When I read the event schedule for the 2010 Country Living Fair, one seminar jumped out at me.
"Getting The Most Out of Your Cookie Cutters."
It has me written all over it, right? With over 250 cookie cutters in my collection, I was happy to hear a lecture on one of my favorite things.
Did you know that there is a national Cookie Cutter Collectors Club?
The demonstration turned out to be focused on cookie decorating (rather than collecting, like I had originally thought) but the instructor, Julie of Tin Treasures, did a nice job and had some great tips for both cookie baking and decorating.
Julie rolls her circle of dough out directly on a Silpat baking mat, cuts out as many cookie shapes as possible and then removes the excess dough from around the cookies. This allows her to put the cookie sheet directly into the oven, eliminating the stressful step of transferring uncooked cookies from the board to cookie sheet.
Julie recommends "greasing" the cookie cutters by dabbing the circumference of the cutting edge with cookie dough and then dipping it in flour. The tacky quality of the dough helps the flour to cling to the cookie cutter's edge and prevents the cookie dough from sticking during use.
She demonstrated that a plastic baggie can be transformed into an inexpensive piping bag by taping the corner (to increase stability) and sniping a small hole. It pipes well enough to eliminate the need for special bags and tips, plus she always has some on hand in her kitchen.
Julie finished by highlighting ways to use unexpected candies as cookie decorations (taffy, fruit roll ups, licorice). Simply cut the candy with scissors and secure the pieces to the frosting with Karo syrup.
While I was at the fair, I bought 2 vintage cookie cutters to add to my collection. A fabulous rabbit and a formal coffee pot - love it!