Introduction: Making Homemade Nutter Butters With a Custom Cookie Stamp
In this Instructable, I'll show you how I made homemade Nutter Butter replicas using some basic design tools, some cookie cutter banding, and the laser cutter at my local maker space.
If you'd rather watch a build video before jumping into the Instructable, be sure to watch the full video above. If you like it, please consider subscribing to my YouTube channel so I know this is the type of project people enjoy learning how to make themselves so that I can make more videos like it in the future!
I've included links below to the tools and materials I used, but you can totally get creative and use other methods or supplies for this project. You don't even need to make Nutter Butters specifically! This overview will show you how you can make a cookie stamp and cookie cutter of basically anything that can stamp or cut dough, even if it's not the specific items I used.
Now let's dive in!
Step 1: Gather Materials & Supplies
As I indicated in the previous step, you don't have to use the same methods or tools as I did. Let me give you a few ideas if you don't have access to a laser cutter of how you could achieve the same thing!
- Still want to use wood? Perhaps use some woodcarving tools to gently carve a design into a block of soft wood.
- Don't feel comfortable carving wood? Create your design out of clay, let it harden, then use a foodsafe silicone putty to create a mold for your cookies! Instead of stamping, though, you would press dough into your mold. If it's difficult to remove, popping the whole thing in the freezer for a few minutes should work well to release it.
Also while these directions will work for any stamped and cut cookie, if you want to make Nutter Butters as I did, here's the basic recipe I used! We'll go over baking instructions later on.
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2.5 cups all purpose flour
- 1 .5 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 0.5 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Step 2: Create Your Design
Let’s start with the cookie stamp! If you're freehanding your design, here you would sketch out your idea before getting started. If you're going the digital route like I did, AND your goal is to replicate Nutter Butters or another cookie of your choice, you'll need to find a reference image.
I found a perfect top-down shot of a Nutter Butter on Google Images, which is exactly what I was looking for. After that, I used Adobe Illustrator to draw the interior wavy lines of the Nutter Butter and used a couple of overlapping ovals to create the exterior shape!
Step 3: Set Your Design for Positive or Negative
The last step I decided to do before cutting on the laser was making two versions: one positive and one negative. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to make a silicone mold out of the wood cutout or just use the wood cutout itself to do the stamping, so I figured I’d account for both scenarios and etch one version where the interior lines protruded from the peanut and one where they were etched below the surface of the wood.
You'll need to decide the same thing depending on which method you're using to imprint your cookies.
I etched both and then eventually decided to use the bottom (negative) one to do my stamps directly on the cookies. Had I decided to create a silicone mold, I would have used the silicone putty on the top (positive) one instead to then "create" a negative for use on the cookie dough.
Step 4: Laser Etch Your Design
Now for the fun part, laser etching the design! If you're using wood, you'll want to use solid wood for this rather than plywood since it will be coming into contact with food and moisture, which could cause warpage. Another reason is because the adhesives used in regular plywood probably aren't foodsafe like normal Titebond glue is. So I used a piece of solid pine I had laying around.
Do as many passes on the laser as you need to achieve the depth you're after. If the design of your cookies will stand out 1/8" off of the cookie, for example, you'll want it at least this deep. Deeper is fine too, but you'll just want to dial in your handling pressure when using it.
After the lasering was done, I decided to cut out the one with etched ridges and use it as is without any silicone casting. Now in past projects of mine, I’ve gone on about how most lasers can cut pine like butter, so don’t ask me why I didn’t cut this out on the laser when I first etched it. I must have been burning some midnight oil and not thinking clearly. So I used the bandsaw to cut it out and then cleaned up the edges with sanding.
Step 5: Determine Size of Stamp for Matching Cutter
With the stamp taken care of, let's turn our sights to making a cookie cutter. I found a product online that was quite literally made for people who want to make their own cookie cutters. It’s basically a narrow strip of super thin stainless steel, but what makes this perfect for cookie cutters compared to normal stainless steel strapping is that one edge is folded over to make it less sharp since you’ll be using these with your bare hands to press cut out cookies.
With that, we need to figure out at what length to cut the stainless steel to have enough for our cookie cutter with a bit of overlap but also not waste much – less waste means more cookie cutters we can make in the future with the leftover!
I determined the perimeter length of my peanut in Illustrator's Document Info window, but if you created your design my hand, you can use a tailor's/cloth measuring tape or just wing it and cut away excess.
I determined my outer perimeter to be 8.28" in Illustrator, so knowing I'd want about an inch of overlap, and with a bit of rounding, we'll call that 9.25". I marked that length on my stainless steel cutter material and then used a pair of small wire snips to cut it to length. Using a metal file, I cleaned up the cut edge a little bit so as to not be as sharp.
Step 6: Form Metal Banding Into Cutter
Now it's time to close our cutter into one solid piece! I'll be honest, this is where I had some trouble (which you'll see in my video above if you watch it), but let me go over what I learned and leave you with my advice.
This cookie cutter banding material came with some 3M double sided adhesive tape strips to adhere the overlapping portion of your cutter together. I thought it might be nice to make this a bit more of a permanent bond than just adhesive tape could provide, so I decided to try my hand at using JB Weld, which is a type of two part epoxy specifically intended to bond metal to metal without hot welding. So I roughed up both surfaces with a little sandpaper to give the epoxy more hold then mixed up a small bit of each part with a wooden skewer. This worked well enough, but the way I clamped it (using large woodworking clamps) caused me to lose some of my curved shape. I then broke the JB Weld bond by trying to bend the curve back into place.
I made a second cutter but instead of using clamps, I just used painters tape and that worked much better.
But honestly, the JB Weld might have been overkill. I think the adhesive strips that it came with would work just fine. So here is my advice:
- If you don't want to deal with the hassle, just use the adhesive strips that came with the cutter material.
- If you do want to use JB Weld for a more permanent bond, use painters tape to "clamp" your cutter in place rather than large, unruly clamps.
Step 7: Make Your Cookies!
With the cutter and stamp both made, it's time to make our homemade Nutter Butters!
Your favorite peanut butter cookie recipe will work just fine, but if you want, I provided ingredients at the beginning of this Instructable for the recipe I used!
After making your dough, let it rest in the fridge for about an hour, then work with one half of it at a time. Instead of forming the dough into balls and pressing with a fork like a normal peanut butter cookie, we'll roll the dough into a disc and press and cut our cookies like in my photos and then carefully transfer them to a baking sheet.
Bake for about 10 minutes in a 375ºF oven., depending on how thick you rolled them out. You should aim for about 3/16 of an inch. Thicker is fine, they will just require a longer baking time.
After baking, let your cookies cool completely before assembling into sandwich cookies.
For filling, mix all filling ingredients from step one into a thick, dough-like consistency, then spread evenly over the back of one cookie and top with a second cookie.
Step 8: Enjoy Your Cookies!
That's it! I’m absolutely thrilled with how these cookie stamps turned out and I love sharing the cookies with friends who are flabbergasted to learn they're homemade! What cookie will you recreate?
Be sure to watch the video above for more details, and if you like it please consider subscribing to my YouTube channel for more projects like this!
Thanks for reading, and enjoy!
Participated in the
Baking Speed Challenge