Little Christmas butter cookies may have originated in Germany, but this cream cheese spritz cookies recipe is a California dream! These cream cheese cookies are decadent little Christmas cookies that make the season a little brighter.
The soft crumbly texture of these cookies makes them addictingly delicious and the added cream cheese in the recipe gives these little guys a smooth creamy crave-worthy flavor that just can’t be beat. Making cookies is one of the best parts of the holiday season and decorating them with some colorful love just ups the yummy factor.
C’mon…Let me show you how awesome cream cheese spritz cookies are!
This cream cheese spritz cookies recipe just makes the most decadent little butter cookie with a smooth creamy consistency and they’re ready in under half an hour. What’s not to love?
Plus, it’s so much fun to add those tiny bits of colored sugar crystals and sprinkles to dress them up ever so slightly. They look like sooo much work but they’re really not! Here are some other great reasons to love them.
- Decadently delicious
- Ready in under half an hour
- Simple straightforward recipe
- Decorating optional
- Makes great gifts
While this cream cheese spritz cookies recipe is simple and straightforward, there are a few tricks to help ensure beautiful little cookies that look as good as they taste!
I know it sounds a little weird but you must mix the dry ingredients first. It really does matter because it helps evenly distribute the leavening agents and spices for a consistent texture and flavor profile across all your cookies. It also means you can do less mixing to combine wet and dry ingredients.
Also, you’ll be using a cookie press which isn’t nearly as hard as it sounds. Your dough should be a little sticky for this cream cheese spritz cookies recipe but that’s part of the fun! Here’s a little tip…If dough does not extrude from the press, spray dough lightly with nonstick cookie spray.
Do not use a nonstick or greased cookie sheet or cookies will not stick to the sheet. This time you want your cookies to stick to the pan and stay where you put them. There’s such a high-fat content in the recipe your cookies should remove easily when they’re done.
Speaking of which, remove cookies from the cookie sheet after 2 minutes or cookies will continue to cook and not remove easily. You don’t want them eternally stuck to your pan!
One last thing. Try to space your cookies about 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet. Overcrowding can prevent proper air circulation and cause your cookies to burn. You don’t want that.
Making spritz cookies is one of those traditions that gets passed down from generation to generation and this cream cheese spritz cookies recipe is so delicious people can’t wait for you to make a batch!
You’ll wan to be sure that your cream cheese is softened when you make these cookies. They are similar to cream cheese shortbread cookies in a lot of ways.
Instead of creaming the butter and sugar, you’re creaming the shortening, cream cheese, and sugar. It’s the same premise. The little sugar crystals make small cuts in the shortening/cream cheese to create air pockets that will help them rise and behave appropriately in the oven.
I also grab a large egg for this recipe because I only use the yolk. Separating the yolk is as simple as cracking the egg into your clean hand over a bowl. Let the egg white run through your fingers and gently catch the yolk with your palm.
Storing these little babies is as easy as putting them in an airtight container. Since this cream cheese spritz cookies recipe does make some pretty decadent little cookies, you may want to layer some wax paper in there to keep them from sticking but that’s totally up to you.
These little cookies absorb the air around them, so you may want to put a piece of white bread in the container to keep them fresh. I don’t recommend storing them in a bag.
Can You Freeze This?
Absolutely!! You can freeze the cookie dough or the baked cooled cookies. This cream cheese spritz cookies recipe freezes really well! If the frozen cookies seem a little soft after they thaw you can toss them in a 275-degree oven for 3 or 4 minutes.
Make Ahead Tips
I love whipping up a double batch of cookies using this cream cheese spritz cookies recipe. I decorate most of them and divvy up half of them in small batches to give away as gifts to people I know.
The other tummy half goes to the hungry tummies at home. They make great snacks or desserts with a cold glass of milk.
How Long Can You Keep This?
Your cream cheese spritz cookies recipe will stay good for up to 5 days and maybe longer depending on how you store them. Your cookies will be fine on the counter in an airtight container, but I like to err on the side of caution since they have cream cheese in them, so I keep mine in the fridge.
Changing your cream cheese spritz cookies recipe to suit your personal taste is easy. Small changes can make a big difference. You just have to be careful not to change the recipe too much, but you do have a lot of options.
Here are just a few suggestions to get you started.
- Substitute lemon zest for the orange zest
- Substitute almond extract for the vanilla extract
- Fine chop nuts and sprinkle them on top
- Dust cookies with cinnamon sugar
- Dredge cookies in powdered sugar
Can I Add Chocolate To This Recipe?
Chocolate spritz cookies are absolutely delicious, but they are made with a completely different recipe from this cream cheese spritz cookies recipe. If you’re a chocolate fanatic whose holiday season isn’t complete without chocolate Christmas cookies, try making double chocolate snowballs. They’ll cure the craving and hit the spot!
Can I Add Pecans?
I absolutely love pecans! Simply adding them to this cream cheese spritz cookies recipe won’t work like we wish it would. You can maybe chop them up and sprinkle them on top of your cookies.
Can I Add Almonds?
Almonds would work the same as pecans. Your cream cheese spritz cookies recipe just won’t cook up the same if you put nuts in it. If you love cookies with almonds in them, you can try making almond crescent cookies or almond shortbread cookies. These sweet-savory crunchy little cookies are addictingly delicious!
Can I Turn These Into Cream Cheese Cookie Bars?
Unfortunately, this cream cheese spritz cookies recipe doesn’t work as cookie bars, but you can use a different recipe to make chocolate chip cheesecake bars or even lemon cheesecake bars.
Some of my favorite cookie bars of all time for the holiday season are pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting. These little things are so good they do a proverbial happy dance all the way down to my tummy.
What Other Christmas Cookies Can I Bake?
This cream cheese spritz cookies recipe is one of my favorite holiday cookie recipes because it’s so close to those little buttery German Christmas cookies. There are also some other really good recipes out there like sweet Italian Christmas cookies or if you want something more unique you can try making Yugoslavian Christmas cookies.
Cream Cheese Spritz Cookies
- 1 cup shortening
- 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- colored sugar, sprinkles, red hots, jimmies
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a mixing bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium, cream together the shortening, cream cheese, and sugar. Mix in the egg yolk and vanilla.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and cinnamon. Slowly add flour mixture, mixing until combined. Stir in orange zest.
- Spoon the dough into a cookie press fitted with the disk of your choice. Press the dough onto ungreased cookie sheets, 2 inches apart. Decorate with colored sugar, sprinkles, red hots, jimmies if desired.
- Bake in the preheated oven, until set, about 6-8 minutes. Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes then remove to wire racks and cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough
For most of us, making Christmas cookies is just part of the season. Its actually one of the sweetest parts of the holiday season and we welcome every tasty bite.
I absolutely love these beautiful little cream cheese spritz cookies but its always nice to have some other recipes on hand too. Here are some other Christmas cookies recipe you may like.
- Reindeer Rice Krispies Treats – Only 30 minutes to the cutest holiday party treats!
- Christmas Sugar Cookies – A classic favorite with a modern twist.
- Italian Fig Cookies – Tasty decadence that’s hard to resist.
- Crockpot Candy – The easiest chocolaty deliciousness you’ll ever create.
- Lebkuchen – A warm crave-worthy gingerbread German gem.
Making this cream cheese spritz cookies recipe is easier than you thought and totally worth it. The melt-in-your-mouth decadence of these little soft crumbly little Christmas cookies is all but irresistible. They’re not too sweet with subtle cinnamon undertones that simply beg to be gobbled down.