Friday, December 14, 2007

My Cookie Press Adventure



One of my co-workers was kind enough to give me his Pampered Chef Cookie Press recently, just in time for the holidays. He said that he had only used it once since getting it, and never had much success with it. I was so excited to make cookies with my new (to me) cookie press! So I went in search of cookies I could make with my new kitchen toy...


I found this recipe for Spritz cookies on the Land O'Lakes website. Prior to getting this cookie press, I had no idea what spritz cookies were! Spritz is actually short for Spritzgeb├Ąck. They are German Christmas cookies that typically contain eggs, butter, sugar, and flour. So they are essentially shortbread cookies with eggs. There are several different variations with this recipe, and I decided to make the Eggnog Glazed Spritz.


I have to admit that I was at the verge of returning the cookie press after my first few attempts! I placed the cookie press on my baking sheet, pressed the trigger, and voila! Oh wait... no cookie on my baking sheet, just moosh at the bottom of my cookie press. Okay, maybe that was just because it was my first attempt. I wiped away the extruded dough and tried again. Pressed the trigger, lifted, and... nothing. I did this until I had extruded nearly all the dough inside the cookie press, and I was beginning to understand why my co-worker did not want this cookie press. I was ready to give up (or throw the cookie press out the window!). What was I doing wrong, I asked myself? I checked the recipe which states: If dough is too soft, cover and refrigerate, 30 to 45 minutes. So I put my dough in the refrigerator. As my dough is chilling, I decide to check the Pampered Chef website to see if they have instructions on how to use the cookie press. Great. Their website states: Do not chill dough prior to using in the Cookie Press. So then I had no idea what I was doing wrong! I decided to compromise and chill the dough for about 15-20 minutes before trying again. This time I decided to use a different disk to see if I would have better luck with another design. It was a miracle! The cookies started coming out, one by one, just like they were supposed to! On my first try! :) I didn't have such luck with all of the disks, but I was just happy that I was able to successfully create a full batch of cookies with my dough. If anyone has tips on how I might improve my next cookie press experience, please leave me a comment! :)

Best Ever Spritz
from Land O'Lakes


2/3 cup sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

Heat oven to 400°F. Combine all ingredients except flour in large bowl. Beat at medium speed until creamy. Reduce speed to low; add flour. Beat until well mixed. If desired, prepare dough as directed by variations below. (If dough is too soft, cover and refrigerate, 30 to 45 minutes.)

Place dough into cookie press fitted with template. Form desired shapes, 1 inch apart, onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

Yield: 5 Dozen Cookies.


Variations:

Chocolate Chip Spritz: Add 1/4 cup coarsely grated semi-sweet chocolate.

Eggnog-Glazed Spritz: Add 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg. Glaze: Stir together 1 cup powdered sugar, 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened, 2 tablespoons water and 1/4 teaspoon rum extract in small bowl until smooth. Drizzle over warm cookies.

Lebkuchen Spice Spritz: Add 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves. Glaze: Stir together 1 cup powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla in small bowl until smooth. Drizzle over warm cookies.

Mint Kisses: Add 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract. Immediately after removing cookies from oven place 1 chocolate candy kiss on each cookie.

4 comments:

  1. I just ordered a PC cookie press at the party I went to last week. I've never used a cookie press but PC products have done miracles for me in the past so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I will have good luck with this one too. If I figure out any tricks I will let you know.

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  2. i always found if you "dip" in flour before each press it worked wonders. It didn't stick to the press after that!

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  3. The dough has to be just right to press properly. I have been reading tips online with this one making sense.

    The dough when you pick up a small piece with your fingers. The dough is right if it will stick to your finger but will come off of your finger clean.

    If some of the dough sticks to your finger after the piece is pulled off, add a little flour at a time until it is right.

    If the dough does not stick to your finger, add a little beaten whole egg until it is right.

    Hope this helps.

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  4. thanks for those helpful tips, anonymous!

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