Baking customized cakes, cupcakes, and cookies has turned me into an improvisation queen. There are simply tools and ingredients that are not readily available in my location or I don’t have the funds available to purchase them, which forces me to think of some other possible alternatives. Sometimes, unforeseen circumstances and kitchen mishaps put me in a tight spot when baking and decorating my products. Sometimes still, my willingness to please a customer or my eagerness to try something new pushes me to my creative limits.
Take for example those times when my customer asks me for cookie designs for which I have no cutters readily available. I already have more than 200 cookie cutters, but since I am in the business of customizing baked goods according to my customer’s preference, even a thousand cookie cutters wouldn’t be enough. Sometimes, I am asked to make cookies based on themes that I’ve already done before. Since I do not like repeating designs (except for Frozen cookies…oh please! I am so tired of this theme, I can no longer bring myself to think of some other designs), I shake up my cookie shapes and designs for each order.
So how do I shake things up? First, I change the color scheme and the details. Then I think of changing the shapes or figures.
Yesterday, I was asked to make another set of “under the sea” cookies. I was tired of doing sea horses, even if they are cute, because I’ve already done them twice before. Luckily, the client requested for dolphins and two types of sea shells. Then I thought of doing a starfish and a crab. I didn’t want to use a star cutter for the starfish, and I don’t have sea shell and dolphin cutters available. So I searched the Internet for cute images of those shapes, had them printed out, wrapped them around with scotch tape to protect them from grease (a tip I got from Mallory May of Butterwinks), and used them as a template to cut out my cookies.
This is a very tedious process, and I must admit that this method isn’t for everybody. Most people would rather make their own cookie cutter from soda cans, which would allow you to cut your cookies faster. I’ve tried this method before, but I didn’t like it. I got small cuts in my finger from the jagged edges of the soda can. I found it to be rather inconvenient, and so I tried this method and never looked back since then.
You don’t really need to cut the shapes perfectly. If you see the photo above, each cookie does not perfectly fit the template. When you decorate the cookie and put on the details, those mismatched lines from the template wouldn’t even be noticeable.
What are the advantages of using this method? Well, aside from avoiding annoying cuts from soda can edges, this method opens up a lot of design possibilities for you. You can search for any shape or figure from the Internet or even from magazine pages, print them, cut them out, wrap them with scotch tape, and use them immediately. The disadvantage? It’s a slow process, but if you use this method often, you’ll get the hang of it and you’ll find out that it isn’t really that bad. Just make sure that you properly charge for your cookies so that your hard work will be properly compensated.
I’ve made lots of cookies and even 2D fondant toppers using this method. The toppers I made for the cake and cupcakes that came with this cookie set were done this way.
I hope you enjoyed this post. Let me know if this helped you or if you have questions. ‘Til my next post!