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Monday, December 17, 2012

Mirro Cookie Press: Old and Simple Can Be Better Than New and Complicated


by Cynthia Light Brown

I grew up making Spritz cookies for Christmas. My dad would make several double batches with his 3 little girls dipping our fingers in to snatch some dough with the smell of almond extract wafting through the house and the dog gobbling up any cookies that fell off the table in the chaos. We always made green Christmas trees and rose poinsettias and if we were feeling bold maybe some yellow stars. The trusty Mirro cookie press clicked along for years and years pushing out probably thousands of cookies.

I have tried to make Spritz cookies. I got a cookie press from Williams-Sonoma a few years back for too much money. I tried for 2 years before admitting that the fancy ratchet design was just not working. I always gave up after one tray of cookies. Then I tried a Kitchen Aid cookie press with a somewhat different, but still fancy ratchet design. Still didn’t work. Then last year I tried a cheap cookie press. No comment. Mirro didn’t sell cookie presses anymore.
 
Ebay saved the day. Last January my new-old Mirro cookie press arrived for about $15. It was old, with a simple turning motion, even a little rusted. I tried it last Saturday and we now have hundreds of lovely, perfectly shaped green Christmas trees and rose poinsettias and even some bold blue snowflakes. I am in almond heaven.

There’s nothing wrong with fancy. I like a fancy dinner now and then, and I love my new-fangled iphone. But if you have a complicated plot, it needs to be based on a simple, solid structure. Original is over-rated if that’s all you have to offer; our favorite stories are ones that resonate in deep ways. Boy meets girl. Stranger comes to town.


There and back again. 



Recipe for Spritz Cookies

1 c. shortening (can substitute 1/2 with butter)
1 c. sugar
1 egg
2 1/2 cups flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon almond extract
food coloring (optional)

Cream the shortening. Slowly add sugar while beating. Add egg and other ingredients. Add coloring if desired. Put in a Mirro cookie press and press to your heart's desire.

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for serving spritz on our Pittsburgh Cookie Table! Spritz are a matchless combo of cuteness, flavor, and ease of production.

    And your Mirro quest would fit into one of my "Life's Lessons Learned" cookie posts!

    My baby sister also sought and bought a "classic" Mirro. (There are three big holiday bakers in my generation, and of course only one Mirro to inherit.)

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  2. I stupidly gave my original cookie press away and went through two 'new improved' losers before finding a vintage Mirro on the 'bay.

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  3. Congratulations on finding sanity again, Jaganshi! I just made more Spritz cookies yesterday...heaven.

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