Is it possible to make a cookie dough for pressing without having to cream butter and sugar (my pet hate)?
It depends on exactly what mean by pressed cookies.
If you mean the kind of butter cookie traditionally made in the US using a cookie press:
I surveyed the top dozen or so recipes on the web. They all use the creaming method.
If you think about it, this makes sense. The dough that will be used in a cookie press needs to be sufficiently stiff to work in the device, and yet have enough leavening to make a nicely textured cookie. It also needs to set in the oven before it spreads, to retain the pressed shape. As the creaming method leaves the fat as a solid, it meets these criteria well.
Prior to the advent of the cookie press (and still, in professional pastry kitchens), similar cookies were made using a piping bag. Not all of the types of cookies that are piped require the creaming method, although they tend to be very different types of cookie. Some of these include:
- Simple meringues
- French style macarons (which are meringues enhanced with nut flour usually, similar to a dacquoise)
- While not usually called cookies, small petit fours made from choux paste are usually piped, as are their big brothers the eclair or profiterole
as a general FYI - chill the dough, then once you press, put the whole pan in the freezer for about 10 minutes, usually while the an before is cooking... and the cookies will be perfect - creaming the butter and sugar is typically a must.