Lynn Gold (figmo) wrote,
Lynn Gold

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Spritz-ing up things

I had a rather severe craving this week for Spritz cookies, so I dug out the Wear-Ever Super Shooter cookie gun I had inherited from Grandmom. I made the Betty Crocker Spritz recipe, substituting granular Splenda for the 1/2 cup of sugar. I then went to use the press and couldn't get it to assemble. It seems the hole the piston was supposed to screw into was smaller than the piston; I guess it had shrunk over the years. Warren managed to get the thing in, but it wouldn't go down the piston shaft, which it has to do to work, so I wound up manually pushing down the cookie dough through the stamps. Despite this the cookies were dead on to the ones I grew up with in both flavor profile and mouth feel.

This was when I decided I needed a working cookie press.

I decided I wanted one with the same functionality as the one that had broken. Wear-Ever no longer makes the Super Shooter and doesn't support it, and I wasn't going to trust the ones on eBay that had "never been used" because they could have shrunk over the years, too. I discovered Consumer Reports has never rated cookie presses, so I was largely on my own. The only two I could easily buy were the Wilton gun and the Bonjour gun. Both were battery-powered. Bonjour's came with more features and was less expensive than the Wilton, so I picked up the last one at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

Since I still had some vanilla spritz left I decided to make chocolate spritz as an excuse to use the new press. I added 1/4 cup of cocoa powder (Scharffen-Berger), two tablespoons of butter, and 1/2 cup of granular Splenda to the recipe and in retrospect should have added at least 1/4 cup of butter, as the cookies were a tad dry.

As for the press, it worked only slightly better than the non-functional Wear-Ever Super Shooter. The motor had very little "oomph" and I had to push on the piston to get the dough to go through. Some of the shapes didn't work very well.

In my hunt for The Perfect Cookie Press I found the gourmet stores only stocked manual ones with ratchets. This last time was when I discovered why people still buy them. It's a lot like can openers; they keep making electric ones, but the high-end manual ones still work better.

One other quirk about cookie presses: There's no "standard" size, so dies for one won't work in another, even within the same company! Wilton, for example, makes three different cookie presses, and the dies are incompatible between them. None of the presses had the doggie die the Wear-Ever had, which IMHO was a shame; at one point I'd shifted the die and accidentally pressed a cookie that looked like two dogs humping. This was a cookie I'd wanted to be able to duplicate, but AFAIK nobody makes custom dies for cookie presses, which IMHO is a shame. I'd also like a Consonance logo.

I hit the Internet to do more research. The site had a few reviews of cookie presses. Nobody had reviewed the Bonjour one, but several people had reviewed the Wilton ones and the Williams-Sonoma one. The gist of what I'd learned was the Kuhn-Rikon had the most dies (20) but nobody had rated it, and the Williams-Sonoma one with its 18 dies blew the barn doors off the Wilton ones. I decided to go with the Williams-Sonoma one since it also had a clear barrel.

Now to a) finish up the first batches of sugar-free Spritz and b) crib my mother's brandy (pressed) cookie recipe from her (it was Dad's favorite and oh-so-good) to try to make sugar-free. I also wish I could find my copy of the Betty Crocker Cooky Book (my favorite all-time cookbook) to get the recipes out of it I miss so much.

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