12.13.2010

We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Baking..

Day 6 1/2. A Public Service Announcement.

It’s supposed to be Day 7. I know. But unfortunately there aren't really any cookies to show for it, so Day 7 has been postponed until tomorrow. Sorry!

I woke up with the urge to bake this morning. I had 3 cookies on my list to accomplish this week, and it was a matter of figuring out which one I wanted to attempt first. Figuring that the Spritz cookies were the lesser of evils, I decided to start with those. Little did I know that they would turn out to be the baking experience from hell.

Let me start by saying, I’m ever the optimist. Even if I don’t have what I need, I think to myself, “I’ll find a way to make this work!” That being said, I started out baking Spritz cookies, traditionally pressed into fun festive shapes before baking, without actually owning a cookie press. I’ve wanted one for years, but still hadn’t gotten around to buying one. But, thinking I can do anything, I figured I’d just pipe the dough out with one of my large piping tips into pretty swirls instead. Strike 1. I preheated the oven, made the dough, loaded it into my piping bag, and started to squeeze. To no avail. The dough is definitely too stiff for a piping bag… Well, since I’ve already got the dough made, I guess I’ll just have to go buy a cookie press after all.

Half an hour later, the Wilton Cookie Pro Ultra II (“World’s Best Cookie Press!” or so the box says) has been acquired and it’s time to load this bad boy up and start pressing away. It’s seems fairly easy to master, but right away I realize I can’t use my silicone baking mats because the dough won’t stick to it. That’s fine.. it says to use a ungreased cookie sheet anyway. I finally manage to get a couple to stick and turn out and suddenly I hear this little popping noise. Kind of like the one you hear when you break open a can of biscuits. And now my trees won’t press out.. So I turn the thing over to take a look. Strike 2. The disk has popped out of the holder on one side, squeezing half the dough with it.. So I take it apart and realign it, put it all back together and try again. And it pops out again. And again. And again. I literally have just 5 little trees made before it gave up. I managed to get maybe 15 overall before I got too frustrated to keep going.

Now I’m pissed. I just wasted a half an hour of precious baking time and $20 that I didn’t really have to spend on something that broke 5 minutes in. It’s going back to the store, but I’ll be damned if I’m not going to get some kind of cookies out of it first. So I try the wreath. I can’t get all the holes to release.. Every time. No matter how I squeezed, turned, pulled, realigned. Nothing. So that one was junk. Maybe a different wreath? Finally a little bit of success! I managed to get it to press out, stick, and look halfway decent for more than 5 cookies! I made it about 15 before the disk started popping out. And got a total of 40 before it actually CRACKED rendering it useless. Strike 3.



Not only that, but all the other ones I used ended up with a small strip of plastic hanging off the sides after I was done, where it was shearing off the edges with each press. Little black pieces of plastic that ended up in my cookie dough. Yum. Just want I want to give to all my friends and family. Cookies with plastic sprinkles!



So Day 7 of 12 Cookies of Christmas turned into Day 6 ½ because there are no cookies, simply a PSA—if you’re looking to make cookies with a cookie press, try to find a good old fashioned metal one that won’t break within 10 minutes of opening the box. If you can’t find a metal one, at least do not get the Wilton Cookie Pro Ultra II. It’s not worth it. AT ALL. I’m not one to return things usually, but this thing is going right back tomorrow, and I’ll take that $20 and put it towards something that actually works.

*To make matters even worse? What few cookies I did get to bake all stuck to the pan and broke (not sure if it’s the fault of the recipe or the press…) and my camera battery died in the middle of everything! So here’s to hoping tomorrow’s baking goes a WHOLE lot better than today.

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8 comments:

liz said...

i've been reading your blog for a while now. i had spritz on my list of things to try this week. my mom gave me a cookie press last year (although it's older and all metal). but now i'm thinking i'll just quit while i'm ahead, especially since i have no idea how the thing works. props for trying. you win some, you lose some, right? especially in baking.

Danae - The Busty Baker said...

Give it a try! Especially if it's older and metal! Those things were built to last, unlike the plastic ones out there now. As my mom always says, "They just don't make things like they used to."

Marla said...

PARCHMENT PAPER!!!

Butter Hearts Sugar said...

Oh dear what a heartbreaking post, I'm sorry things just wouldn't work out for you today. I look forward to seeing what you come up with next :)

oneordinaryday said...

Oh, what a shame. I hate when that kind of thing happens!! I have a Wilton cookie press that I love, but mine is just the Wilton Cookie Press Pro - no ultras or anything. It has stainless steel discs and canister, and I've never had any kind of issue with it. I hope you can find one, because you will have much better luck next time.

Caroline said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your spritz cookie disaster. I love my spritz cookies, and used my Wilton Cookie Press for the first time this year, to make regular spritz cookies, and an orange shortbread cookie dipped in chocolate (these will be on my blog soon if you're interested). I LOVED my parents old metal cookie press, but alas, everything seems to be plastic now. With the right dough, however, it shouldn't be that hard to get the dough out of the press. Room temperature dough is important, especially if using butter, and it has to be a soft and slightly sticky dough. Sorry it was such a frustrating experience!

sarahe said...

oh my goodness! what a horrible experience! i bought a cookie press a year ago but haven't used it yet...hope it's not a wilton!

melicity said...

Metal cookie presses are the way to go. They keep the dough chilled enough to be workable. You can find them on e-bay. :)

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