Man vs. Machine

Spritz cookies without a cookie press

I thought I was on a roll with the Dessert Decorator Plus.  After my cupcake frosting triumph last week, I was sure I had mastered this baked good decorating tool.

I decided to use it for an experiment with spritz cookies, inspired by the 2011 holiday baking edition of Cook’s Illustrated. The article recommended using a pastry bag instead of a cookie press.

This seemed like a logical suggestion and it looked easy enough from the pictures.  I’d never actually tried making spritz cookies but my sister has a cookie press.  I’d heard her complain about how persnickety it could be.

I figured I would bypass the pain of the press and move immediately to wonderfully-turned out cookies using the Decorator Plus.  (True, the Decorator Plus is not a pastry bag, but it does utilize pastry tips, so how much difference could there be?)

Using the Cook’s Illustrated recipe, I mixed up some perfect cookie dough with ease.  I even tinted it pink in honor of Valentine’s Day.

And then I attempted to press my first cookie.  Despite the dough’s soft consistency, I could not push it through the rather large pastry tip with the thumb lever or plunger!

This caused flashbacks to an icing incident over the holidays.  (I tried to force icing through the Decorator Plus and ended up damaging a nerve in my thumb.)

I am no weakling – I work out, you know – but I finally had to take my husband up on his offer to help after he commented that I was already fumbling some in the kitchen due to the nerve damage and couldn’t afford to make it worse.

So the Decorator Plus has the upper hand again.   But it’s not over yet.  The cookies were delicious.  For anyone who wants to to try the recipe, here’s an online version from

4 Responses to “Man vs. Machine”
  1. I don’t understand… did your husband ultimately manage to press the cookies through the Dessert Decorator, or did you have to resort to pastry bags? Thanks!

    • KarenCooking says:

      Oh no, HE was able to use the Dessert Decorator, although not easily. I was just thinking about these cookies the other day because I really like them, but I dread trying the Dessert Decorator again. I may have to switch to a pastry bag!

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