Gluten-Free Spritz Cookies are buttery and tender. A gluten-free flour blend– and good cookie press–makes these one of the easiest Christmas cookies to bake. They are lovely on their own or decorated with a sprinkle of colored sugar.
In a season full of two of my favorite cookies (sugar cookies and gingerbread men), I sometimes forget about Sprtiz cookies. Which, let’s be frank, is silly. These crispy, buttery cookies are a classic for a reason. They’re good. A perfect ratio of butter, flour, and sugar, these not-too-sweet cookies are worth the trouble of getting a cookie press.
How to Make Gluten-Free Spritz Cookies
- Make the dough. It’s a simple dough of gluten-free flour, eggs, and butter.
- Load a cookie press.
- Squeeze dough onto parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Sprinkle with colored sugar. (optional)
That’s it. But…as with anything you bake, there’s a lot included in each step. Let’s take a look at the little things that make these simple cookies so sublime.
Gluten-Free Sprtiz Cookies: Making the Dough
While sprtiz cookies might taste a little like gluten-free sugar cookies, the dough is different. It’s softer than sugar cookie dough, making it easy to press through a cookie press. The dough also doesn’t contain any baking powder or soda. This helps the cookies hold onto their shape as they bake.
Over the years I’ve played around with several versions of spritz cookies. And, I have to say, I think this one might be my favorite. For the flour, I used Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Baking Flour. The blend, which contains rice flours, sorghum flour, tapioca and potato starch, has just enough xanthan gum to hold the cookies together but no so much that the cookies end up soft.
To make the cookies, cream together butter and sugar until a thick paste forms. Then add the egg and flavoring. (I usually use vanilla or almond extract but you can use any extract.)
Mix the butter and sugar until it gets nice and fluffy. Believe it or not, this mixture acts a leavener. The paste hold onto air bubbles which gives the cookies a nice light texture when baked. Once the mixture looks light, about two minutes of mixing on medium-high speed, stop the mixer and add the egg.
After the egg is incorporated into the mixture, STOP THE MIXER AND SCRAPE THE BOWL. Yes. Yes. I’m yelling about this. It’s that important. When you cream butter, sugar, and egg(s), a thin layer of butter and sugar clings to the side of the bowl. As soon as the flour gets added to the mix, this butter and sugar is still hanging out on the side of the bowl. If it doesn’t get mixed into the dough, the can cause more than a few greasy cookies that spread. So, stop that mixer, scrape the bowl, and then add the flour. It’s worth it.
Then add the flour and salt, mix until a dough forms, and you’re ready to bake. There’s no need to chill this dough.
Gluten-Free Sprtiz Cookies: Using the Cookie Press
Unless you are a pro with a pastry bag and tip, these cookies require a cookie press. The quality of the cookie press matters. If you don’t own one, I suggest that you invest in a metal cookie press, not a plastic one. My favorite is the Marcato Atlas. It’s a little spendy but it’s a cookie press that you’ll have forEVER.
Fill your cookie press with dough and give it a few clicks. Doing this moves the dough from the barrel of the gun into the plate.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and press the cookies right onto the baking sheet. If the cookie dough sticks to the paper, hold the paper down with your hand as you press the dough onto the sheet.
If you feel like it, sprinkle some colored sugar onto the dough before baking. The sugar sticks to the dough during baking–no need to brush the dough with water or anything.
Gluten-Free Sprtiz Cookies: Baking and Cooling
Bake in a preheated oven the cookies until the edges are just golden brown. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Repeat this process. Until all the dough is used. Be sure to allow your cookie sheet to cool between batches. If you squeeze the dough onto a hot sheet, the cookies will spread. (Baker’s tip: If you love to bake, invest in three rimmed baking sheets. They are inexpensive and really handy.)
Gluten-Free Sprtiz Cookies: Troubleshooting
As simple as gluten-free sprtiz cookies are to make, they sometimes cause a little trouble. Thankfully, it’s easy to fix this dough.
The dough won’t release from the press.
Okay! This one tends to happen to gluten-free sprtiz cookies. Often, the first batch presses out just fine and then the next batch? Not so much.
