A cookie press allows you to create delicate, colorful cookies in the shapes of flowers, leaves and trees. The press will come with a kit including everything you need such as the tube to hold the dough, the pump and multiple disks that are responsible for making the fun shapes. Using a cookie press is simple, but there are a few things you should keep in mind when creating your cookies.
Type of Cookie Dough
A cookie press is designed for a basic sugar cookie dough made with butter which is most often called spritz cookie dough. It is made by creaming 2 cups of room temperature butter with 1 cup white sugar, 1 beaten egg and 1 tsp. of vanilla and then mixing in 4 cups of all-purpose flour. Add food coloring, 1/4 cup of cocoa or flavorings such as a 1/2 tsp. of mint oil to change the color and flavor of the cookies. Avoid any type of cookie dough which has hard pieces in it such as chocolate chips or nuts. These pieces will get stuck in the disks and cause problems when pressing out the cookies.
Practice the Proper Technique
Place your selected disk at the bottom of the tube and screw on end. Transfer the prepared cookie to the tube with a spatula, however if your dough is more firm consider shaping it into a tube shape with your hands and then drop it right in. Screw on the top and pump out some of the dough back into the mixing bowl to eliminate any air bubbles as you get started.
Always use an ungreased baking sheet and consider putting it in the refrigerator for 10 minutes before pressing the cookies. This allows the cookies to stick to the sheet pan when pressing them out. Place the bottom of the press flat on the baking sheet and push down the pump to press out dough. Lift the cookie press straight up off the sheet pan and you should be left with a decorative shape of cookie dough. Experiment with how much dough to press depending on how small or large you want your cookies. Bake the cookies at 375 degrees F just until they are done, about 10 minutes. Don't allow the edges to get too brown.
Avoid Mixing Colors and Flavors
To make different flavors and colors of cookies you can split up the basic dough into separate bowls and mix in color or flavor. However, when using the tube avoid mixing the different types of dough. Wipe out any colored dough remaining in the tube and clean off the disk before switching colors of dough. If you are using a strong flavoring such as mint in one type of cookie consider washing the tube thoroughly before switching dough so that the flavor is not transferred.