Elephant Sugar Cookies

About: I am a queer, transgender, nonbinary, and mixed-race picture book writer/illustrator. As a young person, I didn’t have the words to explain the big feelings I had about my identity and relationships. It is s...

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.

TIPS:

  • 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!

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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.

  1. draw the shape
  2. take a photo
  3. paste it in illustrator
  4. use image trace on the image
  5. expand image, then ungroup
  6. delete extraneous parts
  7. object>path>simplify for smoother parts
  8. make outline for cutting.
  9. cut the shape
  10. remove the paper backing and wash thoroughly
  11. 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.

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