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Russell Hobbs biscuit and cookie maker Review

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After my Imperial Cookie press died (after an all too short life), I set my sights on the Russell Hobbs Biscuit and Cookie maker.  I wanted to fall in love with it, but I couldn’t.  I loved the snazzy clip lock box which it came in, I loved the fact that it was electric instead of manual.  After trying 4 different recipes (all from the booklet which came with the cookie press) and Viennese Biscuits which are my favourite, I gave up in despair and returned it.  I must say that the staff at Russell Hobbs did their best to help me and I was even sent another ‘fool proof’ recipe to try which I followed to the letter.

My first problem was that the press made a clicking noise, I spoke to a very nice man in the technical department who said that it sounded like the motor was straining.  He assured me that the machine was SABS approved.  My husband, Cliff, who is an enginner says that there will not be any SANS or other standard specifically applicable to a cookie press and that SABS approval would in all liklihood cover aspects like electrical safety, but not be any indicator of the ability of the device to produce consistent quality cookies and certainly not cover aspects like the type or stiffness of cookie dough that can be used in the device.  In any case I tried to make the cookie dough softer once but still had the same problem.  If I ignored the clicking noise (which didn’t always happen) my biggest problem was that it did not release properly and only about 1 in 5 cookies were well-formed to my satisfaction.  Looking at the discs on the Imperial Cookie Press (which actually did a better job until it turned up its toes) the holes on the Russell Hobbs discs are slightly smaller, I believe that fractionally bigger holes may have improved things.  The Imperial Cookie Press had plastic discs with slightly bevelled edges, the Russell Hobbs discs are flat stainless steel, I also think that the bevelled edges may play a part in the press working better.

In the case of  making the Viennese Biscuits which I love, I had to add liquid to make the dough soft enough to get through the small holes, this then compromised the recipe taking away the melt in the mouth texture which makes them so special.  In my perfect world a cookie press would be designed by a professional baker, it would be tested making cookies pre-production.  I would then use the fact that Chef x played an integral part in creating the perfect cookie press and make that part of my marketing.

The very sad part is that now Cliff says that I should not bother getting another, but I still really really want one!  Maybe with the profits from Sula’s Kitchen I will sneak off and try another brand.  If anyone reading this can recommend a brand which works beautifully and is durable please let me know in the comments block below.  I am prepared to spend up to a max of R350.

18 comments

  1. I found this post and your blog by searching for something else ~ my scoop to be exact and found the rest of your blog so interesting and well written. Well I am glad to know I am not the only one that found the Russel Hobb’s biscuit cutter so difficult to use. My husband and son bought it for me a few years ago and I tried it three times and it is now a dust gatherer. I thought it was just be as I am not a seasoned baker and hardly ever bake. It is such a pity, because most of their appliances are excellent. I now just use cookie cutters when and if I bake biscuits.

    • Thank you so much for your comment, it is feedback like this that makes blogging rewarding. So glad I’m not the only one who struggled with the appliance

  2. oh man!!, i came across this blog trying to check on google if im using the russel hobbs cookie press correctly, Sula, what u described here its exactly what im experiencing, i was baking and i ended up shaping my biscuits with something else,

    now i realise that im not hallucinating, the russel hobbs cookie press doesnt work, im going to take it back,
    i wanted to invest in a good cookie press, and i saw the russel hobbs one to be so atractive, even though its a bit pricey.

    Hope its stil under warranty

  3. I too came here because of the frustrating R H. Seeing you came upon the same as I, I struggled on and on. Found it hás to be a very soft dough. Closer to icing consistency.
    This recipe I used to make with a piping bag. Viola! Made more biscuits for Christmas but used less flour than for my antique Ideal.There is a bit of difference in the texture, am still deciding if I will continue to experiment.

    My “this is the last” recipe if you would like
    1lemon – juice +rind (i use more lemon maybe half a cup) orange instead of the sour?
    175g butter
    200g flour
    50g icing sugar
    Oven 160C
    Cream butter icing + juice
    Add flour.
    Pipe (russell hobbs) onto trays.
    Bake in centre of oven 10 min
    Fragile when hot.

  4. Hi all,

    I am looking into buying a nice cookie press and was about to buy the Russel Hobbs one till I saw this.

    What is a good option that I shoudl consider? I am also looking at this one:

    http://www.yuppiechef.com/master-class-bakeware.htm?id=1280&name=Master-Class-Biscuit-and-Icing-Set

    • I’m sorry I don’t know, I sort of gave up on cookie presses after the Russell Hobbs but if you buy a good one please come back here and tell me.

  5. Read your reviews with avid interest. Thanks. The only cookie press getting good reviews in the current market and tried and tested is the Wilton brand. Imported to SA so not very cheap, around R500 but well made, great quality and easy to use. There are several types in this brand, some having more designs and so on. Bought at Angamias at the Oriental Plaza in Fordsburg. Hope that helps. No adjustments needed to traditional recipes either.

  6. My Russell Hobbs is also collecting dust. I’ve also tried several times with different recipes but it always comes out off shape.

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