I made a batch of graham crackers this morning. The recipe called for rolling out the dough into a rectangle and then slicing the large rectangle into smaller, traditionally shaped rectangular graham crackers. I had the dough rolled out and picked up my pastry cutter to cut the large rectangle into smaller ones:
As an aside, when I recently decided to “go professional” as a baker, that gave me an excuse to buy some nifty new baking toys. This was one of the first I bought. Normally, I would only have invested in the simple straight cutter, but I saw this dual-action model, and I couldn’t resist the splurge. The ruffle cut looks so professional.
Back to the graham crackers. But then I decided to take on a walk on the wild side and, instead of doing the traditional rectangles, to instead use a cookie cutter. So I pulled out my box of cutters. Which to use?
That got me thinking about the fact that my repository of cookie cutters is probably a bit strange. I never really used cookie cutters – I mostly made cookie rolls, drop cookies, and biscotti. So it was not too long ago that I didn’t have any cookie cutters at all.
Then about two years ago, my sweet friends J&K went to Alaska and brought me back a couple of souvenirs: moose and bear cookie cutters:
Who else can say that the first cookie cutters they owned were a moose and a bear??
When I got them, I made a batch of moose cookies for my honey:
That picture always makes me laugh!! It’s a crummy picture, taken using the camera on my cell phone, but it’s still good enough to make me laugh every time I see it.
The poor bear cutter hasn’t been used yet – any suggestions??
At some point after that, I decided I should have a set of nested circles, because what baker doesn’t have circle cookie cutters? So I went out to buy a set and decided I also “needed” the nested hearts and stars:
These cookie cutter have actually gotten a lot of use. I learned how to make marshmallows last summer, and I’ve used the hearts and stars to cut out marshmallows:
Then it was fall. I was in Michael’s with my sister (here's a link to Michael's coupon page), and she decided I should have a set of leaf cookie cutters, because she thought cascades of leaves are cool. Here’s the set I bought, which includes two sets of nested leaves and a set of nested acorns:
I especially like the maple leaves, but I haven’t managed to use any of these yet. I don’t make pies, and on top of pies is where you generally see a lot of leaf decorations. And now when I make rolled out cookies, I always seem to end up picking a different shape. Hmmm. Do leaves go with bears?
Believe it or not, I didn’t end up making any holiday cut out cookies, so I didn’t buy any Christmas or Hanukkah cookie cutters.
Then it was the beginning of the year. I was at Sur La Table, just looking around, and I saw that their cookie cutters were on sale. I decided there were some basic cookie cutters I should probably have, so I picked out heart, teddy bear, and butterfly cookie cutters. Then I thought of K and added a shamrock cookie cutter to the lot.
Before I had a chance to use any of those, it was Super Bowl time. First, I bought the infamous Capital P cookie cutter (see my first blog post)
Then I went on-line and found a nice set of real football cookie cutters at Michael’s, which I ran out and bought:
While I was there, I noticed they had a cool set of hearts on sale, and since Valentine’s Day was just around the corner, I picked that set up as well:
I was very happy with the football cutters. I used them to make cookies, brownies, and marshmallow cutouts (you can see pictures of them in this blog post.)
I also loved the heart cutters, and I ended up using these last three for the Valentine’s Day cookies I made, which you can see in this blog post.
After I made the Valentine’s day cookies, I had leftover raspberry buttercream. I also had leftover lemon buttercream from the Super bowl cookies I made. Bright pink and yellow frosting begged for some happy use. And because it felt like spring, I used the leftover frosting and the sunny weather as an excuse to test out my butterfly cookie cutter:
As for the graham crackers I made this morning, I picked up the butterfly cookie cutter because I had loved the last batch of cookies I had made with it. But then that got me to wondering about whether or not guys would have a thing about eating cookies made in “girlie” shapes.
I settled instead on making heart-shaped graham crackers – still girlie, but less so:
However, it occurred to me that the butterfly cookies I had made using the leftover raspberry and lemon buttercreams had found a home with my mechanic. The next time I was back at the mechanic’s, the mechanic’s assistant (a nice 20-something kid) mentioned that he had eaten some of the butterfly cookies and thought they were really tasty. Obviously, then, he didn’t have any issues with eating a girlie-shaped cookie.
Then, after thinking about this issue for a couple of hours, I happened to talk to my honey (a manly man). So, I asked him the following question: Given the choice between two cookies that were identical in every way, except that one was shaped like a circle and the other was shaped like a butterfly, which would a guy choose? He seemed a little puzzled by the question. I clarified by asking him if guys would consider it unmanly to eat a butterfly-shaped cookie. Now that he understood what I was asking, he immediately replied, “Guys are pigs. They’ll eat anything.” Case closed.