Updated August 21st, 2018 – A cookie press is a cylindrical tool with a plunger on one end and a hole on the other. The plunger pushes cookie dough out from the hole. At the end with the hole, various interchangeable perforated plates with different shaped openings can be attached.
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This is so that the dough is pushed out in distinctive shapes, much like that Playdough set children use. As cookies are even more popular during the holiday period, common examples include a star, Christmas tree, or snowflake shape.
Cheese straws are a tasty pastry snack made from a light, flaky pastry and cheese. They make for a great entrée to accompany soup at a dinner party, or simply as a delicious little snack to keep you going throughout the day. Don’t overdo it though, as they’re not the healthiest things you could snack on!
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Cheese straws are versatile in that there’s no singular recipe for making them. Everyone wants to put their own stamp on the cheese straw. I’ve come across blue cheese straws, Parmesan cheese straws, jalapeño white cheddar cheese straws, and many more. They go great with a soup or salad. Whether you prefer wafers chopped into smaller slices or the more traditional method of putting the dough through a cookie press, they’re a delight and worth celebrating.
Sounds great, but how do I make them?
To make cheese straws to go through the cookie press, you will need:
- Softened butter
- A 1 lb block of sharp cheddar
- Ground red pepper
- All-purpose flour.
Shred the cheese, and then mix the butter, cheese, salt, pepper, and paprika into a delicious paste. You should mix them gently but thoroughly in a mixing bowl. Gradually add the flour, stirring it in as you go. You’ll be left with a lovely, cheesy dough.
Select the opening shape of your choice for the dough press. Stars are very popular, but if it’s December you might want to go for the Christmas tree. Press the dough through the cookie press to make long ribbons, which you will then cut into shorter strips. Follow the instructions of the manufacturer of the cookie press to ensure you use it correctly. Otherwise, you might ruin your cheese straws, and that would be a disaster!
Bake your strips on some baking paper in the oven at 350° F for about 10 minutes, or until they are nicely browned. Once you’re satisfied that they are baked to your liking, chill them on a wire rack for 30 minutes or so. Serve your cheese straws alongside a nice bowl of tomato and basil soup, or in a nice salad.
What should I look for in a cookie press?
Like all tools with moving parts, ease-of-use and durability are important. If the dough, for example, is a little thick, a greater force will be necessary to force it out. Will the handle withstand this pressure, or will it snap off, rendering your press useless? Going cheap might leave you with a less durable cookie press.
Other features can make the experience more satisfying, including how easy is it to wash, how many different attachments are included, how easily it dispenses the dough and a number of other considerations.
The Best Cookie Presses for Cheese Straws
OXO Good Grips Cookie Press
The OXO Good Grips Cookie Press is a popular choice among seasoned cheese straw makers. The non-slip base keeps the press steady on your countertop when in use. This helps to keep the cheese straws neat and uniform. The long handle provides greater leverage to dispense the dough, and the clear cylinder allows you to see exactly how much dough has been used. It features 12 different stainless steel disks in various patterns to suit the seasons. They come in a neat compact storage case, so you won’t lose them about the kitchen.
OXO Good grips cookie press is one of the best in the market thanks to its design and performance. It has a non-slip base that holds it firmly on the surface thus enabling you to press the dough consistently. Also, it has a giant lever that provides grip hence allowing you to apply less effort while making the cookie. You don’t have to open the device to monitor the remaining dough after every press, you can see through its clear barrel and decide when to add the dough. Besides, it comes with twelve cookie disks made of stainless steel allowing you to choose the shape you desire.
Wilton Cookie Pro Ultra II Cookie Press
A slightly cheaper cookie press is the Wilton Cookie Pro Ultra II. It has most of the same features as the OXO device, including the non-slip base and a transparent cylinder. This model comes with a greater selection of cookie designs but does not have the convenient storage case. Instead of pushing the handle down, you pull it up, as if pulling a trigger on a water hose.