Our friend xanthan gum is to blame. It grabs the liquid from dough and soaks it up. If this happens to you, the solution is simple: add water. Take the remaining dough and stir in 1-3 teaspoons of water. You want the dough soft and squishy—not firm. Repeat this as needed.
The dough isn’t sticking to the pan.
See above. This is often caused by the same problem. The dough gets a little stiff and won’t release from the press.
The dough is the right texture and still won’t come out of the press.
This problem might be caused by the press itself. My favorite cookie press is made of metal, not plastic. Sometimes the plastic cookie presses are just plain hard to work with. If you’ve tried everything, take a look at your cookie press.
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Spritz Cookie Press
Rimmed Baking Sheet
Gluten-Free Spritz Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened (8 ounces; 225 grams)
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar 5 ounces; 142 grams
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups Bob's Red Mill 1:1 Gluten-Free Flour* 10 ounces; 283 grams
- 1 teaspoon salt 5 grams
- Colored sanding sugar for decorating optional
- 1-3 teaspoons water
Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
Beat together butter, sugar, and vanilla on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about two minutes. Stop the mixer once or twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg. Mix until combined. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl. Mix for 15 seconds. Turn mixer off and add the flour and salt. Tun the mixer to medium-low. Mix until a dough forms.
Fill a cookie press according to the manufacturer’s directions. Press cookies onto prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with sugar, if desired.
Bake until cookies are edges are golden brown, about ten minutes. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about three minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
Repeat with remaining dough. (If the dough won't release from the press during the second batch of cookies, stir in a little water, about 1-3 teaspoons. Sometimes the dough stiffens between batches. Adding water solves the problem.) Allow baking sheet to cool between batches or the cookies will spread.
Store in an airtight container for up to one week.
* Bob's Red Mill 1:1 Flour was used to test this recipe. If you don't have this flour, replace it with a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend that contains xanthan gum OR with 1 1/4 cups white rice flour, 1/2 cup sweet rice flour, 1/4 cup potato starch, 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum. Whisk ingredients together and then use as directed in the recipe.
Carrie D. Miller says
So happy with this recipe! I wish I could upload some photos. I added green and red food coloring to make trees and wreaths. Just fantastic!
Sarah Edmondson says
Great recipe! I used Bob’s flour and Lakanto baking sugar, they’re amazing! I did have to add 2 tsp water, but that worked like a charm! My 3 year old had a lot of fun helping with the cookie gun. She was squealing with delight when we first lifted the gun to reveal a cookie, like magic! Hahaha!
Great recipe and I love I don’t have to create my own flour! Thx!
Have you tried making these cookies with Namaste GF flour blend? Thanks!
I haven’t but I just looked at the ingredients for their “Perfect Flour Blend.” I think it should work!
Thanks! My daughter has missed spritz cookies since we have become GF. We are excited to try these, thank you for the recipe and tips!
Shawna Punzalan says
Just made this with earth balance butter and egg whites… turned out perfect! Thank you!!!
Janet Marecki says
By far the best GF spritz recipe I have tried. Dough came out of press like a dream…that rarely happens. Be cautious using the coloured sugar, I went a little overboard and the cookies adhered to the pan with a candy base. Lots of broken ones for “tasters” after first batch!!
I used Namaste flour and they turned out fantastic
Could you use another sweetener besides regular sugar? I am diabetic so I need to use a different sweetener in my recipes.
I haven’t tested these with a sugar replacement. I’m sorry.
We just made these with King Arthur GF Measure for Measure and they worked great! We also used basic food coloring to have red, green, and white dough. I would cut the salt by half (just personal preference). Thank you!
This recipe was excellent, substituting vegan butter sticks. The tip about adding a few teaspoons of water was especially helpful.
This was a total fail for us. New to gluten free baking so made sure to follow recipe exactly, even using the flour stated in recipe. But had to keep adding flour to get them to come out of press. So they taste floury, not buttery with an almond flavor. So disappointed.
Sorry you had trouble with these. As I mentioned above, sometimes gluten-free dough doesn’t like to come out of the press. The solution is to add a teaspoon or two more water–not flour.
Not sure why yours taste like almond. Did you use almond extract?
