Apricot spritz cookies are classic sweets that delicately crumble in the mouth for instant bliss! These buttery cookies can be filled with any fruit jam of your choice.
Do you have a special cookie that brings back nostalgic yummy memories? Melt-in-your-mouth crumbly apricot spritz cookies are one of my favorite. My fondest memory of spritz cookies was when I working at Boniere, a European Bakery in my hometown of Alameda, CA during high school.
The pastry chef would fill the cookies with homemade raspberry and apricot jam, and lightly dust each cookie with powdered sugar. We would package these swirled apricot spritz cookies onto gold trays wrapped in cellophane along with a variety of other shortbread flavors during the holiday season. There were hundreds of cookies being pumped out of that bakery each day, oh I miss the smell of freshly baked pastries and bread!
These cookies are so tender and contain the perfect amount of sweetness which would make your taste buds dance. I just had to recreate these apricot spritz cookies at home! They are so easy to make, and a must-have during cookie season.
To create a wreath shape with ridges, I used a large disposable piping bag and an 824 sized star tip. I started from the center and connected the cookie dough back in the middle. Make sure to create an indent with your finger or back of a measuring spoon so that you have a place to add the jam.
To achieve a shortbread texture for this apricot spritz cookie recipe, I had to make a particular choice of flour. For a cookie that is lightly crisp on the outside yet effortlessly crumbles as you nibble, flour selection is one key element. Flour adds structure and bulk so that any changes will affect the cookie texture.
The amount of protein contained in the flour and how it contributes to gluten formation is an important aspect of the texture of the cookie. Typically the higher the amount of protein, the greater the flour’s gluten-forming potential. I used a cake flour instead of regular all-purpose flour to give a more delicate texture to the cookie.
What is the Difference Between Cake and All-Purpose Flour?
- Cake Flour: Made from a soft or weak wheat kernel that is lower in protein content. The protein is between 6 to 8 percent for cake flour. Suitable for tender cakes, or more friable cookies like this apricot spritz. When you desire an easier crumbled cookie that is low in moisture and has a higher amount of fat like these butter cookies, cake flour works very well.
- All-Purpose Flour: A blend of soft and hard flours formulated to be used in a wide range of general baking recipes. You will find this commonly at your grocery stores. It contains 10 to 13% protein. If you bake these spritz cookies with all-purpose flour, you will notice a slightly more coarse texture that is still crumbly. It can also be used as a thickening agent for sauces, to make quick bread like muffins, or in cookies like a chewy chocolate chip.
Spritz cookies are elegant sweets that delicately crumble in the mouth for a tasty sweet treat! When I first developed this recipe, apricots were in season, so I created a simple apricot ginger jam. Making homemade jams and jellies are an easy way to capture the flavors of the season. However, you can buy pre-made apricot jam or any filling flavor of your choice. It’s a quick and effortless substitution and taste just as good. I’d love to hear what jam you add to your spritz cookies!
Why are Spritz cookies are known as “pressed cookies”?
Spitz cookies are made with a soft dough that is piped through a pastry tip or cookie press. To keep the distinctive design, the right ingredients and mixing methods are needed to help retain its shape during baking. Eggs are the key ingredient to help toughen and give body to the cookie. Being careful not to over cream the dough will prevent “spread” of the cookie. These cookies should hold their shape as they are baked, compared to a chocolate chip cookie which spread is desirable.
- 8 ounces apricots , skins removed, halved and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 slices ginger , peeled, 1/4-slices
- 8 ounces unsalted butter , softened
- 4 ounces granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 10 ounces cake flour , sifted (about 1 1/2 cup)
- Bring a pot of water to boil. Prepare and ice bath to cool the apricots quickly. Score the bottom of the apricots with an X, making the cuts half the way up the sides, ensuring the cuts just go 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 insert the apricots to the ice bath. Drain and peel the apricots. Halve, pit and cut into ½-inch pieces. Puree in a blender for 1 to 2 minutes, until smooth. Strain puree through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl.
- 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°F to 220°F. Remove from the heat and cool.
- Cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the salt, vanilla and egg beat well on medium speed for 1 minute. Gradually add the flour, beating until just blended. The dough should be firm but neither sticky nor stiff.
- Pipe the dough into small rounds onto a sheet tray lined with parchment paper, using a piping bag fitted with a large star tip (824 tip size). The cookies should be about 1 1/2 to 2-inches in diameter. Leave 2-inches of space in between each cookie. Dip your finger into a bowl of water, and make small indents into the center of each cookie for the jam filling.
- Place a ¼ cup of the apricot filling into a small ziplock bag. Cut a small corner of the bag so that you can easily pipe a small amount of jam into each indent of the cookie. If using store bought jam, spoon in 1/4 teaspoon of jam into the center.
- Bake at 350°F until lightly browned around the edges and on the bottoms, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. The cookies may require more time depending on your oven, check the cookies every 2 minutes after 10 minutes is reached. Transfer to wire racks to cool. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for about five days, or frozen for up to 1 month.
- If apricots are not in season chose a pre-made apricot jam or flavor of your choice. You will need about an 11-ounce jar or fruit jam, jelly or preserves.