A cookie press can also be used in place of a pastry bag to decorate cookies, cakes, and appetizers.

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How to Use a Cookie Press

Q. I purchased a cookie press to make festive cookies for the holiday season. Can I use any cookie recipe for my cookie press, or can I only use special cookie press recipes?

A. For best results, follow these tips:

  • Use only recipes specially developed for cookie presses.
  • Follow manufacturer's directions for your cookie press.
  • Shape dough into cylinders and press into the barrel as directed in manufacturer's directions.
  • If dough has been refrigerated and is too firm, allow it to sit at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes. Otherwise, the cookies will not come out smoothly and may even damage a motorized cookie press.
  • Any frosting or filling with a soft consistency can be used, but make sure any solid ingredients in the filling are finely chopped.
  • Do not grease cookie sheets unless directed in recipe. Pressed cookies need to adhere to the cookie sheet or they will not detach from the cookie press.

Q. I'm attending a holiday cookie exchange party. What type of cookie can I make with my cookie press?

A. A tray of spritz cookies in festive shapes always brings "oohs and aahs" from holiday guests. These little cookies look impressive, but are actually a snap to make with a cookie press.

Q. Is there only one type of cookie press available on the market? Do cookie presses usually come with attachments?

A. A cookie press is made of a hollow cylinder, fitted at one end with a decorative disk, and a plunger for pressing out the dough at the other. Cookie presses may be made of plastic or metal. And, they are available in several varieties: battery-operated gun, manual gun, and manual press with screw mechanism.

They come with several metal or plastic disks, into which are cut decorative designs. As the dough is pressed through a disk onto a cookie sheet, it is shaped into a cookie. The shape can be changed by changing the disk. The most commonly used disks create Christmas-themed wreaths, bells, trees, and stars; but other disks form hearts, people, and animals.

Besides disks for shaping cookies, cookie presses usually come with decorating tips. Fitted with one of these tips, a cookie press can be used in place of a pastry bag to decorate cookies, cakes, and appetizers.

For more helpful kitchen appliance tips and recipes, see: