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Holiday Cookies 101:: Easy Baking with a Cookie Press

Home-baked goodness is the most economical and heartfelt choice for gifts and entertaining, but rolling out dough and cutting decorative cookies can be time consuming and messy. With a cookie press, bakers can achieve gift-worthy results quickly and easily, leaving more time for the rest of the holiday to-do list.

The Pampered Chef recently introduced a new cookie press with a rotating, easy-to-use press that controls the amount of dispensed dough with a twist motion. With nine disks in assorted shapes, the press can be used to make cookies for occasions throughout the year. In addition, the press includes a potato ricing disk, exclusive to The Pampered Chef. After the cookies are baked, this disk can be used to create creamy mashed potatoes for the holiday meal.

Tips for Santa-worthy cookies:

• For best results, it’s important to mix ingredients in the correct order listed in recipe directions. Changing order of ingredients can result in dough that will not work well with the press.

• Do not chill dough prior to using a cookie press.

Add nonpareils, colored sugars or sprinkles to pressed cookies prior to baking.

• If cookie dough has an uneven surface where it has separated from the disk, simply pat top surface of dough lightly before baking.

• Pressed cookies will not release onto a warm cookie sheet. So while cookies are baking, press cookies onto parchment paper that has been cut to fit sheet. Simply slide parchment onto cookie sheets and bake.

Classic Spritz Cookies

Yield: 6-7 dozen cookies

1 1/2 cups (375 mL) butter (3 sticks), softened

1 cup (250 mL) sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon (5 mL) vanilla extract

3 1/2 cups (875 mL) all-purpose flour

Colored sugar or sprinkles (optional)

• Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). In large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar on medium speed of electric mixer about 3 minutes or until creamy, scraping down sides as necessary. Add egg and vanilla; beat well. Add flour; mix on low speed just until blended, scraping down sides as necessary. (Dough will be soft; do not refrigerate.)

• Fit cookie press with desired disk; fill with dough. Press dough onto cookie sheet 1 inch apart. Decorate cookies with colored sugar or sprinkles, if desired.

• Bake 10-12 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool cookies 2 minutes on cookie sheet; remove to cooling rack. Repeat with remaining dough.

• Chocolate Spritz Cookies: Increase sugar to 1 1/4 cups (300 mL). Decrease flour to 3 cups (750 mL). Combine flour and 1/3 cup (75 mL) unsweetened cocoa powder in medium mixing bowl; blend well. Proceed as recipe directs.

For more holiday recipes or to shop online, visit www.pamperedchef.com.

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