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For many people, cookie presses mean holiday time! They’re perfect helpers when we cook to share with others because they make producing large batches easy. This ritual of holiday baking is a warming part of many people’s memories, and the traditions continue every year.
Cookie presses are one of those kitchen tools that are just not completely straightforward. Their performance can’t be measured solely on the cookie press itself because its success depends so much on other factors. First, there's the dough, and it does have to be the right kind of dough or it won’t go through the discs correctly. It also depends on the mood of the baker as a cookie press may not be technically difficult to use, but it does take a fair amount of patience.
Personally, I have a problem with cookie presses because they make it too easy to make a lot of delicious buttery spritz cookies, which are then are in my house, which means I have to keep eating them! But I do love using cookie presses to teach children how to bake. The geekiness of the cookie press, along with the sweet dough and atmosphere of eager concentration that comes with children learning to be creative while making something so delicious makes time slip away quickly and happily. And I'm not alone in this.
"I absolutely love using a cookie press with children. I have 3 girls and have hosted children's cooking classes. Often baking with kids can yield unimpressive results and that's so discouraging for kids," says Ashley Summers, pastry chef and winner of "Sweet Genius" on the Food Network. "Cookie presses are great because the dough is easy to make, the cookies come out effortlessly impressive and there are so many ways to decorate them."
Whether you’re already a cookie press person and are looking around for a new one or If you’re new to the cookie press world, this list of best cookie presses has something for everyone. Also, you have my address, right? I’ll be looking in my mailbox for cookies, and I know that soon the rest of your friends and family will be too.
Best Overall: OXO Good Grips Cookie Press Set
What We Love: Well-thought-out press with details that work, comes with multiple cookie discs
What We Don’t Love: Not dishwasher safe
OXO puts its expertise in ergonomics to good use in this exceptionally well-designed cookie press. The clear plastic barrel makes it easy to see how much dough you have left and really comes in handy when it's time to clean. Once full, it's easy to use with a great selection of discs included in the set, and includes a storage case to keep the discs neat when not in use. The lever smoothly pushes down and offers an excellent grip, and the solid base doesn't move when it's time to make the even-sized cookies. While OXO says the discs can be placed in a dishwasher, I recommend hand-washing.
Material: Plastic | Size: 12.4 x 2.75 inches | Discs Included: 12 stainless steel discs, with additional designs available
Best Budget: Hutzler Easy Action Cookie Press and Food Decorator Set
What We Love: Really wide range of variety in discs and nozzles, affordable
What We Don’t Love: Not the best for making many batches at one time
A great cookie press doesn't need to be one of your big baking expenditures. And this neat little cookie press really goes beyond the budget category in at least two ways. First, it works with a lift-and-click method that’s easy on the hands. Second, it can also produce a cookie with a colored center! This will help you impress everyone with your cookie-baking skills. It’s also dishwasher-safe and has a wide variety of discs in the set including one for homemade pasta and another for cheese straws, plus a selection of decorating tips.
Material: Plastic | Size: 9.5 x 3.75 inches | Discs Included: 16 plastic discs, 6 tips
Best Stainless Steel: Marcato Atlas Biscuit Maker Cookie Press
What We Love: Sturdy, durable, versatile, easy to use
What We Don’t Love: Must be washed by hand
Marcato is known for its top-of-the-line pasta makers, and its commitment to high quality also shows up in this top-of-the-line cookie press. Stainless steel does offer some advantages over lightweight plastic models. "I prefer the old school, all-metal cookie presses. Plastic can stay greasy and often the doughs used in them are pretty butter heavy," says Summers. "I also try to avoid the clear plastic cylinder ones because they're easier to crack while being cleaned or while using stiffer doughs."
Of course, this Italian-made cookie press is very sturdy. It has a modern look with its anodized aluminum and steel barrel. and offers an ergonomic design. The set includes 20 discs to create a variety of cookies and can adapt to make large or small sizes. This cookie press is backed with a 10-year manufacturer’s warranty, but please, handwash only.
