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What are Pressed Cookies?

By G. Wiesen
Updated May 16, 2024
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Pressed cookies are typically cookies that are made through the use of a cookie gun or similar device that allows cookie dough to be pressed through an extruding nozzle onto a baking sheet. These kinds of cookies often come in shapes or patterns, and can be the size of drop cookies or prepared in longer strips or tubes of dough before baking. While easily made year-round, pressed cookies are often prepared for holidays or other celebratory occasions, often due to the simplicity of making the cookies into festive shapes and designs.

Soft dough is typically used in making pressed cookies, which are often made simply with butter, flour, egg, and sugar. The simple nature of this dough means that it usually does not require chilling or freezing before use, which makes these easy and fairly quick to prepare. For more flavorful cookies, additional ingredients may be added, such as vanilla extract, almond extract, and flavored liquors such as brandy, rum, lemon liquor such as limoncello, and coffee liquor. If such flavored additives are used, however, then more flour may be required to maintain the proper consistency of the dough for extruding.

Extrusion, or pressing, of the cookies is typically done through the use of a cookie gun or cookie press, which allows dough to be placed into a large tube and then pressed through a tip onto a baking sheet. For smaller cookies or pressed cookies with greater detail, a decorating bag used in cake decoration can be used instead, with the dough squeezed through the tip. This can allow for the creation of very fine cookies that can be quite delicate and baked into unexpected shapes or designs. While pressed cookies are usually delicious by themselves, they can also be dipped in chocolate, topped with powdered sugar, or served with ice cream to add even more flavor and make a fancier or more impressive holiday dessert.

One especially popular type of pressed cookie is a German holiday cookie called Spritzgebäck, which literally means “sprayed pastry.” The name refers to the way in which these pressed cookies are sprayed or squirted from a bag or cookie press and onto a baking pan, and other types of pressed cookies are sometimes referred to as “spritz cookies.” These types of cookies are typically made in long lines or bars that can twist or spiral toward themselves, usually with a shaped extruder that provides added texture to the long cookies.

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Discussion Comments

By aviva — On Oct 16, 2011

A friend of mine gave me a cream cheese cookie press recipe that was better than any spritz cookie I've ever had before. The recipe that came with my press was a little dry and kind of bland but when I added some cream cheese and lemon extract it just made those little cookies burst with flavor.

Here's the recipe in case your interested. One cup of butter, three ounces cream cheese, one cup of sugar, one egg yolk, two and a half cups of flour, one-fourth teaspoon lemon extract, a teaspoon of vanilla and a half teaspoon of salt.

Combine the butter and cream cheese until fluffy and then add all the other ingredients. Fill the press with dough and then press onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at three hundred and fifty degrees for ten to fifteen minutes then enjoy.

It's pretty simple and straight-forward but they're so rich and delicious this way and you can still color your dough before pressing it if you want.

By ladyjane — On Oct 15, 2011

@babylove - You can purchase a cookie press set almost any place that sells kitchen utensils, even Walmart. I got mine at a cake decorating store, which is probably a little more expensive, but I wanted a larger variety of plates (shapes) than I had seen anywhere else.

You should probably go with a less expensive model to start out with until you get the feel for it. And I think they all come with the basic spritz butter cookie recipe.

By babylove — On Oct 14, 2011

I've never actually made cookie press butter cookies before but I have had them at Christmas parties and such. They're so sweet and festive.

I'd love to have a cookie press of my own, then my daughter and I could have fun making different shapes and decorating them for friends and family. Do they sell cookie presses at Wal-Mart or other discount stores?

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