We all know that cookie cutters are made differently. Some are made with molded plastic, some are made with bent metal, some are created with a 3D printer. I genuinely don't have a preference of plastic over metal- there are pros and cons to both.
However, there is one feature of some plastic cutters that I like- a HANDLE!
Oh wait, you didn't know that some cutters have handles? Let me show you!
The handle on a cookie cutter is a lip (typically around 3/8" wide) that is opposite of the cutting edge and it follows the perimeter of the cutter. When you press these cutters into the dough, your fingers can wrap around the handle to easily lift up the cutter. Typically, metal cutters do NOT have handles (unless it's a rubber grippy kind that can actually be removed). SOME plastic cutters have them; some mass-produced molded plastic ones (like Wilton and Sweet Sugarbelle branded) and some 3D printed ones (Sinful Cutters and Bobbi's Cutters, to name a few).
But for me, that handle is more than just an easy way to lift up a cutter. It's a way to double your cutter use!
I wanted to use this Sweet Sugarbelle cutter for a gumball machine cookie, but it was a little too small for me. Instead of using the cutting edge of the cutter, I laid the cutter on my dough upside down, with the handle resting on the dough.
Using a paring knife, I cut around the handle of the cutter.
The resulting cookie shape was definitely bigger than one made with the real cutting edge. But it retained the same basic shape, just a little rounder.
Here are the two cutter sizes, decorated in the same manner. There are obvious differences between them, but the hand-cut shape works just fine!
A few tips:
1. Roll out a disc of dough and chill it for 10-15 minutes, then hand-cut your shapes. Your cuts will be smoother, leaving the cut edge less jagged, and the overall shape less distorted.
2. Carefully select your cutting tool and what you're cutting the dough on. A dull paring knife on my Pampered Chef mat works for me. A sharper cutting tool will cut through the dough AND what your dough is resting on. Don't be like me and use a brand new PenBlade on an expensive silicone mat. You'll end up buying a new mat because you'll slice and dice through your mat. Trust me on this one.
3. Keep in mind the shape of your cutter. This technique will work great for some, but not all shapes. A really bumpy-edged cutter will lose some of its definition. You can always trace the handle of your cutter on paper to test how it will look before you cut and bake dough.
So don't be dismayed that you don't have the "perfect" sized cutter- you might just need a hand(le)!
I love making monogram cookies! They are perfect for many cookie events like weddings, bridal and baby showers, and birthday celebrations. Monogram cookies can easily tie into any decor theme, but floral monograms always have my heart! Take a look at some of my simple tips to make floral monogram cookies the star of your cookie show!
Be creative for the shape of the monogram cookie
Plaques are the typical go-to cutters for making monogram cookies. Many other cutters have the potential to make beautiful monograms. For this cookie, I used the largest of the Sweet Sugarbelle nested flowers.
Small details are important!
A. Metallics: Just a pop of metallic color can take monogram cookies to another level. I use Crystal Colors metallic dusts, liquified with Everclear. The alcohol evaporates quickly, leaving behind a pretty shine (that is FDA approved!).
B. Greenery: Use 2-3 shades of green icing for the greenery. Also, don't just create ordinary leaves. Add some variety with leafy stems and spikes.
C. Double Monogram: Make the monogram base thicker and top the letter with a thinner line in the same color. It's a small detail, but I really like how it creates some elevation in the monogram.
Pretty piped flowers aren't just for cakes! Pull out those specialized icing tips to pipe a single, large blossom. I piped this flower with an old Wilton 126 tip. Just keep in mind that the monogram is the main focus of this cookie. The single flower is a strong supporting actor. You really don't need other flowers in this design.
A. Dusts for Depth: I dry-brushed a little bit of Wilton petal dust (available at Michaels and other local stores) to the flower to give it some depth. What a difference a little bit of color can make!
B. DOTS: Add a few dots in white icing (or whatever your icing base color is) to pull together your design.
I can't help it. This cookie just makes me swoon!
Yard Maintenance: One of those grown-up tasks that both my husband and I dislike. Between pulling weeds and trimming with the weed-whacker, we would much rather spend our weekend afternoons doing something other than yard-work. It was a glorious day when our eldest child was old enough to work the lawnmower, and we happily pay him a small fee to take care of the grass cutting chore. Unfortunately, pulling weeds is akin to pulling teeth- you literally can't pay my kids to do it. I'm not looking forward to the day where the voluntold help no longer lives under my roof.
