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.