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Spritz Butter Cookies – Icebox, too

Spritz Butter Cookies – Icebox, too

Cookies are a great Holiday Gift. In case you ever need to get me anything. I’m easy. Butter, sugar, eggs, Better Batter — hold the gluten. That stuff’ll kill ya.

It’s best if you make this cookie dough with a food processor. It makes the dough all uniform in color.

If you (a) don’t have a food processor; or (b) don’t want to use your food processor (why?), do it by hand. In a bowl. Just be sure that the butter is at room temperature. Not melted and cooled, not cold. Room temp.

And then gather the dough together by squeezing it in your plastic covered hand. It won’t really be so uniform in color. Big whoop.

But whether you make this dough in the food processor (directions in the printable recipe below), or by hand, if you’re making spritz cookies, do not chill the dough.

For spritz cookies, you’ll need a cookie press. I have this one. It’s serviceable enough, and cheap as he**. Yet, still,I dream of sneaking up on it, and choking it to death with my bare hands.

But, instead, I fill it with butter cookie dough.

Then fit it with a disk. And press the lever until the dough is beginning to come out a bit.

Then I press it on an ungreased baking sheet. To my great displeasure, my beloved USA Pans will not work, since they’re so good at being nonstick. If the dough isn’t sticky, and the baking sheet doesn’t allow anything to stick to it … no spritz cookies. See those pretty spritz cookies? Yeah. There were, like, a million that didn’t turn out.

But if you ask me, even though you wouldn’t, I’d tell you that I much prefer this recipe as Icebox Cookies. Shape the dough, in plastic wrap, into a cylinder, square the edges, and chill. Then slice…

Ahhhh there’s my USA Pans the-only-nonstick-bakeware-I’ll-ever-use half-sheet pan (affiliate link, thank you kindly). I place my cookies on there.

They’re so pretty, it’s almost worth wrestling with that ridiculous cookie press. Which I hate. And I’m fairly certain hates me. So it’s mutual. So there.

Spritz Butter Cookies – Icebox, too
Recipe Type: Cookies
Author: Nicole @ Gluten-free on a Shoestring.com
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 8 mins
Total time: 28 mins
Serves: 40
Gluten-free butter cookies, suitable for the cookie press (spritz) or as slice-and-bake (icebox)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour (I use & recommend Better Batter)
  • 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if using Better Batter)
  • 10 tablespoons (1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons) confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 extra-large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 extra egg white (optional) + sugar in the raw for (optional) decorating
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade*, place the flour, xanthan gum, sugar and salt, and pulse to combine well. One at a time, add the butter, egg yolks and vanilla, pulsing to combine after each ingredient. Pulse again until the dough comes together in a ball. The dough should be smooth and a bit wet, but you should be able to handle it lightly.
  3. For spritz cookies, do not chill the dough. It must be room temperature to adhere to the baking sheet. Fill your cookie press according to the manufacturer’s directions (see photos). You will want to form half the dough into a cylinder a bit smaller than the size of the chamber, and then slide the dough in. Place the disk you like on the end of the chamber, and screw the end on securely.
  4. On a bare, ungreased baking sheet that is NOT nonstick, dispense the cookie dough, spacing it evenly. I have the most luck getting the cookie shape to stick to the sheet when I place the press firmly onto the surface, press the lever on the press until I feel some resistance, hold steady, and then release quickly.
  5. For icebox cookies, wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and shape it into a cylinder about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Square each of the sides with a straight edge to form a rectangle, and place the log in the freezer until firm (about 15 minutes). Remove the log from the freezer, unwrap it, and slice into cross section pieces about 1/4 inch wide. Place the cookies on a nonstick baking sheet (like USA Pans), evenly spaced.
  6. With a pastry brush, brush the tops of all of the cookies on the baking sheet with the (optional) egg white, and sprinkle with (optional) sugar in the raw (or other large crystallized sugar).
  7. Place the baking sheet in the center of the preheated oven and bake, rotating once, until just beginning to turn lightly brown around the edges, about 8 minutes. Allow to cool completely on the pan before moving the cookies, or they will break.

*You can easily make these cookies without a food processor, although the dough will not be as uniform in color. The process photos I show represent the dough as made without the use of a food processor. When it comes time gather the dough together, you will need to squeeze it with your hand wrapped in a plastic bag or glove (see photos). Keep working. It will come together, and hold.
The number of cookies this recipe makes will vary greatly depending upon the size of each.

Why do we do what we do during the Holiday Season?

For love.

We do it for love.


P.S. See you tomorrow. And later on our new Shoestring Community page. Have you checked it out yet?

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  • Heather Tunison on Facebook

    These are the ones I have been waiting for!!! THANK YOU!!!

