Pressed Cookie Tips
Care of the cookie press
Before using the first time and always after using, wash in hot soapy water. Do no wash in dishwasher. Remove caps and wash threaded rod carefully. Rinse and dry thoroughly before storing. It cap sticks, tap it lightly on wood. Do not injure threads with hammer or wrench.
Measurement of ingredients
Follow all directions and recipes carefully. Use sifted all-purpose flour in all recipes. Use standard, level measures. Dry ingredients should be measured in "dry" measuring cups, liquid ingredients in a liquid measuring cup.
How to measure butter, margarine, or shortening
Stick butter, margarine, or shortening:
2 cups or 4 sticks = 1 pound
1 cup or 2 sticks = 1/2 pound
1/2 cup or 1 stick = 1/4 pound
1 stick = 8 tablespoons
Bulk shortening method:
Use the water displacement method. Example: For 1/4 cup shortening, bring water level in liquid measuring cup to 3/4 cup level. Add shortening until water level reaches 1 cup mark.
Temperature of butter, margarine, and shortening
Use solid shortening at room temperature. Do not allow butter or margarine to become too soft before creaming. Cream butter at refrigerator temperature if using an electric mixer, or slightly softened if mixing by hand. Do cream butter well before and while gradually adding the sugar, but do not overcream. A creamed butter-sugar mixture should appear light and fluffy. Overcreaming causes a butter-sugar mixture to increase too much in volume, to become too soft and appear melted. Such a mixture requires more flour to make cookie dough of correct consistency for use in a press. An excessive amount of flour results in the cookie not spreading well when baked or becoming tough or crumbly.
Consistency of the cookie dough
do not add all the flour specified in the recipes before first trying the dough for consistency by experimenting with a small amount of it in the press. cookie dough should be soft an pliable, not crumbly. Variations in flour and size of eggs sometimes make it necessary to omit some of the flour or to add a tablespoon or two. If dough is mixed by hand, it may be necessary to use a little less flour than the recipe calls for in order to produce the right consistency. If dough is too stiff, add the yolk of one egg.
Temperature of the dough
Do not chill dough. Use at room temperature. If dough become too soft, add 1 or 2 tablespoons flour.
Use of baking sheets
Aluminum baking sheets bake perfectly because aluminum conducts heat quickly and evenly. Select a size which will allow about two inches of space between sides of sheet and sides of oven for preheat heat circulation. Do not grease the cookie sheets when making cookie press cookies. Remove cookies from the sheet while warm and they will slide off easily. After each baking, be sure the cookie sheet has been washed in hot suds, rinsed and cooled.
Use of cookie press
Select a design plate for the your cookie dough and attach it to the cookie press.
Unscrew the cap. Make sure the plunger rod is screwed all the way out. Pack press firmly and carefully to prevent air pockets in the dough. Beginners: At first load the press only half full. After a little practice, you can fill it full. Screw the cap back on and adjust the plunder until it rests on the cookie dough.
There are three legs, or "feet," on each design-plate. Hold press so that these feet rest on the baking sheet (except when using the "Star" or "Bar" design). Do not raise the press from the cookie sheet before enough dough has been turned out to form the cookie on the sheet. For some cookies it maybe necessary to wait a moment to allow dough to adhere to the sheet before lifting press. Do not force the press down heavily on the sheet. If dough is the right consistency, it will not be necessary to exert force on the press or handle.
Hold the press in a semi-horizontal position when using the "Star" or "Bar" design plate for bar cookies, wreath cookies, sticks, and for garnishing.
Use of the designs
Some recipes specify that certain designs be used. When designs are not specified in a recipes, then any of them may be used.
Baking of the cookies
Before putting the cookies in to bake, be sure that the oven has been preheated to the temperature shown in the recipe. This prevents the cookie from spreading and losing its shape.
Do not overbake cookies. Overbaking makes cookies hard and dry. For best results, watch timing carefully and test when minimum time is reached. Bake just until set or very slightly browned.
Storage of the cookies
The special tenderness of press cookies requires a little extra care when packing them to store for future use. To insure against crumbling or breaking, layer the cookies into air-tight containers with aluminum foil, waxed paper or paper towel liners between the layers. For holiday cookies, you may like to do your baking in advance, store the cookies in a cool place and decorate them at a later date. All of these cookies freeze well.