When people think of cookie cutters their minds usually turn towards gingerbread men and Christmas. In our house they are for any occasion and I find that they lend themselves to crafts quite nicely.
Recently my daughter and I were faced with a dilemma. We needed to make some heart-shaped cookies as shower favours, that were big enough to write on. The idea was to use them as a name card at the lunch table. The panic struck when we realized that although I have two ice cream pails of cookie cutters, I do not have a heart. As usual we hadn’t started baking till the last minute, and when town is at least 45 minutes in any direction and the nearest store that would have guaranteed a selection of cookie cutters is at least an hour and a half away what were we to do? What any good farm girl would do of course. We made our own.
This procedure will work for any shape or size of cookie that is needed. Another use for these design-your-own cookies would be for a child’s birthday party. You could make a cutter of a child’s initial or age. Then before baking the cookies use a drinking straw and punch a hole in it. Once baked they can be decorated with the child’s party guests’ names and a ribbon fed through and used as name tags tied onto goody bags.
To make the cookie cutters you will need a piece of paper, a pencil, a marker, a piece of string, a large yogurt container or one that fits the size of your design, a ruler, scissors and a stapler.
The first step is to make the outline of the shape on a piece of paper. A pencil is fine but you might want to retrace the design with a marker. To determine how long of a piece of plastic, you will need to trace the design with the piece of string and measure it. Now cut a piece of the yogurt container as long as the string.
To make the heart shape we folded the length of plastic inside out and bent the halfway mark firmly, rubbing it over with the rolling pin. Then take the open ends, turn them in and staple wrong sides together. This allows the shape of a heart to spring forth naturally.
We have made many cut-out cookies over the years and this is our current favourite recipe.
1927 SUGAR COOKIE
1910-2010 Manitoba Women’s Institute Cookbook
1 c. butter
1 c. sugar
2 tbsp. cream
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cardamom
3 c. or more flour to make soft dough
Mix all ingredients together. Roll out on a floured board and cut with a floured glass. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 350F for 10 to 12 minutes.
Our heart cookies turned out wonderfully. They were just the right size and we found that the 1927 Sugar Cookie recipe made a crisp cookie that stands up to a bit of abuse. As an afterthought we realized this project was very environmentally friendly. We had saved the plastic from the dump for the cookie cutters, and there was no paper used for the name cards. All this and the cookies tasted good too!
Debbie Chikousky farms at Narcisse, Manitoba.
Email her at [email protected]