Monday, December 12, 2011

Cookie Cutter Creativity

Back when I had a real job... whenever I wasn't doing a good enough job... my boss would crab at my lack of creativity and accuse me of taking a cookie cutter approach. That was a confusing way to insult me because I've tried to make perfectly consistent cut out cookies since Lauren was a baby and it's a whole lot harder than it looks.

This is my theory as to why most of us leave the creative cookie cutting to Pillsbury:

After we turn 40, we figure out that women's magazines are filled with re-touched photos of flawed people. Once we realize that Angelina Jolie could very well be fat and ugly in real life, we feel a whole lot better about ourselves.

For some odd reason, we haven't quite accepted the fact that food photography gets the same specialty treatment.

I can assure that you it does. I once spent 16 hours at a photo shoot because some dumb art director needed the peas in the pasta salad to be placed in just the right spots.

Today, I'd like to encourage everyone to haul out the cookie cutters, roll up their sleeves and think... Picasso, Dali, and Pollock ~ definitely Jackson Pollock!

Because there are a whole lot of creative masters out there 
who happily failed Art Class 101.

Simple Sugar Cookies
No matter how they look, they all taste delightful. This recipe makes 3 dozen average size cookies or 1 gigantic cookie sculpture (in case you'd like to pay tribute to Gaudi!)
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1.5 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1.25 teaspoons baking powder
How to:
  1. Beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in egg and vanilla.
  2. Add flour and baking powder in intervals. (Dough will seem too dry but it will improve when chilled.)
  3. Divide dough into four equal parts and refrigerate about an hour.
  4. Roll out dough between 2 sheets of waxed paper, 1/4 inch thick for crisp cookies or 1/3 inch thick for soft cookies.
  5. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters and and bake for 7-8 minutes @ 375 F.
Don't forget to eat lots of cookie dough. This dramatically reduces the amount of time you spend baking the cookies.



natertots11 said...

I'll be passing this on to my wife! Thanks for sharing! :-)

Nate Armstrong

Lisa at Greenbow said...

You make these look and sound so good. Yummm. I can't bring myself to eat cookie dough though.

Anonymous said...

What a great way of looking at "cookie cutter" work. I love it!

A Garden of Threads said...

Great post Kate. I have not made cookie cutter cookies since the kids were little. Take care, Jen.

Rilly said...

omg....I've been eating cookie dough for 75 yrs. Mom always made a double batch one to bake and one for Dad and I. In later years she said...with a twinkle...the heat activated the calorie count in sugar so the dough was actually better for us. That works for me!

Bonnie K said...

I love love love cut out cookies. Thanks for the inspiration.

Bonnie K said...

I love love love cut out cookies. Thanks for the inspiration.

Lona said...

I never made cut out cookies for the kids when they were little or ever for that matter. I was always a lousy when it came to drawing anything so the cookies were out of question. LOL! Your cookies look fab and yummy too Kate.

Anonymous said...

So true. So true. I was just writing about perfectionism too. I love sugar cookies btw. We make them every Christmas, and ours are good, but not perfect.~~Dee

Marguerite said...

LOL, as if my husband needs another excuse to eat the cookie dough! I once heard that when using milk in a photo shoot they use glue instead. Apparently it photographs whiter than milk does. I've been rather skeptical about magazine photos ever since.

Wally said...

Oh dear, I feel I must mention that there was a warning about eating cookie dough on a news website just the other day. I got the impression that premixed dough, ie been stored for a while, was the bigger problem. I remember as a child licking all sorts of yummy raw things out of bowls. Still, maybe something to be aware of?