Remember a few days ago when I was writing to Martha with my list of all the kitchen-y, crafty gadgets that she insisted I get tout de suite? Well my Grandma Smith, who holds the cornucopia of cooking/baking gadgetry within the confines of her kitchen, heard of my yen for a cookie press and immediately volunteered her own model for my impending experimentation. Woo hoooooooo!
The press is at least a few decades old (the original packaging is a pretty reliable timestamp; pretty groovy fonts and nifty colors, if you catch my drift), but it looks brand new and still has all of the original doodads and attachments. And it isn’t your average, run-of-the-bakery cookie press — it’s electric. Yep, high-tech city.
So after watching Martha whip out a few dozen cookies in a matter of seconds, I figured I’d master the cookie press in no time flat. The problem was, this like-new cookie press came with zero instructions, so after trying — unsuccessfully — to figure out what went where and how, I went to my trusty pals Google and YouTube for a primer of sorts. No one seemed to know how to use my exact model (Carol Brady was unavailable for a tutorial on such short notice), but after a bit of trial and error, I got the old girl up and running. Whoo, doggie. Martha was so right.
And speaking of Martha, I followed her recipe for spritz butter cookies for my first go with the press, with a few slight modifications. If you have the need for speed (in the form of super speedy cookie pressed cookies), try this on for size, er, taste:
Spritz Butter Cookies
• 3 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 cup powdered sugar
• 1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut in pieces
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 4 large egg yolks
• 3 teaspoon vanilla extract
• Egg wash: 1 large egg white, beaten with 2 teaspoons water
• Course sugar for decorating
Preheat oven to 350 degress. Using food processor, blend flour, sugar, butter and salt in the large bowl until course mixture forms.
In a small bowl, beat egg yolks and vanilla. Then with food processor on, slowly add vanilla and eggs. Blend until dough forms.
Fill cookie press with dough and form cookies on ungreased cookie sheets (a lot of folks warn against using parchment paper, but after some stickiness this time around sans parchment, I’m not sure I’m convinced that’s the best approach).
Brush with egg wash if you’d like a little extra sheen (though it will up the potential stick-to-the-pan factor), and sprinkle with course sugar. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, until edges are firm but not brown (this happens fast; believe me, I’ve got one batch to prove it). Cool for a few minutes on baking sheet, then move to rack to cool completely.
Aren’t they cute? I do find it a little funny that I get such a thrill from making something that looks like it came from a tin. Ho hum. That’s part of the fun.
What do you think? Are you jonesin’ for a cookie press yet? Or is there another cookie gadget that you’re love, love, lovin’? And yes, for those who are wondering, I am up to my ears in cookies. ‘Tis the season.