Cookie Cutters: Not Just For Cookies Anymore! Post # 16: Crafting With Food or Cookie Cutters as Food Shapers
Cookie Cutters: Not Just For Cookies Anymore! Post # 16: Crafting With Food or Cookie Cutters as Food Shapers
Cookie dough and paper are not all you can cut with cookie cutters! They also are great to make decorative shapes from food.
I was going to do a photo tutorial on using cutters as food shapers, but when I went on-line to see what I could see I found so many great tutorials that I decided to give you the links instead. Take a look at some of the sites – you will never look at a melon slice the same way again!!!
There are so many different ways you can use shaped food that I cannot have possibly thought of found a reference to of all of them. I’d love to hear any ways you have used shaped food. And if you have photos e-mail them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will add them to this post and give you credit.
So go ahead – – – Play with your food!
- Food that can be cut into slices
- Mini or small cookie cutters
- Cutting board
- Sharp knife
- Assemble materials. Choose food that can be cut into about 1 inch thick slices. Select a mini or small cutter that will fit on a slice of the food to be shaped. For example a cake slice will accommodate a larger cutter than a slice of melon. Wash your hands thoroughly before handling food.
- Cut the food to be shaped into about one inch thick slices. Fondant will be rolled out thinner.
- Lay the food slice flat on a plate or CLEAN cutting board. Carefully place the mini cutter on the slice to maximize the number of shapes that can be obtained from each slice.
- Press down and cut out shape. Remove cutter and the carefully lift and place on a plate.
- Once all the food has been cut arrange the shapes on a platter or in a bowl.
- Save the scraps of food to be used in another manner. For example, if cutting out cheese shapes keep the cheese scraps to use as cheese crumbles on top of a salad or in a cheese ball and fruit scraps can be used to make frozen drinks or in a fruit salad the next day.
Below are some links I have found on using cookie cutters to shape food. They tips range from using the cutter to make decorative accent pieces to using the cutter as a mold. There is something for all skill levels.
Biscuits: Use a floured cookie cutter to cut biscuits or rolls in cool shapes. Make special shapes for holiday & event suppers: hearts for Valentine’s Day or your anniversary, shamrocks for St. Pat’s, etc.
- Sweet biscuit wreath: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/sandra-lee/sweet-biscuit-wreath-recipe/index.html
Breakfast Sandwiches: Mold ground sausage into a simple roundish shape (ex: flower) and cook as usual. Cut biscuits with the same cutter and bake. Cook an egg in the cutter. Cut a slice of cheese in the same shape. When all parts are ready, assemble sandwiches for a special breakfast treat!
Cake & Other Dessert Shapes: Use cutters to cut any food that can be made in a jelly pan or cut into slabs – – – brownies, cake, ice cream, etc. Use as a mold and pack with Rice Krispie treats (wet your hands first).
- Serve cake in a way you may have never served it before – in shapes! I can just see pound cake stars on top of cake scraps layered with strawberries and blueberries and then topped with whipped cream. How red, white & blue can you be?
- Use cutters to cut out dough other than cookie dough: scones, doughnut dough. puff pastry and tiny tarts or pies.
Cake Stencil, Reverse: Use the cutter to make a reverse stencil. Example: place the cutter in the middle of a cheesecake then spread fruit filling around the cutter. Carefully remove the cutter and leave a cookie cutter shape in the center of the cheesecake. Place mini stars randomly around the cheesecake and then spread blueberry and cherry pie filling around the cutters either in stripes or an outer ring of cherry, then center of blueberry. Then fill in the cutters with whipped cream, chill pie in the freezer for 30 minutes, and then carefully remove the cutters.
Cake Stencil: While this idea is not cutting a shape from food, but is using a cutter to make a shape on top of food, I have included it in this category anyway. Want a unique cake topper FAST? Simply put an outline cookie cutter on top of the cake and sprinkle colored sugar, cake glitter, or sprinkles directly into the inside of the cutter. You can also pipe in more frosting in a contrasting color into the shape. Mini cutters can be used for cupcake stencils. Place mini cutters on top of cupcakes for décor and a favor. Or use a cutter to dust a plain cake with powdered sugar to create a lacy design instead of frosting. A snowflake done this way is beautiful.
Cake Topper: Trace a large cookie cutter on a sheet of very heavy cardstock (glue 2 sheets together or glue scrapbook paper to the cardstock) and add a large tab to the bottom of the shape. Cut the shape out and then use markers, paints, etc. to decorate it (do not decorate tab). Then insert the tab into the center of a frosted cake. Use mini cutters to create cupcake toppers. Either use the method above or make and decorate two shapes (one the reverse of the first) and glue the shapes together with a mini food skewer sandwiched between the shapes. After the pick dries, insert into the cupcake. You can use this method to make a set of picks depicting a scene (example: pilgrims, Native American, pumpkin, turkey, etc.) for a cake topper.