Mind you, we have great appreciation for those who live for that well-manicured lawn. My dad and my father-in-law are both lawn guys, so it's higher on their priority list than an afternoon pilgrimage to IKEA. It was only fitting to make them lawn mower cookies for Father's Day because they truly are "A Cut Above The Rest".
For these cookies, I re-purposed the top hat/toast cutter from the Sweet Sugarbelle Shape Shifter 2 set. You don't have to use this exact cutter- a basic rectangle would work too. I just like to make creative use of the cutters I own. Here's a sketch so you can see where we're going!
Here's what you'll need:
* Baked cookie shapes
* Royal Icing in the following colors and consistencies
White: flood or 20-second (optional)
Red: 25 second
Gray: 25 second
Black: 25 second
* Optional: airbrush with blue and green airbrush colors
1. Cut and bake the cookie shapes using your favorite roll-out recipe.
Flood the cookie with white royal icing. Allow it to fully dry. Airbrush the sky and grass background. I used Creative Cookier's airbrush colors and pearl sheen found here. But it's totally ok to skip these steps if you're short on time, or you want to go to IKEA for the afternoon...
2. Use the red royal icing to pipe these lawn mower sections. Allow these sections to crust over.
3. Use gray icing to pipe the middle section and pull cord. Use black icing to pipe the wheels and mower handle. I used a size 3 decorating tip to pipe the handle, as I wanted a rounded look. Allow these sections to crust over.
4. Use smaller tips, like PME 1.5 or Wilton 1, to pipe details. Don't get hung up on where the lines should go. Pipe details where you want them. Remember, you're just striving for the impression of a lawn mower. Allow these details to dry for a few minutes.
5. Use the green icing to pipe some grass, if you want! Pipe a little, pipe a lot. It's up to you!
Another Option: Add a cute face to your mower! Because who doesn't smile when doing yard-work? (imagine me sheepishly raising my hand)...
Cute cookies deserve cute packaging! I added some icing sprinkles (just dried icing pieces) inside the bags. You could also just buy some green sprinkles to add to the bottom of the bags.
BRP Boxes make great packaging! And this size is perfect for a 2-piece cookie set!
Happy Father's Day!
Now go out and do some yard-work. You know you want to.
I'll be on my way to IKEA.
It happened again.
I had every intention of planning out new Thanksgiving designs and shopping around for the cutest and newest Thanksgiving cookie cutters..
And then life happened. Wasn't Easter just yesterday?! Where did the time go?
Needless to say, I turned to my old trusty creative cutter skills to bail me out once again. I was able to freshen up my Thanksgiving designs, and I didn't need new cutters after all!
If you are a design procrastinator like me, and if you have one of these Sweet Sugarbelle cutters, you too can make the most adorable Turkey Pilgrim! There's a slight difference between the cutters (the red one is slightly smaller and the outside curves are not even), but it will still work for this design!
I used the aqua-colored cutter (one on the left) for my Turkey Pilgrim, upside down of course!
Here's what you'll need:
* baked cupcake cookie shapes using your favorite roll-out cookie recipe
* Royal icing, in the following colors and consistencies:
Brown: 20 second
Black: loose piping (maybe around 25-seconds?)
Gray: 20 second, and piping if you want to line the hat brim
White: 20 second
Yellow: loose piping, like the black color
Red: 20 second
* edible food marker (optional). If you use a projector, you can omit this step!
1. Sketch the basic lines of the Turkey Pilgrim with the edible marker. The sketch for the Turkey Pilgrim is here.
2. Pipe the head of the turkey with brown icing. Pipe the hat band and exposed shirt with the black icing. Allow these sections to dry well.
3. Lots of details can be made at this step! Pipe the hat, beak, eyes, shirt collar, eyebrows. Allow these sections to dry.
4. Final steps! Make sure that the underlying icing is dried well, to help prevent color bleed. Pipe the waddle and buckle. I trimmed the hat brim with gray icing. That's it!
This Turkey Pilgrim will definitely make his way to my Thanksgiving table for years to come. He might just be the star of the Thanksgiving Dinner Show!
But Thanksgiving is all about family and friends!
I am thankful and blessed to have the means to share my cookie journey with you! Thank you for coming along with me! Happy Thanksgiving!
I'm Amy. Wife, Mom, former science teacher- and now full time cookie baker on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Pull up a chair and we create! I'll bring the coffee- maybe Mike (The Cookie Widower) will make it for us.