There’s nothing better than baking a fresh batch of cookies and watching the joy on people’s faces as they bite into them. Homemade cookies are a perfect way to say thank you, sorry, good luck, goodbye, or pretty much anything. If you want to create a truly original and meaningful gift for a friend or loved one, here are some ways that you can turn a batch of cookies into a gift that anyone would love.
The most important thing about baking cookies, especially if you plan to give them as a gift, is to get the taste perfect. What makes a perfect cookie is something that could be talked about until the end of time, but in this case the important thing is to make cookies that you know the person will enjoy. If you don’t already know, then try to find out what their favourite type of cookie is, the more specific the better. For example if you find out they love white chocolate chip cookies then you can start experimenting with different types of chocolate to create the best recipe.
To really make your baked gift special you can personalise it to suit to the person you’re giving it to. Add personal messages onto the cookies with icing sugar to create a gift that they will know was made especially for them. Put letters on each cookie that spell out a word or message when placed in the right order or emboss the letters into the cookie, this would make a fun personalised gift for a friend or colleague. Using printed sugar paper with the person’s face on is a fun way of personalising the cookies. Try cutting them in a shape that the person will adore, such as horses for a horse lover.
How you package your cookies will depend on the person that you’re gifting them to, so it’s a good idea to think about what kind of style you think they’ll like. If you’re giving them to an older relative then perhaps a hand-crafted box with a simple piece of twine around it would be a good choice. If you’re giving them to a couple then you could bake a big batch and put them in a large mason jar with a ribbon around the top for a simple rustic look. There are many different presentations you could go for, but remember to keep it personal and think about who the gift is for, and you’re sure to make someone very happy.
As winter sets in the weather gets colder there’ll be a whole new set of trends hitting the fashion and homeware markets. People all over Australia will be looking to see how they can keep up with the latest fashions. If you want to see how you can use some of these winter trends in your cookie and cake designs, then keep reading for some tips on how to add new life to your delicious sweet treats.
It’s time to update your collection of colourings this season. This winter will be the season of deep colours like military green and ruby red. The winter months will see the introduction of more bold colours in the fashion industry and also the homeware market. Single colour sweaters will be making a comeback this season, as will bold coloured bed sheets and craft ware.
If you want your dessert designs to match this style then it’s time to get out the icing sugar and use bold colours with block shapes. Layered cakes with solid colours for each section will make a bold statement this season. Geometric shapes with strong solid colours will help create really unique cookies that are sure to turn some heads at your next social event. Add an extra visual impact by choosing one of our new cookie cutter shapes to help make your bold hues stand out.
Romantic frills are big in the fashion world this season, which is great news for you creative bakers out there. Icing ribbons will make a great impression if you’re trying to show off your cake design skills. The addition of carefully placed frills around the edge of a single-colour cake will add a simplistic touch of class.
Your cookies and baked goods will also benefit from simplistic decorations such as hand-drawn frills, to create a contemporary rustic style. Decorative extras can also add a bold statement to your cakes and cookies. Using deep colours and ribbons around your simplistic cake design is a great way to add an easy, eye-catching twist.
Simplistic and bold are the two main themes to keep in mind this season if you’re trying to stay on trend with your baking. Cake designs should use basic shapes with solid colours that stand out. There is room for decoration though, in the form of ribbons and frills that can be used sparingly around the edges of cakes and cookies. The contrast of intricate icing sugar patterns against bold solid shapes will bring your culinary creations to life this winter. Browse our range of cookie cutters to make your winter experiments effortlessly stylish, whatever the style of bake.
Like something more savoury than sweet when the hunger pangs hit and all you can see is chocolate at Easter time? Then look no further than these Cheesy Bunny Crackers this Easter. A great edition to jazz up a platter and seriously fab on their own. You won't be able to stop at one that's for sure so you might want to cook a double batch straight up!
I used currants to decorate my little cheesy bunnies and I love how chewy and sweet the little currants are after being cooked. YUM! Writing about this is making me hungry for more. Miss 3 helped me make them and decorate them oh and also eat them. We will be making these again for Easter for sure.
The below recipe for Cheesy Bunny Biscuits is based on the recipe from Louise Fulton Keat's website and you can check it out here. These delicious cheese crackers remind me a lot of a childhood favourite of mine, good ol' Cheds.
1¼ cups (175g) plain flour
¾ cup (60g) grated parmesan
½ cup (60g) grated cheddar
½ teaspoon paprika
125g butter, cut into cubes
½ - 1 tablespoon cold water
Sultanas, cut in half, or currants for decorating (to make eyes - optional)
Sesame seeds to decorate the tail and body (optional)
Place the flour, cheeses and paprika in the bowl of a food processor and whiz for a few seconds just until mixed. Add the butter cubes and ½ TBS water and process, turning on and off frequently, until the mixture starts to ball around the blade. If the mixture is a bit dry add another ½ TBS water and pulse again.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead very lightly. Halve the mixture and roll out to 5 or 6mm thickness between 2 sheets of baking paper. Place in the refrigerator to chill for 1 hour.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 180°C and line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Cut out shapes with a bunny-shaped biscuit cutter and place on the prepared trays. You can re-roll and chill the leftover dough and repeat the cutting process until you have used it all. Pop on the sultanas or currants on to make eyes and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for about 8 minutes, until lightly golden and crisp. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container for up to a week (they won't last that long!).
