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Trib Tested: OXO Good Grips Cookie Press

| Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
OXO Cookie Press
Battle tested: This Civil War canteen with a hand-embroidered cover can carry plenty of water along with an ample amount of history. BHD Auctions

The claim: It's been more than 100 years since the first cookie press was introduced. OXO decided it was time to refresh the design to make it easier to use. Eighteen months and 10 designs later, they were satisfied enough to put it on the market. The comfortable, oversize lever of the Cookie Press is easily pressed down to release the perfect amount of cookie dough for cookie sheet after cookie sheet of uniform cookies. The Cookie Press includes 12 patterned stainless-steel disks with handy storage. Additional seasonal disk sets are available.

Cost: $29.99

Where: Stores such as Williams-Sonoma; Sur La Table; Bed, Bath and Beyond and www.oxo.com

My daughter and I decided to give the OXO Cookie Press a whirl to whip up cookies before Valentine's Day. We were excited about the simplicity of making our own cookie dough and turning out cookies with the Springtime disk designs.

We'd never used one before, so it was a little difficult at first to figure out the setup and get it working properly. We had a few missteps, but before we knew it, we were humming along. We used food coloring for some fun creations and found it was easy to get several dozen cookies onto the baking sheets and into the oven.

My daughter (age 11) liked the fun shapes and designs from the Springtime disk set, and I'd definitely recommend this as a fun activity to do with kids. In the end, it was definitely easier and more interactive than using traditional cookie cutters.

— Jill King Greenwood

Look out now!

As much as I enjoy dabbling in the kitchen, I've never used a cookie press.

My repertoire will be expanding, however, now that I've tried the OXO Good Grips one. (Disclaimer: I've long been a fan of these kitchen gadgets. My drawers are packed with them.) Not being able to resist the oh-so-cute Springtime disk set available for the cookie press, I started turning out the cherry-blossom kind, which looked quite festive for Valentine's Day when I put a pink or red M&M in the center of each one. I'm going to tint the dough green when I make the shamrocks for St. Patrick's Day.

The learning curve for using the gun was minimal. After the press was loaded and primed, the dough released easily and uniformly. My pro tip? Give the press a slight clockwise turn before pulling it up from the cookie sheet. That seemed to keep the wayward butter cookies at a minimum. (The cookie press comes with several recipes, including a cream cheese one that I'm dying to try.) Each dough recipe makes at least 10 dozen bite-size cookies, meaning much of the fun is experimenting with decorating. I'll be stocking up on food color, colored sugar and sprinkles.

— Jill Leonard

I've been using a cookie press since I was old enough to help Mom on her million cookie march every Christmas season. The Wear-Ever I own is about 40 years old and looks pretty much like hers, with a knob on top that is turned to push out the dough, and a collection of disks.

The new OXO Cookie Press combines all those qualities I like in its other gadgets. It's sleek, offers nonslip surfaces and dismantles simply for easy cleanup.

Instead of turning the knob screw, as my old cookie press operates, the OXO model has a ratcheting lever that allows a precise amount of cookie dough to be dispensed. No more overinflated rosettes or sprawling daisies to be segregated (eaten, really) from the perfect cookies. The rubber base prevents sliding while working and avoids scratching baking sheets. The slender, clear-plastic casing allows the user to view the dough and prime it to remove air holes.

The OXO Cookie Press comes with three recipes — Cream Cheese Spritz, Chocolate Shortbread and Butter Cookies — and I pulled out my old Wear-Ever recipe pamphlet to boot. But if you Google around, you can find plenty more from sites like AllRecipes.com and MarthaStewart.com. But why stop at sugary cookies? My weekend plan is to work on some savory cookie-press recipes for more adult tastes. The Rosemary-Cheese Spritz Cookies from FoodNetwork.com would make a great appetizer snack. And so cute in the cookie-press shapes!

— Sally Quinn

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