Which cookie presses are best?
For making big batches of holiday cookies, there’s no faster or easier method than by using a cookie press. Cookie presses extrude the dough through a shaped tip, making for uniform cookies in cute designs with much less effort than rolling and cutting. Cookie presses can also be a great option for other baked goods, like crackers or cheese straws with hefty dough that can be tough to work with.
Our top pick, the OXO Good Grips Cookie Press Set, is a high quality press perfect for the home baker who wants beautiful, uniform spritz cookies.
What to know before you buy a cookie press
Spritz cookies, or Spritzgebäck in German, are a traditional European holiday cookie. They’re a crisp butter cookie with many recipe and shape variations, though the most traditional shapes are extruded wreaths and loops. The name stems from the German word spritzen, meaning to spray or squirt. Historically a Christmas cookie most commonly found in northwestern Europe, spritz cookies can be made any time of year and for any occasion. Due to the simplicity of the recipe and ease of using a cookie press, spritz cookies are a particularly good baking project to do with children.
There are as many different types of cookie presses, as there are cookie shapes. Most food historians agree that the cookie press was invented sometime during the 16th century, likely in Germany or Scandinavia. Over time, it became a popular invention for home baking and even made its way across the pond when European immigrants brought it with them to the United States. Today, many older cookie presses are passed down through families, along with their accompanying recipes.
What to look for in a quality cookie press
Cookie press types
- Electric: Electric powered cookie presses don’t require any squeezing or turning of a crank. They also will release the same amount of dough every time. They’re best for professionals, as most home bakers don’t need to be making mass quantities of perfectly equally sized cookies. Manual presses are easy to use, affordable and don’t require any electricity.
- Trigger-style: This is the most common style of cookie press that you’ll see today. Generally, trigger style cookie presses are calibrated to release the correct amount of dough for one cookie with one pull of the trigger. They’re easy to hold and use.
- Hand-crank: Hand crank cookie presses are a more traditional style of cookie press. They require a bit more elbow grease than trigger style cookie presses, but they can be a useful option for those who have joint or hand trouble, as they don’t require squeezing a trigger.
Most cookie presses will come complete with a set of die cut discs to shape the dough as it’s extruded. There are many traditional, simple shapes that make classic, more abstract cookie shapes. Some modern sets also include more specialized holiday shapes. Most often winter holiday shapes, but some include other shapes as well. Many cookie presses will also include attachments for frosting and icing, though this depends on the style of the press.
Cookie press tips
- Dough for use in a cookie press should be a little looser than dough for cut and rolled cookies, but not by much. The dough should be chilled to minimize spreading while baking.
- Follow a recipe meant for use in a cookie press, with no additions like nuts or fruit that might get caught in the press.
- Don’t overfill the press. This can lead to the dough spilling out or the sizes of your cookies turning out uneven.
- Don’t over bake your cookies. Spritz cookies are small and light and don’t need long in the oven. Most recipes will call for baking no longer than 7-10 minutes.
How much you can expect to spend on a cookie press
Cookie presses can range in price depending on the style. Cheap to mid-range presses will usually cost between $10-$30 dollars, while the most expensive cookie presses will be more expensive.
Cookie press FAQ
Should I get a hand crank or trigger style cookie press?
A. Trigger style cookie presses are the most common type of modern cookie press, due to their ease of use and cleaning. However, for those with arthritis or other joint issues, a crank style may be easier to use though perhaps more difficult to find.
What’s the best cookie press to buy?
Top cookie press
What you need to know: An easy to use, high quality cookie press with 12 different discs and an ergonomic handle.
What you’ll love: It’s easy to clean and will work perfectly with most spritz or pressed cookie recipes. This press also comes with a non-slip base to keep the device steady as you use it.
What you should consider: Some reviewers had inconsistent results with some of the shapes, and the mostly-plastic tool is best for occasional use.
Top cookie press for the money
What you need to know: A super affordable cookie press perfect for home baking, with plenty of shapes.
What you’ll love: It comes with 12 discs, including all kinds of seasonal and holiday shapes such as trees, turkeys, pumpkins and flowers.
What you should consider: The included discs are plastic and won’t hold up to heavy duty use. Some reviewers found the device to be flimsy in general.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: A super classic, all metal design perfect for making Italian bakery-style cookies or cheese straws.
What you’ll love: The hand crank may be easier to use for those who have trouble with squeeze-style presses. The metal design is sturdier than plastic presses and may hold up better to heavier use.
What you should consider: It’s not dishwasher safe. Some reviewers mentioned finding a metallic residue on their cookies.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Arabella Matthews writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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