  • Amanda DeLara on Facebook

    These are pretty! Def. going on the cookie list this year!

  • oh yes yes yes bring them on thank you!!!!!!!!

  • Michelle Wilcox on Facebook

    Oh thank you, thank you! I wrestled with my cookie press the last few years since going gf, and decided it was not worth the heartache or tantrums! But I think I’ll dust it off and give it another go, especially after reading your tips!

  • Katy Coole on Facebook

    I’m finally going to take the plunge and order Better Batter, these cookies have pushed me over the edge. If I wanted to go super cookie baking crazy, do you know approx how many cups are in a 2.5# box?

  • Katy, the way I measure Better Batter, it is 155 grams/cup. So a 2.5 pound box would have a bit more than 8 cups.

  • Pamela Howie-Lapierre on Facebook

    very very cool and sorry and thank you <3

  • Karin K Morin on Facebook

    Can’t wait to try it!

  • Dana Baker Coughlin on Facebook

    I will have to search for my cookie press and I think this recipe will give me a good excuse to go buy the food processor I’ve wanted! or at least thats what I’ll tell my husband-can’t make these without one. :)

  • There has never been as much cursing in my house as there was when I recently tried a cookie press. Maximum failure achieved.

    • Nicole

      I know, Allison! I hate the damn things. Icebox cookies are a much more sane option.
      xoxo Nicole

  • Darlene

    :wipes drool off her chin:

    • Nicole

      Darlene! So nice to ‘see’ you. :)
      xoxo Nicole

      • Darlene

        Drool and all? Now there’s a friend! :)

        • Nicole

          Hopelessly devoted, drool and all.
          xoxo Nicole

  • Sarah

    I hate my cookie press. I’ve only had one time i feel it was a success but i think it was because i was making cookies and drinking wine. The wine might have blocked the pain of the press. I like the idea of icebox them instead since i love the taste of them.

    • Nicole

      I’ve never felt so close to you, Sarah. :) Yeah, I think wine-soaked cookie pressing is the only way to go. Toss the press. Icebox it for sure.
      xoxo Nicole

  • *tries to figure out how to make said yummies both dairy free and sugar free, since you took care of the gluten*……….

    Lost cause. But I can drool. ;)

    • Nicole

      Oh, my. I agree, Irish Lass. Butter cookies dairy-free does sound unattainable, I’m afraid. It would be kinda like making angel food cake egg-free. ;) Dairy free is way harder than gluten-free, at least in my experience. The subs just aren’t … great. So sorry!
      xoxo Nicole

      • I’m sorry too. :( Ha ha! Yes, we’ve been gluten free for three or four years now, I’ve been sugar free for a year and a half, and I just went dairy free. So at least it’s not all at once. :) But stevia really is a life saver, since it’s a herb that sweetens like the dickens!

        Still drooling……


    • Shannon

      What about Earth Balance? I am also dairy free & have used it in place of all butter & had great results! :)

      • Nicole

        Hi, Shannon,
        Earth Balance is great, but it’s a bit of a challenge to use it in butter cookies, since they’re mostly … butter. But it’s worth a shot!
        xoxo Nicole

  • Steph

    Why don’t you chill the dough for the spritz? (Is that an official spritz rule I didn’t know about?) Granted I’m just learning about GF, so this is my past Christmas’ regular recipe experience, but I fill my cookie press with dough, then chill the whole thing in the fridge for 10-15 minutes, and then they ‘spritz’ onto the cookie sheet just like they’re supposed to and stick there, coming off the press in happy little chunks just like I want. Less cursing. More blissful cookie perfection. I can’t believe the difference it made. I wonder if it’d work the same w/ gluten free dough?

    • Nicole

      Hi, Steph,
      If you chill the dough, it doesn’t stick. If your dough is actually warm, instead of room temperature, then it might benefit from a quick 10 minutes to bring it mostly to room temperature. If you find otherwise, that cold dough works, let me know!
      xoxo Nicole

  • OH, these are some of my favorite kind of cookies ;) ): Yum, yum…can’t eat just one :) :) This would be really good with a nice cup of Dandy Blend, too :) :) Love and hugs from the ocean shores of Monterey, Heather :)

  • These are my favorite cookies at the holidays and I’m so excited to try the recipe! Quick question – I like to use almond extract instead of vanilla. Would you use the same amount?

  • I’d use less almond extract, Julia, since it’s very strong.

  • Karin K Morin on Facebook

    I’m going to try these these weekend. Can I make them CF…can I use Earth Balance, as they have to be soy free, also. I’m new to casien free and Gluten free baking. Want to make them for my daughter, who’s new to the CFGF world. She misses yummy baked goods. Thanks!

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