So one of the most difficult things about cookie decorating is that you will have a large handful of your go to cutters. Think simple shapes, maybe a specific plaque that you tend towards, or maybe just something that is popular (for me right now that would be a Mickey Mouse head, my child is obsessed). If you are going to be using something OVER and OVER or even just for a large amount of cookies, you should definitely invest in a cookie cutter. It saves time and in the long run they really aren’t that expensive. If you are wanting to invest in some cutters my personal favorites tend to come from Cheap Cutters, Bobbi’s Cutters, or Sweet Sugarbelle’s Shapeshifter Cutters. I have provided links at the bottom of this post if you are interested in any of those. Okay. Anyways, so then there is that obscure shape that you may only use once of twice. Then what? I have an answer for you, and that is hand cutting!
Okay, step one! Find yourself some heavy duty cardstock and start sketching! Depending on the design you are going for, you can just sketch the outline, or sometimes I go ahead and sketch the whole cookie, just to get my ideas on paper. Side note, this is an awesome activity with kids, have them sketch something on a piece of cardstock and then help them bring it to life on a cookie!
Once you have your cardstock cutout, you are going to want to get a sharp knife like object. I have a pen-blade, but I have also used a non-serated kitchen knife and it worked just as well. Once you have those two things you are ready to go! Now all you need is your favorite sugar cookie dough and a surface you can cut on. A silicon mat is my tool of choice, but a smooth cutting board would do the trick too! Roll your dough out to the desired thickness, the more chilled the better, and then lay your cut out on top. Carefully trace around the edges making sure that your cutout stays in the same place.
Alright, now this is important. In these pictures, I did NOT have a very chilled dough, so as you can see below, my edges are all fringed and not very pretty. If you are doing this for fun, or really aren’t concerned about crisp edges, seriously don’t worry about it. Its a cookie. But! If this bugs you, that’s cool too. Just use a colder dough or take your finger and gently smooth out the edges.
Once you have your cookie all cut out, you are ready to chill and bake! I always chill my cookies in their cut shapes for about 10 minutes before popping them in the oven. I have very minimal spreading that way. Once your cookies are baked, let them cool completely and then decorate away! See? Wasn’t that easy? Now you can make ANYTHING! I hope this tutorial helps you to make some super creative cookies with your families! I would love to hear about your experiences with hand cutting! As always, Happy Baking!
Need some cookie cutters? Check out these awesome places to shop!
Sweet Sugarbelle Shapeshifter Cutters are available at your local craft store!