The Old Cookie Press

538385_4367169253369_853712885_n

Ah, Christmas cookies, I could eat ’em all year. I have several good recipes and sometimes pick different ones to make each year, but one that I ALWAYS make is the one that uses my vintage 1950s Mirro Cooky and Pastry Press. It first belonged to my mother who used it every Christmas. When she stopped making cookies as much as I do, she gave it to me, and I treasure it.

Just like when I was a child, every year we have pink and green cookies shaped like Christmas trees, camels, pinwheels, and sunbursts. The recipe, included with the press, makes a lot of cookies, and it’s a good thing, because those little bite-sized morsels just pop in your mouth so quickly and easily.

Of course, they make electric cookie presses now, but to me, that wouldn’t be as fun. Putting some muscle power into twisting that handle and forcing out cookie dough brings a little old-fashioned Americana to our Christmas baking activities.

There are some interesting cookie tips with my press, which is still in its original box. The hearts, diamonds, spades, and clubs hark back to the days when ladies card clubs were popular. For me, the hearts make good Valentine cookies, and the clubs serve as shamrocks for St. Patrick’s Day.

If you’re lucky enough to have a cookie press, here is our recipe.

1 cup shortening

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg

1 tsp. almond extract

2 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

Green and red food coloring

Cream shortening and sugar well. Beat in egg and almond extract. Gradually blend in dry ingredients. Divide dough in half. Tint one half green, and the other half red. Fill cookie press and form cookies on ungreased cookie sheets. Sprinkle with nonpareils and bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes.