From Season 6: Cookies
For those of us lacking a steady hand or experience with a pastry bag, a cookie press would seem indispensable for making attractive spritz cookies. These inexpensive tools promise to produce consistently shaped cookies in record time. We tested six models to see if they lived up to their word.
Old-fashioned cookie presses rely on a screw-driven plunger to press the dough through cut dies, resulting in dozens of possible shapes. In our tests, these presses were awkward to use, especially with buttery hands. The one electric press we tested was even worse. The production of uniform cookies depended on split-second timing; hold down that power button too long or release it too soon—by what seemed like a millisecond—and you ended up with a cookie swollen to unrecognizable proportions or a cookie so puny it was destined to burn.
A third style of cookie press relies on a triggered, ratcheting mechanism. One click of the ratchet yields a perfect cookie every time. Our favorite press of this kind was nearly goof-proof and allowed us to make dozens of cookies in just minutes. This sort of press does have its limitations, however. Its one-cookie-at-a-time design restricts it to "drop" cookies. It is extremely difficult to produce an elongated cookie, for example, with this sort of press. Even for a novice baker, a pastry bag is better suited for making fancier shapes. But it’s hard to argue with the convenience of a good cookie press, especially if volume and uniformity are your main concerns.
Victorinox (formerly Victorinox Forschner) 6-inch Straight Boning Knife: Flexible
The nonslip grip and narrow, straight blade let testers remove the smallest bones with precision and complete comfort. Perfectly balanced with enough flexibility to maneuver around tight joints. The low price was a bonus.
|★ ★ ★||★ ★ ★||$19.95|
Wüsthof Classic Boning Knife
Hefty in weight, this knife was a solid performer when removing poultry bones, and the handle was easy to grip, even when covered in chicken fat. Piercing silver skin was a challenge since the tip wasnt sharp enough and the long narrow blade produced slightly jagged cuts.
|★ ★||★ ★ ★||$99.95|
|Recommended with Reservations|
Mundial Boning Knife: Flexible
The sharp tip performed well when removing silver skin, but it was too flexible when maneuvering around poultry joints, leaving testers feeling a lack of control. The heavy handle was slightly unbalanced and became slippery once covered in poultry fat.
|★ ★||★ ★||$19.95|
Shun Gokujo Filet Knife
Designed to replicate a samurai blade, this expensive knife was a disappointment. It struggled to pierce the silver skin, although long cuts were smooth and even. Minimal flexibility and extreme curve got in the way when maneuvering around joints. The smooth handle was hard to grip and slippery.
MAC Boning KnifeChef Series
The large, cumbersome handle reminded testers of an outdoors knife for fishing and hunting. The blade was too wide to maneuver around joints and it struggled to pierce silver skin. Unlike other knives, this boning knife could only slice in one direction, making intricate cuts around joints difficult.
Messermeister San Moritz Elite Flexible Boning Knife
The blade was so flexible it led to erratic cuttings; testers said the knife was hard to control. The blade was not sturdy enough to maneuver around joints and the lightweight handle felt flimsy and unbalanced.