what I did with my gingerbread spritz and lightly dust the baked and cooled cookies with powdered sugar just prior to serving. This may be the easiest.
Here though I did something a little different. Once the cookies were had cooled, I placed them on a sheet of parchment paper and drizzled melted chocolate over top. I then scattered sprinkles onto the chocolate drizzle while it was still wet, then let the cookies sit until the chocolate hardened completely. That way you can include festive sprinkles all the while adding extra chocolate for a treat.
If decorating with a chocolate drizzle, I recommend using a knife to separate the hardened drizzle in the spaces between the cookies rather than pulling the cookies apart. Otherwise one of the cookies may hold onto some of the drizzle on the neighboring cookie in an uneven way, kind of like a wishbone.
Can you freeze spritz cookies?
Sure can! These cookies are a great option for baking and freezing ahead of a cookie-centric holiday like Christmas.
Once completely cooled, I transfer my spritz cookies to a lidded plastic container, placing a layer of parchment paper in-between layers. The parchment might not be necessary if you’ve picked fairly sturdy shapes, such as the snowflake, heart, or tree. However you’ll want to be gentler with already decorated cookies or shapes like the fleur-de-lis and bears, lest you open your stash and find separated teddy bear ears and feet everywhere.
Once frozen, they’ll be good for a month (at least). Just bring them out to room temperature for 20-30 minutes to thaw.
- Be sure to use ungreased baking sheets for these cookies. There is a fair amount of butter in the dough so you should not have any problem with sticking.
- If you’ve ever encountered a problem with the spritz cookie dough sticking inside the cookie press, give the interior of the dough tube a quick shot of cooking spray before you start to help keep the dough moving.
Chocolate Spritz Cookies
Chocolate Spritz Cookies:
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp instant espresso powder
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips or chunks
- Sprinkles for decoration
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Thoroughly cream together butter, sugar, salt, and instant espresso powder.
- Add egg and vanilla extract and mix until combined.
- Add flour and cocoa powder and mix in until combined.
- Load cookie press with about one-quarter of the dough (amount can vary). Press cookies onto ungreased baking sheet(s) about 1 1/2" apart. Repeat with remaining dough. Decorate with sprinkles at this time if you like and lightly press them into the cookie surface.
- Bake for 6-8 minutes, or until the cookies are set and the bottoms have browned slightly. Once baked, let cookies cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes, then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- If decorating with a chocolate drizzle, melt chocolate in 20-second bursts in the microwave, stirring well after each interval until smooth and melted.
- Drizzle chocolate over cooled cookies. Quickly garnish with sprinkles if using so they stick in the chocolate. Store in an air-tight container.
Nutritional information is provided as an estimate. As it can vary due to many factors (brands used, quantities, etc.), we cannot guarantee its accuracy.
Recipe adapted from my mom’s dilapidated copy of the Betty Crocker Cooky Book. (affiliate link)
These chocolate spritz cookies also make a great dessert for Valentine’s Day! The heart-shaped disc comes in the standard metal disc set that comes with the press I use.