Staci Baker says
I’ve always used your original recipe that requires a custom blend of flours, but this year I decided to try this recipe using KAF 1:1 commercially blended flours and again: PERFECTION.
The original recipe from your first book, was the very first thing I baked that was gluten-free and SUCCESSFUL. It is not Christmas for my son, until these cookies hit the table!
Continuing traditions, thanks to you Elizabeth.
Staci in Vermont
What a mess! Followed recipe! No shape, timed to check at 7 mins, burned, trashed!
These should take about 10 minutes to bake. I’m sorry yours burnt. Perhaps the spritz gun made very small cookies or your oven was running a bit hot?
I’m sad to say but it didn’t work at all! I followed the recipe entirely and it turned out too “buttery” you could see the butter surrounding every single cookie, I had never seen anything like that. Also, I tried to fix it by adding more flour then the press wouldn’t work anymore.
Oh no! I’m sorry to see this. What type of flour did you use?
I made these with Earth Balance vegan butter and Bob’s Red Mill GF 1:1 flour, they turned out so good!! Even my kids loved them, which isn’t usually true with GF/dairy free baked goods. I’ll definitely be adding this to my annual Christmas cookie rotation.
This was a great recipe. I followed the recipe exactly. (I may use a little less salt next time) The cookies came out of the press just like the gluten full cookies I use to make. I rolled some of the extra dough into balls and flattened with the bottom of a glass that had been dipped in colorful sugar. They came out great too!
Thank you for this recipe!
delicious!!! These taste just like the gluten-filled cookies my mom bakes every Christmas that I sadly can’t eat any more. Thanks for giving me a version I can enjoy!
Great recipe! Perfect spritz with an electric cookie press. Thank you!
Well, I’m not sure what went wrong. The cookies didn’t release from the press, so I added 1, then 2, then 3 tsp of water. But maybe that led to them spreading like flat globs? I happened to try pressing onto a pan without parchment, and after trying just about every pan in my kitchen, I found one that worked pretty well. But they still spread. So I’m not sure if I should try again without the added water, or if it’s something with the flour I used — it’s Just About Foods 1 to 1 from Costco…I added 1/2 tsp of xanthum gum, since it doesn’t have any. Do you think the water made it spread? Or what might be a likely factor? I’m hoping to dial this in!
Hmmm….good question. I’m not familiar with that flour. So I can’t say. My guess would be (in this order). 1. The butter was too warm, making the dough too soft. Next time, try chilling the dough for 10 minutes. 2. The water. 3 teaspoons of water should not have caused the spread. However, the water combined with warm dough might have done that. 3. The flour, as I said, I don’t know that flour, so I’m not sure.
I wish I had a more specific answer for you!
Thanks for the ideas! I did chill the dough, but it was overnight (just done for the day by then)…so that was way too firm. 🙂 I kept checking the press until the dough was soft enough to click the the trigger. By using the non non-stick pan (a tip I found in another recipe), I got an ok release, but the cookies still spread while baking. I added about 1 T of flour (my pro-baker sister’s suggestion), and that helped. And then I was out of dough!
The cookies are very tasty, even if not great looking. Some were cute enough to give to the neighbors. I will try another batch in the future (Valentine’s Day?) with no added water, using the non non-stick pan. 🙂
Lori B. says
My mom loves spritz cookies and hasn’t been able to have them since she was diagnosed in 2018 at 79 yo. We used the America’s Test Kitchen flour blend that we keep mixed in our freezer. I measured everything with our digital scale in grams. I added 1/4 tsp xanthan gum. I also added 1/2 tsp almond extract, which is part of the non GF recipe from Wilton that came with our battery cookie press. First two pans (2 doz each) came out of the press a little stiff, added 1/2 tsp cold water. Couldn’t get them to stick to the pan, so we rolled and pressed with a juice glass dipped in sugar. Ended with 6 dozen wonderful little cookies. I think we needed to add a little water at first and then chill briefly, trees really lost their definition. Mom wants to make another batch ASAP! (I’m not celiac and they were a little grainy, but the decorating sugars helped hide that.)
I mis calculated the butter conversion. I used 1 stick of butter. The cookies are the lightest best sugar cookie ever.