This cookie press recipe was a true test of my baking and decorating patience. As most of you know, a cookie press is nothing more than a hollow tube fitted with a decorative nozzle at one end and a plunger at the other. You insert your cookie dough into the hollow tube and then you press a trigger that makes the plunger press out the dough. The dough is pressed out through the decorative nozzle and a pressed cookie is formed. The nozzle holds discs that turn the dough into various shapes-hearts, wreaths, Christmas trees, flowers-the list is long and covers most of the major holidays. Here is the cookie press I used at the start of my baking. Little did I know that two more would follow.
I’ve discovered that my right arm has gotten incredibly strong. That’s because my squeezing of the cookie press trigger achieved pressing out five dozen cookies, but, on the bad side, it broke three cookie presses. Yes, three presses that broke-two triggers broke off and one shaft that holds the dough cracked into two pieces! Is this bad luck or what? I got my cookies done, but had to order a new press at the end as a result. This time I paid a little bit more and got a “heavy-duty” press. I’m hoping this solves the problem.
These cookies are very tasty, with a rich butter and vanilla taste. The recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of vanilla, which seems like a lot, but really works well with the dough. After the cookies had cooled, we decorated each one with a glaze made out of confectioner’s sugar and a variety of cookie decorating supplies-colored sanding sugars, melted chocolate, tinted glazes, chocolate sprinkles, etc. Most of it was purchased at the supermarket so just have fun and get whatever supplies catch your eye. With cookie decorating, there really is no bad way to do it. Here’s the steps:
For the cookies:
- 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large egg yolks
- 3 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted, for decorating
- Confectioners’ Sugar Glaze (see recipe below)
- Food coloring, preferably gel-paste, for decorating
- Sanding sugar, for decorating
- Other favorite items, to use for decorating
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add egg yolks, flour, salt, and vanilla. Mix until well combined.
Fit cookie press with desired disk and fill with dough. Press out shapes onto prepared baking sheets. Transfer to refrigerator until chilled, about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake until cookies are lightly browned, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
To decorate, tint confectioners’ sugar glaze as desired (dividing it among a few bowls to make different colors, if desired). Dip cookies in glaze and decorate with sanding sugar, nonpareils, or dragees. Let set until the glaze dries, at least 1 hour before serving or storing. Cookies can be stored, between layers of parchment, up to 1 week at room temperature in airtight containers.
For the glaze:
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 2 tablespoons water
Mix confectioners’ sugar and the water to achieve an easy-to-pour consistency, adding more water as necessary. Use immediately.
These are a great cookie. They taste great and look great. Impress your family and friends with a cute little decorated cookie. They will be impressed. At our house right now, none of us want to eat my cookie press cookies. Not because they don’t taste good, but because they are so pretty. Knowing how we like to eat, this mood will change soon and we will devour them. It’s the holidays right? Overeating is expected! Do you make any decorated cookies during the holidays?