A cookie press consists of a hollow cylinder in the middle, several decorative disks, and a plunger at both ends. As you press the plunger, the dough comes out through a disk and creates your desired design. Cookie presses, as well as disks, are made of either metal or plastic.
Cookie presses come in different types e.g. manual, manual with a screw mechanism, battery-operated, and electric. You can check reviews and see which one is the best match for you.
Here we will demonstrate how to use a cookie press in detail. Read the instructions and follow accordingly for a special treat.
Since vegetable shortening or margarine makes the dough softer than needed, butter is highly recommended. The consistency of dough needs to be perfect to form cookies properly. You may add flavor and DIY natural food color or icing color gel of your preference to give an extra pop after you have mixed all the ingredients into a bowl.
If the dough is kneaded too softly, it will stick to the disks at the bottom instead of coming out smoothly and adhering to the cookie sheet. In that case, refrigerate for 3 to 4 minutes to adjust its consistency. Instill right away inside the press after you bring it out.
You can also store the prepared dough in the fridge for several days. If it becomes too firm for freezing longer, releasing the cookies will be difficult and a motorized press may even be damaged. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes at room temperature to moisten a bit.
Shape the dough into logs, which will make it easier to put into the barrel. There re various types of shapers available. If you want to mix any solid ingredients, make sure those are finely chopped. Any filling or frosting should be used only if its consistency is soft and smooth.
A long tube is attached to the end of any cookie press barrel on the opposite of the handle. That’s called a ring. Unscrew it from the barrel to get access inside. Fill in the press with dough either using a spatula or rolling it into a cylinder-shaped piece to fit the tube. Screw back the ring tightly onto the barrel.
All cookie presses include several design disks. Disks are available in a variety of designs, such as hearts, animals, people, and so on. But Christmas-themed wreaths, trees, stars, and bells are the most common ones. To see the outcome of every disc, check out your booklet. These can also be used to decorate cakes and appetizers.
Before you start pressing, put your cookie sheets inside the refrigerator for a few minutes. This keeps the dough chilled and helps maintain its formation. Avoid parchment paper or non-stick pans because pressed cookies need to detach from the press adhering to the cookie baking base. Use a bare aluminum baking sheet and don’t brush oil on it unless mentioned in the recipe.
Try only those recipes that can be made using cookie presses. Read the directions of the manufacturer for your cookie press and follow them.
Press the shaft a little as you instill the dough to bring it closer to the tip of the press or disk, and remove the air inside. Don’t tilt the press. Hold it flat on the prepared baking sheet to maintain a consistent pressure overhead dough and press evenly.
Press the handle and dispense dough on the baking sheet. In the end, wipe off excess dough from the press.
Follow the tips for best results:
In this stage, you are free to decorate your cookies with sprinkles, colorful sugars, chocolate chips, candies, nuts, almonds, raisins, cherries, dried fruits, or nonpareils. You can also drizzle melted chocolate or candy, or pipe with icing after baking.
Preheat the oven as per the recipe. Once their edges turn brown, you can be sure that the cookies are ready. Allow them to cool down a bit before moving to a cooling plate or rack because instant baked cookies are still delicate. Use a thin metal cookie spatula for separating them from the sheet. When the cookies cool off completely, store in an airtight container.
Don’t forget to clean the press when you’re done using it. A cookie press has many different parts, so take your clean-up time to avoid losing tiny parts. Don’t put it into the dishwasher, rather wash by hand.
Unscrew the ring again to separate the handle from the barrel, and set aside the flat disk found at the bottom of the plunger. Unscrew another ring at the other end of the barrel, and depart the disk from the ring. Wash all the detached parts with dishwashing soap and warm water. Dry completely before restoring it.
Both electric and manual cookie presses have their own advantages. The manual one is comparatively cheap, available in more diversities, and has no wire to worry about. On the other hand, an electric cookie press is less time-consuming to use and provides you a continuous and consistent pressing that is necessary when decorating with icing.
If you want to press the heavy dough, choose a sturdy manual press similar to using crepe maker since you can balance the pressure according to your needs. Remember that electronic presses don’t give the assurance of pressing heavier dough.
But if you are too lazy to spend so much strength and time just over a cookie press, or if you're buying it for your kid or if you don’t possess a good grip or strong hands, an electric or turning-style manual model will be more appropriate for you instead of a plunger-type one.
Keep these things in mind when you are intending to get yourself a cookie press.