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25 Days of Cookies: Christmas Tree Spritz

Photograph by Daniel Montoya

My family has been making these classic Christmas tree spritz cookies, a kind of German butter cookie, for as long as I can remember! I have lots of fond memories of making these cookies with my grandmother and my mom while growing up.

Each year we always left these cookies for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, on a plate that was painted like a snowman's face, along with a glass of milk for dunking the cookies. It wouldn't be the holidays to me without these little green Christmas tree cookies, and I continue to make them every year!

You will need a special cookie press in order to make this recipe, which has differently little disks to press out different shaped kinds of cookies. My grandmother would sometimes make cookies in both the tree shape and a wreath shape, and the best part was always eating the raw dough rejects that came out of the press looking imperfect, and then sprinkling on the nonpareils or sanding sugar just before popping them into the oven.

These are great dipped in milk or a cup of warm hot chocolate.

RELATED: 10 Unique Hot Chocolate Recipes

Tip: If the cookies begin to lose moisture and become hard, add a piece of sandwich bread to the airtight container and they'll regain some moisture and become soft again.

RECIPE: Christmas Tree Spritz Cookies
Yields about 6 dozen cookies

Prep time: 40 minutes
Bake time: 8-10 minutes per baking sheet

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 1/3 cup flour, sifted
  • Green food coloring, to desired shade of green
  • Multicolor nonpareils or sanding sugar for topping

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cream butter, sugar and salt in a stand mixer on medium speed.
  3. Add vanilla extract, almond extract and egg and continue to beat on medium speed until the egg is completely incorporated. Add green food coloring and continue to beat until incorporated.
  4. Reduce speed and combine flour slowly, about 1/4 cup at a time until completely incorporated.
  5. Place dough in a spritz cookie press with the tree disk. Press cookies out onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  6. Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with multicolor nonpareils or sanding sugar to look like Christmas lights.
  7. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 8-10 minutes and then transfer to a wire cooling rack.

Store these cookies in an airtight container for up to 10 days.

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Photograph by Daniel Montoya

RELATED: Mint Chocolate Chip Snowball Cookies

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