I have never attempted making cookies with a cookie press, if the dough can't be plunked down on the cookie sheet with a spoon then I probably won't be making them. However, eternally hungry husband and eternally emotional teen went to yard sales this weekend and since they are eternally supportive of my cooking, they bought me a 'Mirro Cookie and Pastry Press'. We can't find a date on the box anywhere but I'm guessing it is from the 50's.
Essentially you just choose a recipe from the recipe book (provided), fill the press with your dough, choose a design, press, bake, and enjoy.
You can make cookies, eclairs, meringue shells, and cream puffs. The recipe book contains several flavors of cookie dough, pastry dough, fillings, and frosting. We chose the snow flake recipe and three press designs, a heart, butterfly, and pinwheel.
1 cup of shortening (we used Crisco)
3 oz. of cream cheese (at room temperature)
1 cup of sugar
1 egg yolk (at room temperature, when baking ingredients should always be at room temp.)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
2 1/2 cups SIFTED all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Cook on 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
What you will need:
1. Cream shortening and cheese well.
2. Add sugar and continue to cream
3. Sift flour with salt and cinnamon and add into creamed mixture. Mix well.
Your dough will pull away from sides of mixing bowl, be slightly firm and might even seem dry.
Fill cookie press with dough, make sure to pack it in tightly to avoid air pockets which will inhibit the dough from coming out properly.
Fill completely, pat down tightly, and screw end onto press.
This next step is where the retro woman really gets credit! The directions say to place the press down onto cookie sheet, twist knob of press to extrude dough, then twist back a half turn to release the cookie onto the sheet. Sounds simple right?! I assure you it was not. We had blob after blob after blob, hungry husband and I both taking turns and trying techniques to release the dough. My thought is that the pinwheel design just doesn't work well (it couldn't possibly have been my lack of skill and practice)!
But would the retro woman waste perfectly good cookie dough? I think not! So no matter that the first batch of cookies had a face only a mother could love, I sprinkled them with colored sugar (in hopes it would approve their appearance) and popped them into the oven.
While they cooked I tried my hand at butterflies and hearts...both of which turned out much better and proved to be easier than the pinwheel design.
The cookie recipe is very easy to follow, has few ingredients, and comes together well. The cookie press was a bit frustrating at first but became easier with practice. The flavor, WONDERFUL. This is a solid cookie recipe, delicate, crisp, and delicious.