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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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.