We like the clear barrel, the variety of available disks for making cookies in different seasonal shapes, and how easy it is to swap out the disks.
The ergonomic lever didn’t work as we expected: Both of our test units jammed, until we figured out we needed to apply pressure with two hands.
You can produce a lot of little cookies in different shapes in a short amount of time, but this is no simple tool to use.
A cookie press is a dough delivery system for cookies with fancy shapes. Like a caulking gun, it’s a hollow tube with a plunger that extrudes dough under pressure, through a decorative disk. Our moms had all-metal cookie presses with syringelike plungers; they were always a pain to push. OXO’s Good Grips Cookie Press has a lever-style trigger that promises to be easier on hands and wrists. Can it make a decent Christmas-tree spritz cookie, and be easy to use? We thought we’d find out.
The OXO Good Grips Cookie Press (product number 1257580) has a clear plastic barrel for holding cookie dough and a nonslip base to steady it on the baking sheet when you extrude a cookie. It stands 10 1/4 inches tall, with a barrel diameter of 2 3/4 inches. Empty, it weighs a tad over 10 ounces. The top is contoured so you have something to grip with one hand while the other is on the long (5 3/4 inches) lever-style plunger grip. The press comes with 12 stainless-steel disks in various patterns (daisy, flower, sunflower, fleur-de-lis, butterfly, bear, shell, leaf, heart, snowflake, tree, wreath), and a plastic storage case for holding them. (We tested with OXO’s Autumn Cookie Disk Set, sold separately for $9.99, which includes a spider, web, owl, turkey, leaf, and pumpkin.) The press comes apart for loading with dough and cleaning. Some parts of the press, the disks, and the storage case are dishwasher safe.
Pinwheels: We piped out 24 cookies an inch apart on our baking sheet, approximately a single barrel load. We switched disks midbatch (this was easy to do). Each cookie came out easily and stuck to the ungreased baking sheet, but came right off after baking. And the cookies baked up buttery and tasty.
Chocolate shortbread: The dough was nice to work with and easy to load into the cookie-press barrel. After a little pressing, the lever began to stick. We persevered, but only the occasional cookie came out with a nice shape. At some point, we couldn’t press the lever at all—it had frozen and we couldn’t get it unjammed. We stopped what we were doing and ordered a second OXO Good Grips Cookie Press.
We tried the same recipe in press number two, and started having the same difficulty using the lever, until we figured out a solution: We found that if we pushed the knob at the top of the press with one hand while pumping the lever with the other, it applied enough pressure to squeeze a cookie out. Effective but annoying. (We should also note that while OXO’s recipe yielded a ton of cookies, we didn’t really like them: The chocolate flavor was weak.)
General stuff: When it worked, the OXO Good Grips Cookie Press made nice-looking cookies. They're small (about 1 1/2 inches across), so you can get a wide variety of shapes from one batch of dough. The clear barrel is great for seeing how much dough is left. The storage case for the disks is nice, and we like that you can purchase additional seasonal disk shapes (springtime and autumn). While some of the parts are dishwasher safe, you have to wash the top and the plunger by hand. And the disks are easy to lose track of—ours fell down the kitchen drain easily. Especially around the holidays, the OXO press is good for producing lots of cookies in various shapes in a short amount of time. But the fact that both of our test units stopped working efficiently adds a big caveat to our recommendation to buy this baking tool.
Photos by Chris Rochelle