Kuhn Rikon and Oxo's popular tools go head-to-head in a cookie press face-off.  

By Patrice Yursik
December 15, 2020
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Credit: Amazon / Sur La Table

Since moving to the Midwest a decade ago, I’ve been utterly fascinated by the phenomenon of the Midwestern cookie platter. You may know folks who spend the holidays making batch after batch of cookies, gifting their lucky loved ones the kind of platters that Pinterest dreams are made of.

The first winter we moved to Chicago, I was dazzled by this spectacle of cookies. The plates had normal round cookies, completely circular cookies, ornately patterned cookies, and multilayered cookie bars. Some were buttery and soft; others were sprinkled with candy or sugar, drizzled with chocolate, or filled with homemade jam. I was gobsmacked by the sheer variety.

I’ve since learned the names of the usual suspects: Linzer cookies, raspberry thumbprints, pizzelles, spritz cookies. A standard Midwestern cookie platter can include everything from traditional Scandinavian and German recipes to delicate Italian showstoppers. Erin Genis, a third-generation cookie baker based in New Lenox, Illinois, told me she’s baked around 26 different kinds of cookies over the past few weeks, mostly family recipes that have been handed down for generations, some without names at all.

It recently hit me that the classic cookie platter exchange wouldn’t happen this year. I may not have been up to the task of making five different varieties, let alone 26, but I suspected I could make an impressive enough Christmas cookie presentation with some determination and, perhaps more importantly, the right tools.

I had to gather my ingredients first. Though it was no problem getting the flour, butter, and sugar from my supermarket, I had no idea where to find an adequate selection of fancy icing, festive jimmies, or glittery colored sugar. Somewhat surprisingly, the search led me to Joann Stores, where I found all the colorful toppings I needed. Time to show and prove.

As for equipment, I decided to try out cookie presses made by two very popular brands. Behold, the Oxo Cookie Press and the Kuhn Rikon Clear Cookie Press With Decorating Tips and Storage Box.

Which cookie press is worth the spend? I tested both tools in four important cookie-making categories before declaring an overall winner.

Round One: Packaging

Kuhn Rikon comes in a tidy container that holds the cookie press and disks. Oxo offers a container for the stainless-steel disks, but not the press itself.

WINNER: Kuhn Rikon. But it’s close. For the included case and the joy of putting things away neatly, I choose Kuhn Rikon, but the Oxo model takes up less storage space.

Credit: Stephen Yursik

Round Two: Cookie Variety

Kuhn Rikon’s includes 14 cookie disks. Wreath, tree, candy cane, and snowman are your Christmas options, with dinosaur as a possible random fifth, because why not? It also comes with six decorating tips, allowing for fun frosting possibilities.

Oxo comes with 12 cookie disks. Snowflake, wreath, and tree are your holiday options. There’s also a teddy bear. Is that intended as a holiday cookie? Possibly! You can amp up the Christmas factor by purchasing an additional Oxo holiday disk set, which includes an adorable Santa option that I think I need.

WINNER: Kuhn Rikon

Round Three: Ease of Use

There is a learning curve to using cookie presses, and it took a few botched attempts to figure them out. The ideal way to get a good pressed cookie is to use a “natural” finish cookie sheet, not a non-stick sheet. Refrigerate or freeze your cookie sheet just before use, to ensure the dough will stick to the sheet. Both cookie presses remind you that it’s “one click per cookie,” or advise you to “pump lever down once,” but it takes a little practice to figure out, and in my experience, that may vary for each different disk/cookie shape.

For the Kuhn Rikon cookie press, making a wreath-shaped cookie took us two and a half presses on average, per cookie. For the Oxo press, one and a half presses per cookie. Also, there’s a reason that Oxo products are named Good Grips. The lever feels very comfortable to press, and the consistency of the cookies turned out perfect.

WINNER: Oxo

Round Four: Recipes

Each cookie press comes with a little booklet of instructions including 4 recipes. Kuhn Rikon includes recipes for vanilla spritz cookies, chocolate cookies, ginger spice cookies, and cheese straws. The Oxo press booklet includes recipes for cream cheese spritz cookies, chocolate shortbread cookies, butter cookies, and gingerbread spritz cookies.

We followed the different recipes and specific instructions to stay true to each cookie press, and made vanilla spritz cookies for the Kuhn Rikon press, and butter cookies from the Oxo booklet. We enjoyed both: The Oxo recipe reminded me of the popular butter cookies sold at retail counters around Chicago, while the Kuhn Rikon recipe gave us cookies with a bit of a softer, and perhaps ironically, more buttery texture.

WINNER: I plan to try more recipes from each cookie booklet, but for now I will give the edge to Oxo.

Overall Winner: Oxo Cookie Press

Both presses are easy to work with once you figure out the right amount of press to give each cookie, which really depends on your recipe. And though I can’t comment in this regard personally, my husband assures me that each press is a capable replacement for the old-school stainless-steel press he remembers using with his mom in the early ‘80s. If you’re looking for a neatly packaged cookie press set that includes a variety of disks and decorating tips, go for the Kuhn Rikon. If your concern is ease of ergonomic use, and perhaps a slightly easier learning curve get the Oxo cookie press.

Kuhn Rikon makes many amazing products, but overall, I think this Oxo cookie press is the best all-purpose cookie press for beginners like myself.