Gingerbread spritz cookies are buttery and spiced with classic gingerbread flavors in this easily shaped version of gingerbread cookies. This spritz cookie recipe makes more than enough for a crowd.
Although I don’t have a real deal gingerbread cookie recipe on here, I think I have more than enough gingerbread bases covered with gingerbread waffles (whole wheat!), gingerbread biscotti, and now gingerbread spritz cookies. Add spritz cookies to the list of recipes I grew up eating that has taken me an abnormally long time to share on the blog. They’re rich and buttery but modest in size, and come in a variety of shapes. Once you get in the groove you can crank out dozens in no time.
No matter how many times you’d shake your head at how many cookies were produced, there wasn’t ever the question of what to do with leftovers…because there weren’t any.
For years my mom had a trusty gold Italian cookie press that would make an appearance several times a year. The box was all but worn away by the end, but this cookie press would produce reliably, well, perfect spritz cookies. After making a few million cookies some mechanism gave way and we couldn’t find the exact kind for sale anywhere. 😩 But! With a few tips listed below, this version has made a great substitute.
Butter is still prominently featured in the base here as it is with standard spritz cookies, but gingerbread flavors like molasses, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves join in to result in buttery soft gingerbread cookies without all the rolling and cutting. Ground white pepper may not be a traditional gingerbread spice, but it adds a warm flavor (without too much of a bite) that works SO well here. It’s one of the reasons I love pfeffernusse (spice cookies) so much.
Of course any shape of these gingerbread spritz cookies would be equally delicious, but there’s something extra special about festive shaped cookies. Especially when you don’t need to decorate them after baking! Which I mean, by all means go right ahead if you like, but I’m not awesome at decorating cookies (or cakes or any kind of dessert for that matter) so a little powdered sugar was just my speed.
I’ve seen cookie press discs come in both metal and plastic varieties. I prefer the metal ones, though some of the shapes seen here were from a super thick and durable plastic that wasn’t bad. This metal set features the snowflake shape along with others, and this plastic version includes the gingerbread man and gingerbread woman. I used the tree shape from the standard cookie press disc set, and I believe that’s where the bear came from, too.
- I recommend spraying the inside of the cookie press canister with cooking spray to help prevent the dough from sticking in there.
- Since you’ll have to reload the cookie press a few times, leave half of the chilled dough in the fridge while you’re pressing the first half. This way it doesn’t warm up too much sitting on the counter before it’s used.
- Press any “intricate” shapes first. The most chilled dough will be the best to hold shapes with extra twists and details.
Update: I’ve received some comments that the dough handles better unchilled or when chilled for just a short amount of time. Otherwise if it’s too firm, it may be difficult to press out into shapes until it warms up a bit. In my experience I found chilling the dough some was helpful to reduce a bit of stickiness (especially with the molasses in there) but once mixed up, see how it seems to you. You may wish to skip the chilling or cut down on the time.
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), room temperature
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- Cream together butter and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl until smooth. Add molasses, egg, and vanilla extract and mix again until combined and creamy.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, ginger, salt, white pepper, and cloves until combined.
- Add flour mixture to the bowl with the butter/sugar mixture in 3-4 batches, mixing until each increment is just combined.
- Turn out dough onto a large sheet of plastic wrap and wrap snugly. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Once chilled, preheat oven to 375°F. Add dough to cookie press fitted with your preferred disk shape. Press cookies out onto ungreased baking sheet(s) about 1"-1 1/2" apart from one another.
- Bake in the center of the oven for 5-7 minutes, or until cookies are slightly browned around the edges. Let cookies cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
Spritz dough recipe adapted from the oxo recipe booklet that came with the cookie press.
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