November 27, 2012
You know her and you love her. SweetSugarBelle. Callye. The Mega Master of Re-purposing Cookie Cutters. With one humble green plastic snowman cookie cutter she’s done this and this and then she did this before she did this and this. With one snowman, a daisy, and a standard set of biscuit cutters that girl, and I can call her girl because I’m 55 and she’s not, could come up with more original cookie designs than I can with the more than 1500 cutters that have somehow mysteriously appeared in our home. Which reminds me, I don’t know who the mystery person is who keeps ordering cookie cutters online with our credit card and then has them delivered to our home but stop it! No one needs this many cookie cutters! Whatever your reason is for doing this you are out. of. control. Stop it. Please. I implore you.
Do you think my spouse bought any of that? Here’s hoping.
Anywhosit, at the recent CookieCon 2012 Callye taught a class on cookie think and how to re-purpose one cookie cutter for any number of designs. I paid close attention. I even took notes which I haven’t done since an extremely informative episode of Real Housewives of New Jersey. I was so inspired by Callye’s presentation that I came home determined to practice practice practice what I learned. So here’s how it went down.
I started by locating my green snowman cookie cutter. I climbed up a step ladder and looked for him on the very top shelf in the cookie cutter bin marked “Christmas” and then searched through the bag inside that box marked “Snowmen.” I eventually found him. In the bin on the bottom shelf marked “Wild West and Music.” No, I can’t explain what he was doing there.
Next I traced the cookie cutter onto paper using a pencil. So far so good.
Obviously taking notes during Callye’s presentation paid off to this point.
During her presentation Callye told us to turn the shape around and look at it from every direction. Lay it on it’s side. Turn it on it’s head. Sometimes ideas will come just by re-orienting the shape away from the obvious one. So that’s what I did. I turned the pencil outline of the snowman in every direction, and each time I moved him I’d concentrate on the shape, calling on all my inner ‘cookie think’ to come up with a new and original design that would turn the snowman into something that would end up being the hottest cookie buzz on Facebook. So there I sat for twenty minutes practicing all Callye’s little tips and tricks and in the end I came up with four cookie designs.
A snowman laying on his right side.
A snowman standing on his head.
A snowman laying on his left side.
Maybe this explains why I have 1500 cookie cutters . . .
. . . but only 2 cookie dough recipes . . .
Every cookie decorator has a basic roll and cut cookie dough they love above all others. Usually it takes a while trying out different recipes but eventually we all land on one that we like better than others. Mine are these two basic chocolate and vanilla cookie recipes that Georganne twisted and tweaked until they were perfect and then instead of keeping her über–awesome original recipes all to herself like some Korean-based Famous Amos or Mrs. Field, she posted them on her blog so that anyone anywhere could use them. What Georganne lacks in entrepreneurial spirit the girl makes up for in a giving and generous heart. And yes, I called her a girl too, and if you’re young enough for me to be your momma I’ll be calling you girl. It’s a term of endearment so work through your feminist issues on your own time and feel the love.
So these have been my two roll and cut cookie dough recipes since I threw my apron into the cookie world except . . . well . . . sometimes I can’t leave well enough alone and so I started playing with these two recipes by changing the basic ingredients up, occasionally browning the butter or replacing some of the white sugar with brown sugar. And then things started to get out of hand. I’d be walking down the grocery store aisle and see something that looked like it belonged in a cookie and so before long I was smashing and crunching and grinding and chopping and melting all sorts of tasty bits and then tossing those tasty bits by the handful into the cookie dough to make other flavors.
Flavors like these:
After I’d tweaked a few different flavors I started giving away my cookie experiments to my cookie friends.
And some of my cookie friends said, “Yum.”
And then my cookie friends said, “Make a recipe book with all your cookie recipes and sell the book and make money and give the money to The ALS Association.”
And I said, “But my recipes aren’t really my recipes because they’re built on Georganne’s original recipes.”
And Georganne said, “Write a book.”
And I said, “No one would buy a book with such simple cookie recipes in it.”
And then my spouse said, “If you write a recipe book you can include stories about your brother so that more people would get to know Randy and learn about ALS.”
And I said, “That’s not fair.”
So for the past couple months I’ve given a lot of thought to putting together a fun little cookie recipe book so that with a few simple changes or additions to two basic recipes anyone would be able to make more roll and cut cookie dough than Baskin-Robbins has ice cream flavors. But in the end I decided not to write a book. Maybe one day I will. But for now what I want to do is give away my recipes just like Georganne gave away her recipes. It’s called paying it forward. It’s also called being too lazy to write a book but paying it forward sounds better so let’s just go with that.
And if it ever so happens that you make one of my recipes and really really like it and at the same time you happen to have five extra dollars in your pocket and you decide to send it to The ALS Association, I wouldn’t be mad at you.
So that’s the plan and I’m excited about it. And when I’m not re-purposing vanilla and chocolate roll and cut cookie dough into S’Mores and Rum Raisin and Toasted Coconut and Not My Grandma’s FruitCake roll and cut cookie dough I’m going to keep practicing on re-purposing that green plastic snowman cookie cutter.
And maybe one day I’ll come up with an original design.
That’s all for now.