Candy & Cake Molds: For both candy & cake start by making a mold with a cutter (mini – candy, regular – cake) and aluminum foil (Wrap the bottom of a metal outline cookie cutter with aluminum foil, leaving top open.). Use mini cutters as molds hard candies. Then fill the mold with ground up hard candies (Life Savers, root beer barrels, etc.) or cake batter and bake. Pop treats out of the mold when cool. Insert a sucker straw into the mini cake to make a cookie cutter cake pop. Also use mini cutter to cut out and make shaped petite fours out of cake batter baked in a jelly roll pan.
- Mini sugared jelly candles: http://www.countryliving.com/recipefinder/sugared-jelly-candies-3073
Chocolate Cutouts: Spread melted chocolate on wax paper. When the chocolate is slightly set, cut shapes using cookie cutters. Let set up completely and then remove chocolate shapes to be used to embellish desserts.
Cookie Cutter Cut Brownies: Bake and then cut brownies in cookie cutter shapes or use the cutter to bake the brownies in – make a “mold”, spray the sides and bottom of the mold with vegetable spray, add a little more flour to the recipe, then pour and bake.
Cool Whip: Spread Cool Whip in a thick, even layer on a cookie sheet with sides or jelly roll pan. Freeze. Remove from freezer right before serving and cut shapes with a small or mini cookie cutter. Place on top of a mug of hot cocoa and serve. The shape can also be used as a decorative accent for cold pies. Add the shape IMMEDIATELY before serving (like cherry cheesecake).
- Cool whip hearts for cocoa: http://pinterest.com/pin/57350595224584771/
Egg-tastic Breakfast: Simple to do and delicious to eat!
- Butter a piece of bread on both sides and lay flat on a plate.
- Then use your child’s favorite cookie cutter shape (or a shape to fit the season) and cut the center of the bread out.
- Place the bread outline in a hot, buttered skillet and give it a few seconds head start.
- Then crack an egg INTO the outline of the bread – the egg will spread out to fill the open shape (if your child does not like their egg with a runny center “pop” the yolk and hard fry it or scramble the egg before pouring it in the middle of the bread).
- Once the egg has cooked and the bread “toasted”, flip it over and let it cook & toast on the second side.
- Then toast the shape you cut out of the bread.
- Add it to the plate with some fruit slices cut with a coordinating shape and get ready for egg-tastic reviews!
Food Label Picks: Cut two cookie cutters shapes (one reverse to the other) from scrapbook paper glued to cardstock. Then glue the two shapes together with a bamboo skewer (cut to the needed length) sandwiched between them. Decorate the pick and the insert into a large piece of food (for example: Label a cheese platter with the type of cheese by inserting the pick into a large hunk of cheese. Surround this with cubed cheese and crackers.).
Fondant: Finding unique shapes in edible sugar decorations that top cupcakes or cakes in stores can be hard and if you need them say by “tomorrow” – it can be impossible! The ever useful mini cookie cutter to the rescue! Instead of fruitlessly searching for the perfect cake topper to go with your theme, turn instead to the craft and baking aisles of almost any department store (even scour your own kitchen for cutters) to find pre-made fondant and a mini cookie cutter.
- You can tint white fondant any shade using paste food coloring and fondant even comes pre-tinted in a variety pack in several color schemes (primary, pastel, earth tones, etc.).
- Simply roll out a thin layer of fondant and then using cookie cutter shapes that fit the occasion cut out fondant shapes.
- You can even create layers for a 3D effect; just slightly dampen the back of the shape so that it sticks to the larger piece of fondant.
- Use an imprint cutter to make fondant shapes with imprints.
- Apply a thin layer of cake glitter to dampened fondant to give the cut outs a little extra sparkle.
Food Mold: Cookie cutters can be used to mold almost any food that can be molded – – – hamburgers, ground sausage, cheese “ball”, cream cheese (hot pepper jelly “dip”), butter, custard, sticky rice, ice, etc. Pack food to be molded into a cookie cutter, chill and then pop food out of the mold.
Fruit & Veggies: Cut fruit & veggies into cool shapes for great decorative accent to salads, drinks, and garnishes. Start out with thin slices of fruit or veggie that can be sliced into “slabs” and your favorite mini cookie cutters. Then just cut and serve! Think of almost white honeydew melon stars in a red, white & blue fruit salad or yellow, green & red bell pepper or cucumber flowers in green & other salads. Potatoes can be cut into shapes and then fried for unique French fries. Make frozen fruit pops – cut out larger shapes from watermelon or other fruits then place on a stick and freeze for a cool summer treat. I’ve posted some cool fruit and veggie “cookie cutter” foods on my Pinterest board. Take a look! Here are links to a really great site that has tons of ideas for carving watermelons using cookie cutters to make fruit shapes.
- Fruit shape for drink: http://snappygourmet.com/2011/09/02/go-blue-tini/
- Love Basket: http://www.watermelon.org/Carvings/Lips-and-Love-Basket-54.aspx
- Beach Bucket: http://www.watermelon.org/Carvings/CarvingsDetail.aspx?ID=4
- Cut-Out Apple: http://www.thecraftycrow.net/2011/08/back-to-school-ideas.html
Fruit Flower Bouquet: Fill the bottom of a new, small clay flower pot with decorative rocks. Place a piece of Styrofoam that reaches the top of the pot on top of the rocks. Fit parsley over the Styrofoam and secure with a “U” pin to resemble grass. Cut fruit (kiwi, watermelon, apples, bananas, cantaloupe, etc.) into 3/4 inch thick slices. Then cut with mini flower-shaped, doughnut hole cutters (for centers of the flowers) and leaf-shaped cookie cutters. You can also use mini ladybugs, bees, etc. Insert skewers into the Styrofoam. Thread the fruit on bamboo skewers layering the fruit to create flowers. Add bees or ladybugs as accents.
