Get the recipe that inspired Starbucks new iced holiday drink

Christmas tree shaped cookies with red and green sprinkles

Updated December 1, 2021

Even if you didn’t grow up with spritz cookies, chances are you’ve seen them at a holiday gathering or cookie exchange. They are the prettiest cookies on the plate. They get their name from the German word spritzen, which means “squirt” and pretty much describes how the cookie is made by squeezing the dough through a cookie press into festive shapes.

These slightly sweet, melt-in-your-mouth treats are the inspiration for Starbucks newest holiday drink, Iced Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Latte, available at U.S. Starbucks stores Nov. 4.  The non-dairy iced beverage is made with sugar cookie flavored syrup, combined with Starbucks® Blonde Espresso, almondmilk, and topped with red and green cookie sprinkles. It is just as delicious hot, with steamed almondmilk and a cap of foam with sprinkles.

“Almond is used quite a bit in baking,” said Erin Marinan, product development manager for Starbucks R&D, who led product development with Starbucks partner (employee) Sara Bennett. “The almond flavor from the almondmilk makes for a natural pairing with the nutty notes in Starbucks Blonde Espresso. We also wanted to harness the buttery and vanilla notes of the cookie, which you can pick up in the aroma from that first sip from the sugar cookie flavored syrup and sprinkles. It reminds me of making cookies with my mom and sisters growing up. It gives me all the nostalgic feels of the holiday.”

The beverage is the first non-dairy holiday coffee beverage on the Starbucks menu. It joins the icy Irish Cream Cold Brew, which is making its earliest debut on the holiday menu this year, also on Nov. 4. Customers will find these drinks alongside seasonal classics Peppermint MochaCaramel Brulee LatteChestnut Praline LatteToasted White Chocolate Mocha, along with new holiday cups, food items and gifts.

“At this time of year, I always think back to the fun I had baking cookies with my mom and sisters growing up. It’s such a warm memory,” Marinan said. “Everyone seems to have a different recipe they like to make over the holidays, whether it’s to give as a gift to a group of friends or leave out for Santa. I love how this moment brings everyone together.” The beverage is available at stores in the U.S., several convenient ways to order, as well as for delivery through Starbucks Delivers on Uber Eats (check the Uber Eats app for availability and restrictions).

Did someone say cookies?

Early in the development of the beverage, Rosalyn Batingan of the Starbucks beverage development team baked up her first batch of spritz cookies in her home kitchen. Batingan is self-taught (although she’s working on her degree in food science and nutrition through the Starbucks College Achievement Plan) and joined beverage development five years ago after more than 14 years working in Starbucks and Seattle’s Best Coffee stores.

“I’ve always had this passion for baking,” Batingan said. “My mom is Filipino, and we cooked all the time. She threw parties so I was able to be in the kitchen with her since I was really small and I would like to help her prepare things.”

As the team’s resident foodie and baker, she is often called upon for culinary inspiration, as she did with the Irish cream fudge  that would inspire the flavors of Irish Cream Cold Brew. With the development of Iced Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Latte, she tinkered with her cookie recipe as the team perfected their beverage, creating an airy cookie with a light, buttery texture and subtle almond flavor to would become the signature flavors of the almondmilk latte.

"I've been blessed to be in a position where I can use my love of baking and concepting to help create something others can enjoy," she said.

Rosalyn’s Holiday Spritz Cookies recipe

Doesn’t a cookie sound really good about now? Here’s Batingan’s recipe for a batch of spritz cookies you can make at home, perfect to share with friends or dunked in a Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Latte.

Spritz Cookies

Servings: Yield: 4-5 dozen cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup salted butter, softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp small batch pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp pure almond extract
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 ¼ cups flour, unbleached white
  • Red and green sprinkles

Directions

1.       Preheat oven to 375°F

2.       Cream together butter and sugar until pale yellow – about 3 minutes; scrape down sides of bowl as needed

3.       Add egg, vanilla extract, almond extract and salt until creamy

4.       Slowly add flour to cream mixture until dough comes together

5.       Place dough into cookie press and pipe onto ungreased cookie sheet lined with parchment paper

6.       Decorate with sprinkles

Bake 6-8 minutes until slightly brown and let cookies cool on a wire rack

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Starbucks Milano Duetto – an innovative ode to coffee, arts and culture