It’s small in size measuring 5.5 by 2.0 by 8.0 inches with a net weight of approximately 10.4 ounces. Moreover, it has a clear barrel that allows you to monitor the intake of dough. Besides, it comes with twelve plastic disks with various shapes, including flowers, pumpkin, ribbon, Christmas tree et al. You need to wash it after every use. It’s easy to wash as you can disassemble the parts and clean by hands using warm soapy water.
The DKST Kitchen Press
The DKST Kitchen Press is a fantastic option, though a little more expensive. The stainless steel press is larger than most on the market, and it’s very sturdy. This big cookie press produces a lot of cookies or cheese straws. Its robust design means that it can handle a tougher dough than most. Plus, it comes with 25 designer disks and a miniature recipe book!
Although it doesn’t have the transparent cylinder, it does have everything else. For those willing to spend a little more, this press usually retails at the high end of the spectrum.
Marcato Deluxe Biscuit Maker
The Marcato Deluxe Biscuit Maker is another great cookie press for cheese straw making. Don’t worry about the name! It’s manufactured by an Italian company, and cookies are called biscuits in Europe. The Marcato Deluxe is very much a cookie press. It comes with 20 different metal templates for creating your own designer cheese straws. The handle will also unscrew from the tube for easy cleaning.
This product is made of stainless steel thus it’s sturdy and durable. It comes in four colors for you to choose from, i.e., black, silver, blue and red. It perfectly matches with the decorations for your kitchen. Moreover, you can select the size of the cookie you want to make by rotating the regulator to produce either large or small cookie. It’s suitable for a large crowd since it can create twenty large cookies and forty small ones. Also, it has a locking ring that allows you to choose the cookie shape that you desire. You need to wash it after use with warm water and mild soap and wipe it with a cloth. Better yet, this product comes with ten years warranty.
Despite not being an American brand, it’s a really good cookie press.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a cookie press?
Also known as biscuit press, it is a kitchen tool that is used in making delicious and impressive looking cheese straws. It is cylindrical with a hole on one end and a plunger at the other end that pushes the dough. Perforated plates can be attached at the side having the hole. It allows you to make cheese straws of different shapes.
What is a puff pastry?
Puff pastry is a pastry made by pastry dough and layering shortenings, rolling and folding the dough repeatedly. This process results in a pastry made to multiple layers.
What should I take into account when buying a cookie press?
You should consider factors such as operation, performance, quality, versatility et al. The best cookie press should have excellent design and excellent performance. It should be easy to use and durable tool. If for example, you have the thick dough to press, the handle should withstand the pressure exerted. Go for an expensive cookie press since it’s durable. Also, it should be easy to wash and maintain.
What is a cheese straw?
It is a narrow strip of pastry snack made from thin, flaky pastry and grated cheese. It makes a delicious snack, especially when served in the dinner soup or a snack.
Why is the Oxo grip cookie press best for cheese straws?
Among the cheesemakers, this tool is the best choice for them because of various reasons. It has a non-slip base that holds it firmly on the surface providing stability when in use. Also, it has a long handle that provides the grip to squeeze the dough, and the transparent cylinder allows you to keep an eye on the process. Thus you can control the operations by checking the amount of the dough in the barrel. It comes with twelve different disks to suit the season.
What are the main features of the DKST kitchen press?
The DKST cookie press is the ideal baking companion. It has a quality stainless steel body and it comes with twenty discs that are different in shape and four icing to enhance your favorite designs and flavors. It’s a sturdy tool with all its body made of stainless steel material and is 25% larger compared to other cookie presses hence producing a lot of cheese straws and cookies. Also, it has strong icing discs that can handle the hard dough without bending or breaking. The tool is easy to use and durable.
C is for cookies…and cheese!
If cheese straw making is new to you, but something you feel you might enjoy and want to pursue, you should consider getting a cookie press. However, there are a number of things you need to consider. How much are you willing to spend? How will it look in your kitchen? Will you use it for other things, like cookies? Check out the models on this list and see which one is right for you!