Do any of y’all who follow this blog own a cookie press? How do you like it? If you do, what is the brand and where did you get it?
(As an aside for non-bakers, cookie presses are a device where cookie dough is inserted into a tube and manually pressed through a metal stencil plate. The stencils vary, but mostly cookie presses are used to make crisp butter cookies at Christmas time.) You can find them in places like Marshall’s, Home Goods, Bed Bath & Beyond, Williams Sonoma and (of course) online, and most are pretty inexpensive…which brings me to another point.
Here’s the thing about me and cookie presses….we don’t work together.
You know what? No. Let me rephrase that; I’M not the one with the problem. The presses are. THEY’RE the ones who don’t work. It’s THEM, I swear. You know why? Because I’ve bought two different cookie presses, and ended up discarding them both when neither one produced the goods. They either wouldn’t press out the dough completely in the shape of the design, or wouldn’t press it out at all. And believe me, I fiddled around with both and everything else I could think of to try and get them to work: the dough consistency, different plates, different sheet pans, chilling the sheet pans first. All useless.
I just could not get those presses to work.
So if any of you have a cookie press that you ARE able to use with no problems, do tell me which one you have. I’d also really appreciate any tips or advice in how you specifically get the most out of it. The thought of there being a kitchen gadget out there that I couldn’t get to work irks the daylights out of me. I’ve got to figure it out. So tell me what works for y’all and I might consider buying one more and hoping that the third time will be the charm for me and cookie presses.
In the meanwhile, there’s this post–which happens to be relevant to this conversation as it stemmed from my hit and miss history with the gadget.
Amazon sends me notifications when huge discounts are given for things on my wishlist. For a while I’d had a Wilton decorating tip set saved on my list, as I wanted to step my decorating game up for things like layer cakes and cupcakes. One day Amazon sent me a notification that they were having a flash sale and that for the next hour or so, it would be more than 50% off.
You can guess what happened.
So, Aside from having more decorating tips than this novice baker knows what to do with, I’ve also now got an alternative to the cookie press for churning out pretty cookies. And y’all: aren’t these pretty?
Despite their frilly appearance, these are butter cookies and as such, the ingredients themselves are extremely simple. There isn’t much more to these than butter, sugar, vanilla and cornstarch. The milk is there in order to make the dough loose enough to be piped through the dessert tip, as I found that on it’s own it was a bit too stiff to be piped. I opted for a coil shape as #1, I found it visually appealing when combined with a fluted tip and #2, It was the easiest shape I could manage. (I’m going to work on my cookie piping skills though, promise).
These honestly remind me of the blue tin butter cookies. They’re light, crisp and full of vanilla, buttery flavor. And yes: the confectioner’s sugar and cornstarch does make them practically melt in your mouth. I honestly wouldn’t change a thing about them.
Sharing these cookies at this week’s Fiesta Friday #208.
Melting Moments Cookies
Recipe Courtesy of The Recipe Encyclopedia: The Complete Illustrated Guide to Cooking
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup powdered/confectioner’s sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 2-3 tablespoons milk, optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a large bowl or the bowl of a standing mixer, cream together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy.
In a small bowl combine the flour with the cornstarch with a fork.
Add the vanilla to the butter mixture. Sift in the flour mixture to the butter mixture (not all at once, in about 3 batches) until just combined.
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and lightly spray with cooking spray.
Spoon the dough into a pastry bag or cookie press and pipe it into desired shapes that are about 1/2-1 inches in diameter. Once finished, refrigerate the sheet pan for about 30 minutes.
Bake in the oven on the middle rack until just golden brown, about 10-12 minutes.
(Note: no one oven is the same, & different baking sheets bake cookies differently. Keeping this in mind, I will ALWAYS test bake one cookie before baking entire sheets of the whole batch, just to get a good idea of how long they should be in the oven and if I need to adjust the way I’ve cut, rolled them out, etc. I highly recommend that you do the same.)