I made a laser cutter cookie press 'ible about a year ago, but so many cookies have happened since then! Here's an update with the things I've learned about shaping cookies and some new designs.
Cookie presses/stamps are vastly superior to cookie cutters because they are so much faster to use. Also, they are SUPER easy to make (with the help of a laser cutter). Cookie presses fit pretty easily on those tiny scraps of leftover acrylic. I prefer to use acrylic that is at least 1/4 inch thick. These were pretty quick to whip up on Illustrator.
- If you are able to make designs that you can cut all the way through, it helps a lot with having the shapes come through. Plus, then you can use the outside to have raised shapes, and the inside piece if you want imprinted cookies.
- Otherwise, engraved shapes are fine too, but make sure you cut deep enough or the shapes won't show up well after they cookies cook.
- The best way to press cookies is to make a 1-2 tablespoon size ball, then lightly squish it with your palm before pressing the shapes!
Step 1: Designing Presses
You can design directly in Illustrator, but if there are others around who would like a specific shape, it is pretty simple to turn a sharpie drawn shape into a vector image.
- draw the shape
- take a photo
- paste it in illustrator
- use image trace on the image
- expand image, then ungroup
- delete extraneous parts
- object>path>simplify for smoother parts
- make outline for cutting.
- cut the shape
- remove the paper backing and wash thoroughly
- make cookies!
Step 2: Making Cookies
The sugar cookie recipe I use takes 20 minutes from start to clean up and it works in either a regular oven or a toaster oven. It refrigerates/freezes pretty well too, so if you only feel like making a small batch at a time, you can cut off a small piece of cold dough, microwave for about 20s, then press and bake for 5-7 minutes. I use this recipe.
Step 3: Optional: Drizzle Chocolate on Top
They easiest way to melt chocolate is to take a handful of chocolate chips and a teaspoon or so of vegetable oil. Mix the chocolate chips and oil together and microwave for ~1 min, stirring every 20 seconds. Use a fork to drizzle on top of cookies. Unfortunately, this makes the designs difficult to see.