Hello Fellow Cookie Lovers,
Last post I showed you how I utilized the Flag Cutter to make Spring Birds. It was a total fluke that I picked up the cutter upside down and thought it was a Bird Cutter I forgot about- nope, it was the flag. I just ran with this lucky find as I love to explore new ways to use cutters. Sometimes it is so obvious what a cutter can double as, other times, not so much.
So, in this post, I thought I would share with you the other, “not so obvious” things I use as cutters or molds for cookies. If you have been doing cookies for awhile, I’m betting you have over 100 cutters in your baking arsenal. I am also betting you scour the cookie cutter websites looking for unique and new cutters. I do that as well. I especially like the unique cutters at Whisked Away Cutters, and you will find some of your favorite Cookiers doing designs for them as well (Sugarbelle’s, LilaLoa).
But, sometimes you just don’t find anything new or exciting. You can always design and have your own cutters made; something I haven’t done yet, and, I am not even close to doing! 🙂 So where do you look? What do you look for? Some of these suggestions might be new to you and open you up to a new world of cookie designs. I haven’t used all of the molds/cutters shown here so I have only a couple of cookies to share, but I think it is worth sharing the ideas with you so you can get started on your own collection. Happy hunting!
I happen to love oversized molds. I don’t find many of them – not even online. And when I do, they are a fortune! One day, I was shopping, I think I was in Target, and I saw this cute pancake mold; the kind that are black and have a small handle sticking up…you know the ones, right? And I knew right away it would work as a cookie cutter! I was so excited that this new venue opened up to me I now kept my eyes open for other designs in the pancake mold world. They tend to be cheaper than oversized, and sometimes even regular sized, cutters. But, hold on to your seats for this one…I find them in Thrift Stores ALL THE TIME! Can you imagine someone donating these gems? So glad they do, by the way. Below are some of the Pancake Molds I have in my inventory; most of them were found in Thrift Stores! And, they cost no more than $1 to $2 a piece!!! I know, you had to sit down didn’t you? So excited to share that one with you.
I haven’t used all of the pancake molds as cookie cutters yet but since most of them are oversized, I have been using them to create a Folk Art Cookie Collection. The larger cutters work well because it allows me to explore different shapes and textures as well as my “painting on cookies” techniques. Below are two of the large pancake molds I used recently.
Children’s Playdough Cutters
My niece was going through her toys last year and deciding which ones to donate (her Mom may have helped 😉 ). She had a bag full of these plastic, tiny, playdough cutters and the bell in my head went off! MINIS!!! So I confiscated them before they hit the Thrift Store – I was probably going to find them at the Thrift Store the following week anyway! I then set out to incorporate them into my designs. Don’t discount these little cutters, they are great for adding elements to your larger cookies or use them as minis. I’ve used the mini trees, stocking, stars, flowers, people, etc. to trim my larger Christmas Tree Cookies and Wreath Cookies. You can use the people and trees for your Gingerbread Wonderlands, the ideas are endless.
Super Mini Cutters
Another surprise I came upon while shopping in Joanne’s Craft Store were these super mini cutters. I was wandering down the clay aisle and found an entire section of super mini cutters that clay designers use. They are really tiny (1/4″ – 1/2″) and I’ve recently started using them along with my minis in gift sets and they are so cute for little kids all boxed up. Bite sized little sweet treats! I think you will love these. They look like they wouldn’t bake up big enough to do anything with, but, trust me, they do! I haven’t even used them in all of the ways I am thinking of using them yet, but I am excited to use them on some new designs I am working on.
I don’t find these treasures as often, and they are a bit more work to use, but every now and then (yep, in the Thrift Store!) I find one shallow enough to use with my cookie dough. One of the pans below is a seashell pan that I used to make my 3-D shell cookies (to be posted to my website soon!). it was so much fun and fairly easy. I simply cut a circle larger than the opening to the pan and then gently nudged it into place so that the design was imprinted on the dough. I cooked it as if I were baking it on a flat cookie tray, same amount of time. The only thing I did differently was, halfway through the baking, I took a teaspoon and pressed the dough down in the middle and sides of the each shell. It didn’t puff up like a cake but it did puff up a bit thicker than it would have if baked flat on a tray. they popped out easily once “fully” cooled. The other pan pictured below is one I received as a Christmas Gift – haven’t tried it yet. But I will soon! And don’t forget to look at some of the Whoopie Pie Molds; some are shallow enough to make great designs you can use in 3-D designs.
I typically find these cutters/molds with a middle section that is intended to cut the sandwich in half while it also cuts the outer edge of the bread with the design. Sometimes I take a serrated knife and cut through the middle, and carefully snap each side to remove it. I then use it to cut cookies from. Some of the designs are cute, others, not so ingenious. I only pick them up if it is something different and something I couldn’t easily replicate with a regular cookie cutter. To be honest with you, I have no idea what the green cutter below is!!! But, I see an elephant, or two cats. We’ll see what it turns out to be!
Okay, I have to be totally honest, I am including this in here because Julia Usher designs a lot of her 3-D work with embellishments made with silicone molds. I have tried them without much success. I don’t think it is the molds, I truly think it is me. Most of the effect I can get with a mold I can replicate (to a certain degree!) with Royal Icing on a mini cookie. Not a lot of the really fancy ones, but enough not to be too impressed with using the molds. But, having said that, I encourage you to try it out for yourself. As for the molds, I looked high and low for silicone molds that said you could bake in them to no avail. After researching this, and querying other Cookiers, I found most of the silicone molds are heat resistant up to 500 degrees. So, where can you find them? Obviously on websites; I don’t have one special one, I just Google it. Second, craft stores such as Michael’s, AC Moore, Joanne’s Crafts. Now, when you shop at the craft stores, don’t limit yourself to the baking aisle. You will, also find them in the fondant section but wander over to the Mod Podge section (yes, they have an entire section – who knew?) and look at their mini silicone molds. Usually a bit cheaper and I like the small designs better. Unfortunately, this is not an item I have found in thrift stores, lol!, but I don’t buy them without my 50% off coupon for the craft stores!! The only way to go if you want to experiment. In the picture below, the orange mini molds are from Mod Podge and the larger ivory-colored mold is a Wilton fondant mold.
I’m happy to share these cookie cutter ideas with you and hope they help your creativity and inspire you in new and different ways. Have fun and explore. In the meantime, i am keeping my eyes open for new and interesting cookie cutters.
All the best,