Cookie presses are handheld gadgets that portion soft cookie doughs into a variety of shapes, from hearts and flowers to snowmen and turkeys. These cookies are typically called “spritz” cookies, from the German word spritzen, meaning “to squirt.” While you can use a pastry bag to pipe and shape dough, presses offer a variety of shapes and make it easier to create identical cookies. Each press has a tube that holds the dough, with a perforated shaping disk at one end and a handle at the other. After loading the dough, you place the cookie press base on a baking or cookie sheet, squeeze the handle, and out pops a picture-perfect, oven-ready dough design—if the press works well. We rounded up four presses priced from $25.99 to $42.00 and started spritzing.
Manual Pasta Machines
by Miye Bromberg
You can roll fresh pasta with a rolling pin and cut it into noodles with a knife, but pasta machines make the process faster and easier and the results more uniform. Although electric models are becoming more common, hand-cranked pasta machines are still the most prevalent and affordable options on the market.