Round 10 of Baking Gals just finished and we shipped our goodies to SSG Nicholas Limerick in Afghanistan on Tuesday. While I was at the post office there were two soldiers each mailing a care package to someone in the military. I know that because I’m psychic. No, because they were using the military flat rate boxes from the US Postal Service too.
Anyway, I recently bought a Wilton cookie press because it reminded me of the cookie press my mom had (and my sister probably now has) in days gone by. When I saw it, I became instantly nostalgic and culinary at the same time! :-) It wasn’t terribly expensive, about $20 at Bed Bath and Beyond, and it comes with something like 20 designs. More important for me, it comes with the recipes for spritz cookies – what cookies made with the press are called apparently – and also for a type of cheese cracker. I haven’t tried the cracker yet but I am going to soon. If they are yummy, they might not make it out of Cypress, let alone find themselves in Iraq. So, first I made chocolate spritz cookies, because even though it’s a living oven in Afghanistan right now and chocolate chips will melt, chocolate cookies must be had!
Next I made lemon spritz cookies with fresh lemon zest. They are not as good as the lemon shortbreads I made last round, but I wanted to try something new, so what the heck. I think next round I will go back to the original shortbread recipe, which came from Joy of Baking incidentally.
Here’s a mini review of the Wilton cookie press: it was overall a B+ because it was at times difficult to load the dough into the barrel. The instructions say “shape the dough into a log and place in the barrel.” I would like to know if the Wilton people have actually touched the dough from their recipes, because it is soft and very pliable. This stuff wouldn’t stay in the shape of a lump. Also, if the dough wasn’t “just right” in the barrel there were what can only be described as misfires. I’d squeeze the trigger but nothing would come out. Once the pump was primed so to speak, the press worked nicely, although at times the shapes were not uniform and I think I will attribute this to the warm pans. Note to other bakers who would like to use a cookie press: allow your pans to cool before pressing the next batch to be baked. The dough will not stick on warm pans. The Wilton recipe called for the cookies to bake for 10-12 minutes but my oven must run hot because I burned them at 10 and they were just right at 8.
We rounded out our box with candy and gum. Hopefully SSG Limerick has access to a dentist. Here’s Melody’s take on baking this past weekend. John just missed getting Melody’s comment about the chocolate cookie dough being loaded into the cookie press. She asked “is that poop?” I love her!