Traditional holiday cookie plate with green tree-shaped spritz.
Spritzgebäck is a type of German Christmasbiscuit or Christmas cookie made of flour, butter, sugar and eggs. When made correctly, the cookies are crisp, fragile, somewhat dry, and buttery. The German verb spritzen means to squirt in English. As the name implies, these cookies are made by extruding, or "squirting," the dough with a press fitted with patterned holes (a cookie press) or with a cake decorator, or pastry bag, to which a variety of nozzles may be fitted. In the United States, the name Spritzgebäck is often shortened to spritz becoming known as the spritz cookie.
Spritzgebäck is a common pastry in Germany and served often during Christmas season, when parents commonly spend afternoons baking with their children for one or two weeks. Traditionally, parents bake Spritzgebäck using their own special recipes, which they pass down to their children.