I immediately thought that it would be awesome to etch the calendar onto some ginger snaps for the party.
But I realized that, shrunk to the size of a cookie, all of the details of the calendar would be lost.
So instead I looked online for some vector versions of the Mayan Calendar or Aztec art to etch onto the cookies instead.
Step 2: The Dos and Don'ts of Laser Etching Cookies
I ran a test of both types of cookies. Unfortunately, though the pattern wasn't visible enough on the Nilla Wafers to see, the etching did improve the flavor. On the ginger snaps, as you can see above, the image showed up quite well. As to the flavor: well, ginger snaps are strong enough that you can't tell that they were etched.
I thought I might need to cut some holes in acrylic or cardboard to ensure that the cookies didn't drift during the etching process - do not do this - both of these materials off-gas enough scent to affect the final flavor of the cookie.
What I finally figured out is that the cookies don't drift, so I set the laser to a very low power and etched some faint circles into an eighteen by twenty-four piece of cardboard as a layout template. I then placed my cookies on the template and with the laser set to raster only, the settings I used were a Speed of one hundred (because the minimum width of my rastered area was greater than sixteen inches), and a Power of thirty-five.
It took approximately forty-five minutes or so to etch eighty cookies.
Please note, this process takes a while - rastering always does - remember to get your hot tea or milk for dunking the reject cookies in before you hit start on the laser.
I have also included in this step the Illustrator file with the eighty Ginger Snap layout and a vector pattern for etching the template.
Step 3: A Video of the Etching Process
Step 4: Because You Can't Display a Sun God's Cookies on Just Any Old Plate
I decided to etch a certain Calendar into a wooden plate to display my creations upon. The creation of this plate will be in another Instructable.
Please ignore the baggies of cookies that include my member referral card under the plate...
Step 5: Plans for Future Cookie Etching
If anyone tries this or something else creative and fun, please let me know.
This is the second of six(or more) Instructables to be posted as part of the San Jose TechShop's 1st Quarter 2013 Resident Artist Program