Fudge Filled Cutters: Make fudge or white chocolate filled cookie cutters as gifts, place cards, party favors and more. Tightly wrap the bottom of metal outline cookie cutters with aluminum foil and place on a cookie sheet. Pour fudge or white chocolate mixture into the cutter and allow it to harden. Decorate the top with sprinkles, crushed peppermints, etc. before it completely hardens. If using as a place card pipe cookie icing on the top of the cooled shape. Place in a clear cellophane bag and tie with ribbon that coordinates with your event/the season. Attach a hang tag (can use the hang tag as the place card).
JELL-O Jigglers: Make JELL-O Jigglers per the recipe on the box in a jelly roll pan and then cut out shapes using mini cookie cutters. Eat as is or use them as accents on top of the whipped cream on a JELL-O dessert..
Meat & Cheese Appetizers: Have the deli in your favorite grocery store cut pepperoni, hard salami, other hard meats and your favorite kinds of cheese into one inch thick slabs. At home use an assortment of cookie cutters to cut out shapes that fit the reason for your party (for example; hearts, clubs, diamonds & spades for a card party) and arrange on a tray. Serve with crackers. Cut mini shapes of meat and cheese for a fantastic chef’s salad. Cut sliced cheese with a cutter for a hamburger or sandwich! Save the scraps to use in cheese balls (how about using a cutter to shape it?), crumble on top of salads, to use in cheese biscuits, etc.
Mini Pizzas: Use large simple cookie cutters to cut pizza dough into decorative shapes. Then prepare per the recipe. These can be a seasonal shape for a holiday party or in just about any shape for an everyday pizza treat!.
Pancakes, Waffles & Toast: How cute would heart shaped pancakes or toast be for Valentine’s Day? Don’t have a pancake mold on hand? Just cut the ALREADY COOKED PANCAKES OR WAFFLES OR TOAST into heart (or whatever!) shapes with cookie cutters (use your largest cutter that will fit on the pancake/etc.). You can also use a metal outline cutter to make shaped pancakes. To prevent sticking, spray the edges and inside of the cookie with a non-stick vegetable cooking spray. Place it flat on a hot griddle. Pour the pancake batter into the cutter. Do not remove the cutter until the pancake batter is set (but not completely cooked). Lift off the cutter and flip the pancake. For added fun, tint the pancake batter with food coloring paste. Top pancakes with fresh sliced & sugared strawberries and whipped cream. Use fruit to fit the occasion, example: blueberries & strawberries for Fourth of July pancakes. Make your kids extra-special pancakes for their birthday, Christmas, or just because.
Pies & Pie Crust Cut-out or Accents: Use your mini, mini cutters to cut shapes from the top crust of a pie for cute cut-outs or cut shapes from leftover pieces and then attach to the top of the crust with a little water for a raised pattern on top of your pie.
- Mini pie crusts: http://blog.catchmyparty.com/2011/09/06/tutorial-mini-lemon-tartlets/
Sandwiches: Everybody loves small sandwiches at a party (my favorite is chicken salad!), so why not make yours extra special? Make your sandwiches as usual and then use a sharp cookie cutter (metal are sharper than plastic) to cut out shaped sandwiches. You can get one to four mini or one large shaped sandwich from each sandwich, depending on the size of the cutter. For tuna or chicken salad (other) sandwiches cut the bread first and then make the sandwich. Don’t reserve this idea for parties only – – – cut your child’s favorite sandwich into their favorite shape to make an everyday lunch special. I have some sandwich cutters that cut two medium sized shapes from a sandwich with very little waste. Dollar General and Wal-mart have these. They work great on sandwiches and toast. I love them. “Reverse it up” by using these sandwich cutters to cut out pairs of cookies!
- Shaped sandwiches for Bento Box: http://pinterest.com/laurahobson/lunch-box-fun-with-bento/
- Star shaped sandwiches: http://www.karaspartyideas.com/2011/11/magic-themed-birthday-party.html
- Cutting bread with cutters: http://www.ehow.com/how_5598348_cut-bread-cookie-cutters.html
- Cookie cutter sandwiches: http://www.squawkfox.com/2011/09/19/lunch-ideas/
Tortilla Chips: Make homemade tortilla chips in cookie cutter shapes for that special party touch! Preheat your oven to 350º F. Spray a baking sheet with olive oil cooking spray. Using 3″ to 4″ cookie cutters cut flour tortillas into shapes. Lightly spray the tortilla shapes with cooking spray. Place on baking sheets and sprinkle with salt to taste. Bake the shapes for 5 – 7 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
Thank you for reading my post. I hope you enjoyed the tutorial. If you have any questions or something is not clear, please let me know so that I can improve the tutorial.
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