Could we find a cookie press that consistently produced beautiful cookies?
Last Updated Sept. 26, 2023.
We recently retested our winner against two new contenders. Our winner remains the MARCATO Biscuit Maker. We also have a new Best Buy, the Nordic Ware Deluxe Spritz Maker & Treat Decorating Set.
Cookie presses are handheld gadgets that portion soft cookie doughs into a variety of shapes, from hearts and flowers to snowmen and turkeys. These cookies are typically called “spritz” cookies, from the German word spritzen, meaning “to squirt.” While you can use a pastry bag to pipe and shape dough, presses offer a variety of shapes and make it easier to create identical cookies.
Each press has a tube that holds the dough, with a perforated shaping disk at one end and a handle at the other. After loading the dough, you place the cookie press base on a baking or cookie sheet, squeeze the handle, and out pops a picture-perfect, oven-ready dough design—if the press works well.
The OXO Good Grips Cookie Press with Disk Storage Case won our last testing, but over time it turned out to be unreliable. (We stock the test kitchen with our winning products, so we can monitor performance over months and years and update our reviews accordingly). In the case of our winning cookie press, we noticed that the ratcheting mechanism eventually jammed and the handle could snap off. We demoted it and named a new winner—which was later discontinued—so we decided to retest these gadgets, excluding our previous winner because of its performance issues. We rounded up a variety of presses and started spritzing.
After pressing more than 1,400 cookies, we found that three qualities mattered most in a cookie press: consistency of shaping, durability, and—most important—the appearance of the cookies. Most performed well in two of those areas, but the real challenge was finding a press that did well in all three.
The cookies’ visual appeal was paramount. The presses came with anywhere from 12 to 20 shaping disks in different forms, from hearts and Christmas trees to camels and butterflies. Most of the presses gave us nice crisp designs, but we demoted one that fell short; its hearts looked more like lily pads, and its flowers were sometimes asymmetrical. The best presses created attractive, well-defined cookies in a variety of shapes.
Consistency of portioning and shaping was also crucial. We wanted a press that could easily punch out row after row of identical cookies without jamming. We found in past testings that cold dough can be hard for presses to push out and that warm dough can be too soft and clingy, which can gum up the machines and make for misshapen cookies.
To determine how finicky the presses were with doughs of different temperatures, we tested each with both 65- and 75-degree dough, representing the low and high ends of the range of average room temperature. Some models had infrequent, minor consistency issues—an occasional jam or incomp...
The mission of America’s Test Kitchen Reviews is to find the best equipment and ingredients for the home cook through rigorous, hands-on testing. We stand behind our winners so much that we even put our seal of approval on them.
Sawyer is an assistant digital editor for ATK Reviews. She enjoys baking, collecting Prince records, and all things Toni Morrison.