“Aperol Spritz” Spritz Cookies

published Dec 3, 2021
christmas
“Aperol Spritz” Spritz Cookies Recipe

This cocktail cookie gets its zest from oranges and extract.

Makes about 90 small cookies

Prep1 hour

Cook25 minutes to 30 minutes

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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk; Prop Styling: JoJo Li

This recipe is from our Cookie Time Machine — a trip through the most iconic cookies of the past 10 decades, paired with 10 fresh twists for right now. Click here to see the most important cookies of the 1920s through today — and gaze forward with our Cookie of the Future!

Just like the trendy, slightly bitter, bright orange cocktail from which they get their name (and flavor), this modern-day twist on the classic spritz cookie is fabulously de rigueur in all the best ways. They’re flavored with a generous amount of orange zest, as well as a dash of extract and are truly a brilliant, bright, citrusy treat on their own, sans glaze. (If there are perhaps some children, or anti-Aperol-ers, in the house.) But when dunked in an easy, boozy, confectioners’ sugar coating — giving them not only an illustrious shine, but that signature Aperol Spritz flavor — they go from being the cutest cookie in the tin to quite possibly the most glamorous.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk; Prop Styling: JoJo Li

Once the butter is softened and the oranges are zested, the cookie dough literally comes together in about three minutes (and yes, you will be asked to rub the zest into the sugar with your fingers, which is both meditative and works wonders in popping the citrus flavor). Moreover, the spritzing of the dough through a cookie press is much easier than you might think if you follow three simple rules: Use your flattest baking sheets (this is not the time to reach for that beloved wonky one that belonged to your grandmother), do not line them with parchment paper or grease them with cooking spray/butter, and place them in the freezer while you make the dough. Following these tips ensures that your pressed cookies will pop from your press and onto the baking sheet with ease — I promise.

Finally, the cookies bake in about eight minutes, cool quickly, and need to sit for only about 15 minutes once glazed. Not only will you be eating and sharing these glam cookies in no time, but, I mean, who doesn’t want to announce at the cookie swap that they’ve brought “Aperol spritz” spritz, am I right?

The Classic

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk; Prop Styling: JoJo Li

For the classic 1950s cookie recipe, check out the Classic Spritz Cookies.

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Before you preheat the oven, gear up with these cookie-making essentials.

  • The Sheet Pan Every Kitchn Editor Owns: This sturdy, won’t-ever-warp pan is great for cranking out a ton of picture-perfect sweets. Bonus: It comes in great colors, which makes baking even more fun.
  • Our Tried-and-Tested Favorite Cooling Rack: We love these racks for their criss-cross design, which adds stability, makes sure your precious treats won’t slip though, and prevents the rack from wobbling or warping.
  • The Little Spatula That Every Baker Needs: This thin-but-sturdy spatula is great for gently loosening your cookies from the pan and transferring them to the cooling rack. It’s particularly handy for moving small or delicate treats.

“Aperol Spritz” Spritz Cookies Recipe

This cocktail cookie gets its zest from oranges and extract.

Prep time 1 hour

Cook time 25 minutes to 30 minutes

Makes about 90 small cookies

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the cookies:

  • 10 tablespoons

    (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter

  • 1

    large egg

  • 2/3 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 3

    medium or 2 large navel oranges

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    vanilla extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    orange extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 2 cups

    all-purpose flour

For the Aperol glaze and topping:

  • 1 cup

    powdered sugar

  • 1/4 cup

    Aperol

  • About 4 teaspoons red sanding sugar

Instructions

  1. Place 10 tablespoons unsalted butter and 1 large egg on the counter and let sit at room temperature until the butter is softened.

  2. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350ºF. Place 2 ungreased, unlined baking sheets in the freezer.

  3. Place 2/3 cup granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl if using an electric hand mixer). Finely grate the zest of 3 medium or 2 large navel oranges until you have 2 tablespoons. Add the zest to the sugar and rub it in until the sugar is fragrant and moistened.

  4. Add the butter, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon orange extract, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Beat with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until lightened in color and fluffy, scraping down the bowl as needed with a flexible spatula, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and beat on medium speed until combined. With the mixer on the lowest speed, beat in 2 cups all-purpose flour just until a streak or two of flour remains. Finish mixing by hand with a flexible spatula until the flour is just incorporated.

  5. Fill the cookie press with as much dough as will fit. Fit the press with a die. Press the dough directly onto 1 of the cold baking sheets, spacing them as close together as the press will allow. Press only 1 shape per baking sheet, as different shapes (i.e., trees and wreaths) have different baking times. Refill the cookie press with more dough as needed.

  6. Bake until dry to the touch, for 8 to 10 minutes. Place the baking sheet on a wire rack and let cool for a few minutes. While the cookies are still warm, use a spatula to carefully dislodge them from the pan. No need to remove them yet, this is just insurance so that they don’t stick to the baking sheet once cooled. Meanwhile, press out more cookies onto the second cold baking sheet and bake once the first sheet is done.

  7. Once the cookies are room temperature, transfer to a wire rack fitted over a baking sheet. Repeat pressing and baking the remaining dough, freezing the baking sheet for at least 10 minutes before pressing each batch.

Make the glaze:

  1. Place 1 cup powdered sugar and 1/4 cup Aperol in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Dip the top of each cookie in the glaze and return to the rack glazed-side up. Sprinkle with about 4 teaspoons red sanding sugar while still wet. If your cookies have a hole in the center, like a wreath, use a toothpick to dislodge any glaze that settles there. Let the cookies sit until the glaze is set, about 15 minutes.

Recipe Notes

Storage: The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.