A cookie press, also called a biscuit press, is a device used to extrude cookie dough into distinctive shapes, like a star, flower, Fleur-de-lis, leaf, clover, shell, wreath, snowflake, pinwheel, oval, or square. They are usually composed of a cylinder with a plunger or trigger mechanism, fitted with a metal die-cut disc with the desired design, placed at the extruding end.
These are sometimes referred to as Spritzcookie presses, from the German word spritzen which means to “squirt of spurt.” Spritz cookies are popular in Germany and Scandinavia. A cookie press may also be called a cookie gun.
See also: The Origin of the Word Cookie
Most cookie presses come with several different discs with different designs. Pressed cookies are similar to piped cookies, for which a pastry bag is used to pipe out the batter into a decorative shape, but a cookie press is suitable for much stiffer doughs. The dough can be extruded into individual Some doughs, of course, are too stiff to be extruded by any means, and it is important not to chill a cookie dough intended for pressing, or it will be too stiff to extrude.
Most cookie presses are manual but electric battery operated models are also available. Although cookie presses are primarily used to make decorative cookies, some brands come with tips that make it possible to use the press like a piping bag, for filling, decorating, etc., making a cookie press quite versatile for a home cook, and perhaps more convenient than pastry bags, as they are easy to clean and re-use many times. Most modern models have plastic parts which may not hold up to continued use. As well, the mechanism for holding the metal extruding discs in place often click on and will easily come off unless the dough is very thin. Although, some models are much more sturdy than others, most people try to use cookie presses with doughs that are much too stiff. Do not use a cookie press for a dough recipe that is not intended and suitable for extruding.
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