I made this one specifically for hanami cookies. I have a Williams Sonoma just around the corner, but they charge $10 or more for a single cookie cutter. Down the block Sur La Table is slightly better at $8 each. And none of them had cherry blossoms.
These instructions are specifically for a five petal cherry blossom, but you can easily use the same technique to make six petal daisies, or clovers for St. Patrick's Day, or gears for your cookie mechanique.
- 1 'tin' can, cleaned. Bigger the can, bigger the cookies.
- Strip of paper long enough to go around the can.
- Ruler. (With centimeter markings if you have one.)
Step 1: Prepare the Can
Enjoy some soup.Hurray! Soup! Make sure you keep the can. We enjoyed some Campbell's Chunky beef and barley soup.
Pick a can where you can use a can opener on at least one side. Avoid cans with both round bottoms and pop-tops. For example: Bad, bad. Good, good. Okay. Horrible.
We want to use the can opener because we can get a better cutting edge with it it. The edges of pull-top cans will smash the outside of the cookies.
Remove the label, clean the can.Don't worry too much about removing the label glue from the outside. It's nearly impossible and it's food-safe.
Remove the bottom of the canUse your can opener to take the bottom off. We're going to use this as our cutting edge.
(No, it's not cutting in the dangerous sense, but it's sharp enough to cut cookie dough.)
Step 2: Figure Out How Wide to Make the Petals.
We need to do a little measuring so we can get our petals the same size.
1 Wrap a strip of paper around the can, cut to length.Cut a strip of paper so it will go around the can exactly once.
2a Measure the paper.We need to do a little math, so measuring in cm will probably be easier than inches. For a can of non-condensed soup the length was 24.5 cm.
If you're trying this while lost in the jungle and have no ruler, you can fold the paper into fifths (or eights or whatever)
2b Divide the length by the number of petals in your flower.Cherry blossoms have 5 petals, so for my can the distance was 4.9cm (49 mm, just over 1 7/8").
For a clover divide it by 6 (three for the leaves, plus little indents in the middle of each leaf.)
2c Mark off the distance on the strip of paper.Make marks on your paper the distance calculated above.
3 Transfer the markings to your can.Wrap the paper around your can again and make matching marks on the rim of the can.
Important: Remember to put them on "sharp" edge of the can. If there's a little lip from a pop-top, turn the can over.
Step 3: Bend the Can.
Tip: If you're concerned about making a mistake you can try the steps below on the other end of the can where you can make a mistake and no one will know. (Especially if you photograph the can in such a way to hide the mistakes.)
1 Place your pliers on one side of a mark.
2 Grip firmly and twist towards the inside of the can.Twist it to about 45 degrees to the outside rim.
3 Move the pliers to the other side of the mark and twist the other way.You want to make an even "V" on the can, so grab firmly, flattening out the can under your pliers, and give it a gentle twist in the other direction. That is twist the pliers in the opposite direction, but it should still be towards the inside of the can. Tweak both sides until you get an even "v" shape.
4 Repeat all the way around.Use your pliers to touch up the shape to match your flower style. You can round the corners or make the "V" deeper or shallower. If you're making a clover, be sure to make every other indent smaller to get the typical clover shape.
Step 4: Use!
Cut your cookies and enjoy! (Make sure to wash it again first!)