Spritz cookies with a delicate buttery crumble are filled with a delicious apricot jam. This classic recipe is flexible; you can substitute any fruit jam you like!
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This classic spritz cookie recipe is easy to make! They deliver just the right amount of butter flavor and sweetness. When I worked at a European bakery in high school, these always flew off the shelf. So if you have a cookie exchange coming up, these make a great treat to include!
Pick your favorite pipe design or make fun shapes. This recipe is completely customizable all the way down to the filling. I’m a big fan of apricots, so I’ll show you how to make a simple yet flavorful homemade jam to add to the middle of each cookie. Let’s get baking!
Fruit filling selection
When I first developed this recipe, apricots were in season. I decided to create a simple apricot ginger jam. Making homemade jams and jellies is a nice way to capture the season’s flavors. However, you can use store-bought jam or jelly.
Other flavors like raspberry, strawberry, boysenberry, or lemon curd are delicious using the spritz base. The pectin used in these products makes the consistency very thick. Stir it well, so it’s easy to pipe or scoop into the center of the cookie.
Properly incorporating the butter
Use softened butter just below room temperature, 60 to 70ºF (15ºC to 21ºC). This gives the cookies structure by trapping air. This keeps them light and crisp since there’s no baking soda or powder in the recipe.
To prevent unwanted cookie spread on a sheet pan, be careful not to over cream the butter with the sugar. These cookies should hold their shape as they bake compared to a chocolate chip cookie, where some expansion is desirable.
Add the eggs
Eggs add richness to the buttery cookie base. Mix it into the creamed butter and sugar with salt and vanilla extract. The lecithin in the eggs helps to emulsify the butter, keeping it evenly dispersed in the cookie dough. The egg proteins help to set the cookie, holding its pretty piped design.
Use cake flour for a delicate texture
Use cake flour for a spritz cookie that’s slightly crisp on the outside yet effortlessly crumbles as you nibble. Due to the lower amount of protein compared to all-purpose flour (6 to 8% vs. 10 to 13%), it gives a more delicate texture to the cookie.
The amount of protein in the flour and how it contributes to gluten formation is an important aspect of the texture. Typically the higher the amount of protein, the greater the flour’s gluten-forming potential and the tougher the cookie. Gradually add the flour, and mix until just incorporated. Don’t overmix; it will be hard to pipe and not as tender.
Piping the cookie design
To create a wreath shape with ridges, use a large piping bag and an 824-sized star tip. You can also use a round tip to create a thumbprint style. Pipe the dough directly onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Start from the center and connect the cookie dough back in the middle.
Add an indent with your finger or use the back of a measuring spoon so that you have a place to add the jam. If you have a cookie press, that works too. Pipe enough of the apricot jam to fill the well in the center, about ¼ teaspoon.
Bake the cookies one tray at a time at 350ºF (177ºC). Bake until the surface is dry and pale yellow in color and the bottoms are lightly golden-brown. The jam should concentrate and set inside the well of the cooking. The process takes about 12 to 14 minutes. Immediately transfer the cookies to a cooling rack. The cookies will turn too brown on the bottom if left on the warm tray.
Customize the recipe
- Use almond extract or peppermint extract instead of vanilla.
- A few drops of gel food coloring to make festive-colored cookies.
- Dust powdered sugar or decorate with sprinkles on top.
- Dip in melted chocolate.
- Instead of fruit, add chocolate ganache in the center.
- Strawberry, raspberry, or grape jam or jelly are tasty fillings.
More holiday cookies
Cookie batter consistency
If the dough is difficult to pipe, roll it between your palms a few times to warm it slightly while in the piping bag. Using a digital scale ensures that the right amount of flour is added. A few extra tablespoons can make the dough too thick if not properly measured.
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Spritz Cookies with Apricot Jam
- 8 ounces apricots
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 slices ginger, peeled, ¼" slices
- 8 ounces unsalted butter, softened to 60 to 70ºF (15 to 21ºC)
- 4 ounces granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 10 ounces cake flour, sifted after measuring
- Prepare the Apricots – Bring a pot of water to a boil. Score the bottoms of the apricots with an "X" making the cuts halfway up the sides and through the skin. Add the apricots to the boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds, just until the skin pulls away from the flesh. Quickly transfer to a bowl filled with ice cubes.
- Puree and Strain – Drain and peel the apricots. Cut in half, pit them and slice into ½" pieces. Puree in a blender for 1 to 2 minutes until smooth. Run the puree through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl.
- Apricot Filling – In a small saucepan, combine the apricot puree, sugar, lemon juice, and ginger. Simmer over medium heat, skimming foam as needed until the puree reaches 215 to 220°F (101 to 104ºC). Remove from the heat and cool.Place the filling in a ziplock bag and cut a small corner off right before decorating.
- Preheat the Oven – Set the oven rack to the center position. Preheat to 350ºF (177ºC). Line two large sheet pans with parchment paper.
- Make the Dough – Cream the butter and sugar in a stand mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add salt, vanilla, and egg. Beat well on medium speed for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides as needed.Gradually add the flour, beating until just blended. The dough should be firm but neither sticky nor stiff.
- Shape the Cookies – Transfer the dough to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip (824 tip size). Pipe the dough into small rounds on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. The cookies should be about 1 ½ to 2" in diameter. Leave 2" space in between.
- Add the Filling – Dip your finger into a bowl of water, and make small indents into the center of each cookie for the jam filling. Pipe a small amount of jam into each indent. If using cold jam, spoon ¼ teaspoon into the center.
- Bake the Cookies – Bake one tray at a time, until the surface becomes lightly browned around the edges and on the bottoms, 12 to 14 minutes. The surface will stay mostly pale in color.
- Let Them Cool – Immediately transfer the cookies to a wire cooling rack.
- Apricot Substitution: If apricots are not in season, use store-bought fruit jam. You will need about an 11-ounce jar.
- Storing: Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for about five days, or frozen for up to 1 month.
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.
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