Mrs. Riva’s Apricot Spice Cookies

It is officially time to kick off the Christmas Baking Season with this classic cookie recipe. This is an old family recipe that comes from Mrs. Riva, one of my grandparents’ neighbors when my mom was growing up. The original recipe used Crisco which caused the cookies to emerge from the oven slightly greasy. I’ve modernized the recipe using butter, high-quality cinnamon, and my favorite apricot preserves. The flaky dough is flavored with the warming aroma of cinnamon and sandwiched with fresh and bright-tasting apricot preserves. I stamp out a snowflake to put in the center of each cookie, but a different cookie cutter can be selected to suit the season. 

Mrs. Riva’s Apricot Spice Cookies

Serves: about a dozen large squares


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 12 oz. jar Apricot Preserves (I use Trappist)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix dough: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine flour, butter, sugar, cinnamon, and salt until blended. Reserve about ¼ of the dough. 
  3. Press ¾ of the dough into a small cookie sheet. Spread apricot preserves over the dough, leaving a small ¼ inch border. Roll out the remaining ¼ of the dough on a floured surface and use desired cookie cutter. Place cutouts on apricot spread approximately one inch apart on all sides. 
    1. If the dough is giving you any difficulty, transfer it to the fridge for 30 minutes before attempting to roll it out with a rolling pin and stamping out shapes. 
  4. Bake cookies 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Cut into squares and serve. 

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