If you’ve ever used your potato masher to break up ground meat when browning it in a pan, mash avocados for homemade guac, stir cold butter into your pie crust, and crush graham crackers for a graham cracker crust (via All recipes), then you might want to learn about another handy potato masher trick: pressing cookies with a pattern on top, like peanut butter cookies.
If you’ve ever baked this nostalgic treat at home, you know it’s traditional to press a crosshatch pattern on top of cookies. Whether for visual appeal or to flatten the cookie into an ideal thickness, this step is usually done by pressing the tines of the fork into the top of the rolled dough ball, then pressing the tines into the other meaning. The process is somewhat laborious, especially if you’re short on time or tossing several dozen cookies for a holiday cookie swap.
Enter the potato masher, which Allrecipes says can be used to quickly press peanut butter cookies. In this case, you’ll want to use the perforated plate shape, which looks like a round disc with a few perforated circles, to achieve the cookie’s signature hatched pattern. Alternatively, a pestle can be used to apply sugar to the tops of sugar cookies by lightly wetting the tool, dipping it in the sugar, then pressing it into the cookies. Could the potato masher be the kitchen’s unsung hero? We certainly think so.