Material: Anodized aluminum, steel, plastic | Size: 8.75 x 2 inches | Discs Included: 20 aluminum discs
Related: The Best Hand Mixers
Best Set: Cuisinart Cookie Press Set
What We Love: Mulitple discs and tips, includes recipe book, dishwasher safe
What We Don’t Love: Discs are plastic
Some cookie presses have you push down a top lever, but not all! Cuisinart’s white and transparent plastic cookie press is one of the types people sometimes call a “cookie gun” because of how it works, with a trigger-like handle that creates the cookies. It’s well-built though and the clear barrel lets you see how much dough is left. The set includes not only comes with 18 discs but also includes 6 tips. These can be used for more than decorating the cookies, like using it to frost your favorites cakes or even for stuffing pasta shells. There’s a lot of different options for the ways you can use it!
Material: Plastic | Size: 10.25 x 2.5 inches | Discs Included: 18 plastic discs, 6 tips
Related: The Best Silicone Spatulas
Best Attachment: GEFU Cookie Press Attachment
What We Love: Does all the cookie press work for you, don't have to store a separate machine
What We Don’t Love: Requires a KitchenAid mixer and grinder attachment, or alternately, a meat grinder that matches the attachment
Buying a cookie press means finding the room to store it when not in use. But if you already have a meat grinder, or the grinder KitchenAid attachment, you're in luck. These shape inserts fit onto a KitchenAid grinder attachment for a fast way to make cookies with no physical labor. It’s also a fit for some meat grinders. The attachment comes with a selection of 6 different pressed shapes that create an excellent variety of options! My favorite excuse to buy this is to make batches of cheese straws without all the hard labor involved.
Material: High grade stainless steel | Size: 3.3 x 0.75 inches | Discs Included: 6
Related: The Best KitchenAid Mixers
Our best overall choice, the OXO Good Grips Cookie Press Set (view at Amazon), is affordable and is consistently a favorite of users. The best stainless steel cookie press, the Marcato Atlas Biscuit Maker Cookie Press (view at Amazon), is a great choice for someone who knows they’re going to be making big batches of cookies on holidays or as a regular activity.
What to Look for When You’re Buying a Cookie Press
Ease of Use
Since making cookies in a press involves a good amount of repetitive motion, it requires a certain amount of hand strength, so take a look at the mechanism of how the cookie press works. The basic idea is that you push a lever or a trigger, which causes the dough to exit the barrel into whatever shape you’ve chosen. Is it long enough to be comfortable? Is the texture of the material pleasant to be working with for the duration of the cookie making?
The exceptions to this are the electric cookie presses and the cookie press attachments. In an electric cookie press, check the weight to be sure it’s something you’re comfortable with lifting and working with, as well as taking a look at the power button to be sure it’s not in the way. In a cookie press attachment of any kind, check the measurements and fittings well to assure they will match your KitchenAid and/or meat grinder.
Cookie presses can get very messy, particularly if you overload the barrel or get dough on the outside of the press. Each cookie press has specific directions on how it should be cleaned, based on how it’s constructed and of what materials. Some are dishwasher safe, others are not. Be sure to follow the directions well and always clean thoroughly as soon as possible after use, checking all nooks and crannies, and be sure it’s dry before storing it away.
Can you use a cookie press with any cookie recipe?
No. Always use recipes specifically for use in a cookie press. "Always always always, test bake your cookie dough before going through all the work of pressing your cookies. If there's something off with your recipe you'll thank yourself for not wasting all that time and delicious dough," says Summers. "Cookie presses can also be hard to press so start by filling only 1/3 of the way full to avoid hand cramps."
Can you use a cookie press for frosting?
Yes, in fact, many cookie presses have decorating tips included in the set. These can come in handy for buttercream flowers, polka dots, squiggles, and swirls.
What else can you use cookie press discs for?
All sorts of culinary projects where you might think to use a piping bag. Deviled eggs, cream puffs, frosting cakes or cupcakes, meringues, and cheese straws, depending on the recipe and the cookie press, can all be made easier with a cookie press.
"I also love them for homemade crackers. They are really unique additions to charcuterie boards or wrapped with a bow in a bag as a thank you gift for guests," says Summers. "Look for recipes with cheese and lots of butter—you want a dough that is sticky but not so soft that it doesn't ball up."
Why Trust Simply Recipes?
Karen Resta is a NYC-based writer specializing in food culture and history, cooking, pastries and restaurants. A former executive chef who began her professional journey as a pastry chef, she travels around the globe as a photographer and writer, finding the best authentic food and pastries along the way. Her favorite thing about cookie presses is the celebratory mood they create! She’s passionate about finding quality ingredients within your given budget and believes that having the right tools and knowing how to use them makes all the difference in the kitchen. She curated this list with that in mind.
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