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Anyone prolific with cookie recipes using a cookie press?

I'm going to make a couple kinds of cookies for work.
Watched and recorded America's Test Kitchen where they made Chewy Sugar Cookies and know the supervisors at work would love to have some. These are the same lady's that always ask me to please make them cookies.
Plus, last week I bought another cookie press just cause I couldn't and didn't resist so thought I'd toss in some pretty cookies using that too if possible.
Problem is I've attempted making cookies from the hand held press machines before, years before, and had no success.

Is there a must do in creating nice looking and well shaped cookies?
Are there recipes that you use that I may try also?
Do I have to chill the dough or not?
Add butter as opposed to oil or vice versa?
When I've tried previously, they've spread or not come out any particular shape, certainly not the shape of the die I'm using. How do I cut off the portion? Do I backward squeeze the turning lever? Do I push harder when wanting to cut it off? I would appreciate any help you can share.
TIA

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    1. FYI...The chewy sugar cookies turned out really well. If anyone else saw that episode they are worth making for certain.

      1 Reply
      1. re: iL Divo

        Did you watch the videos? Did they help you? Hope so.

      2. Here's the link to the Discussion that I started on a similar question during the Christmas cookie making season. There were some very helpful tips. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/751308

        1 Reply
        1. re: masha

          my 3 cookie presses are all the same as far as style goes.
          bought them for two bakers long ago and just bought this new one for me.
          never knew they made a lever squeeze model.
          wish I'd have known that.
          the hand crank offers no videos that I can find and the squeeze trigger kind I don't own.
          also, very few recipes online that I found in my short search.
          refrigerator dough isn't an option.
          going into the link above to see if I can learn anything there, thanks.

        2. It's important to have the dough be the correct consistency for the cookie press to work properly. I would use a recipe specifically design for use with a press. We don't use a cookie press for any recipe other than Spritz and you cannot make those in April.

          5 Replies
            1. re: John E.

              "We don't use a cookie press for any recipe other than Spritz and you cannot make those in April."

              ???????

              1. re: ttoommyy

                You cannot make Spritz in April because they are Christmas cookies. I look on it the same as not making a strawberry pie in December or a pumpkin pie in June.

                1. re: John E.

                  I hope your comment is tongue in cheek. If not, it will offend thousands of non-Christians who make spritz cookies. :)

                  BTW...I make spritz all year round and especially when Easter falls in April. There are some floral dies that make beautiful cookies embellished with pink, purple and yellow sanding sugars.

                  1. re: ttoommyy

                    Actually, I meant it, but it's not a law or anything. My older brother and I used to help my mom make them each December, mostly sprinkling the colored sugar on and putting the red hots on and sometime those silver BBs (although I don't know why, they didn't add flavor). I remember asking to make them at another time of year and she said we couldn't because then they wouldn't be as special when we made them each December. The way I look at it, there's a reason most of the dies are wreaths, stars and Christmas trees (I also remember a camel and a dog). Of course anybody else can make them whenever they like.

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