Both of the cutters I used to create these bunny crackers are below.
Our mini rabbit cookie cutter is the perfect size for some bite sized super cute treats.
And the star of the cheesy cookie show is our baby rabbit cookie cutter. Not such a baby in size at 7cm wide. Perfect size for crackers!
STAINED GLASS WINDOW COOKIES
Just in time for Valentine's Day.
125 grams butter
150 grams caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla
300 grams plain flour
1 TBS water
Cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg and vanilla and mix well. Add the water and then flour and mix until the dough comes together. Knead dough lightly on bench until you have a smooth dough. If it is not coming together easily add a little more water. If it is too sticky use a little more flour on your bench to knead the dough.
Pop all ingredients in and mix on speed 5 for 30 seconds.
Roll the dough out between two sheets of baking paper (or silicone mats) to between 3-4mm thick (the thinner you roll them the more crisp the cookies with be when cooked) and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Cut out the cookie shapes and transfer them to a cookie sheet lined with baking paper. Pop in the fridge to chill while you prepare the lollies.
Carefully sprinkle some of the crushed lollies inside the cookie cutouts. I found the more lollies that were in there the better but be careful not to spill too much onto the sides of the cutouts as they will seep in a bit. They will still look great though! Patience is key at this point.
Bake in preheated oven at about 160 degrees celcius for approximately 8-10 minutes depending on the size of your cookies. Leave them to cool on the baking sheet so the lolly centres can set properly.
These were really easy to make. The only thing I would do differently next time is to add more crushed lollies into the cutouts as the ones with more in them came out much nicer.
One of my favourite parts of having our business is having our customers share with us their creations made using our cookie cutters. The shares come from all over the world but this one was the first one from Lithuania. Nida shared her gorgeous baking creations with us and they are also on her blog which you can check out here for more cooking inspiration. Nida's photos look like they are straight out of a food magazine and probably for good reason to - Nida has written an award winning cookbook "A Taste Of Israel: From Classic Litvak to Modern Israeli."
And her little deer gingerbread cookies atop a delicious looking cheesecake.
Nida got her inspiration for these creations from the Christmas 2016 issue of donna hay magazine. Cookie cutters and magazine from Australia to Lithuania. The internet really makes the world such a small place.
I hope you love these images and Nida's blog as much as I do. The link to her cookbook is here if you are interested in checking it out.
- Lisa x
Are you planning an Australia Day gathering? We have a really simple idea for some snacks you can prepare in advance and reheat or simply serve cold on the day. Australia Day Pizzas! You can top yours with whatever you fancy. We made ham and cheese for our three year old (we would have made Hawaiian if we had pineapple on hand) and meat lovers as I thought these were Aussie flavours.
We made our pizza dough, rolled it out quite thinly and then used our 9cm wide Australia map cookie cutter to cut out the shapes, transferred them to a tray lined with baking paper, popped our toppings on and then cooked. We cooked them for about 6 minutes at 220 degrees celcius.
Our 3 year old actually put her own toppings on and I think she did a great job.
And here are the meatlovers ones with BBQ sauce, salami, ham and cheese.
And the finished product below.
We would love to see pics of your pizza creations. What flavours would you like to make?
Happy Australia Day!
- Lisa x
As 2016 draws to a close I thought it would be fun to review our most popular cookie cutters of the last year. There are quite a few that featured in the donna hay Christmas issue in the list and lots of different sized dog bones so there must be lots of pampered pooches out there as well as Paw Patrol themed parties. A couple of surprises in the list including a bat and a baby suit. I will let you check out the rest yourself.
Imaginary drum roll please..... here is the list of our best sellers for 2016...
No 1 - Deer 7cm Cookie Cutter
Popular at Christmas but also throughout the year this cute little cutter is heading out the door most days. Lisa's favourite cutter and it appears it's everyone elses also. I wonder if it will top the list for the third year in a row in 2017?
No 2 - Deer 5cm Cookie Cutter
No 3 - Mini Bone 5cm Cookie Cutter
No 4 - 3D Mini Gingerbread House Cookie Cutter from Sweet Creations
No 5 - Paw Print with Embossed Detail 7cm Cookie Cutter
No 6 - Deer Antlers 11cm Cookie Cutter
No 7 - Snowman 8.5cm Cookie Cutter
No 8 - Dog Bone 6cm Cookie Cutter
No 9 - Christmas Fir Tree 9cm Cookie Cutter
No 10 - Mini Teddy Bear Cookie Cutter
No 11 - Embossing Letter and Number Set
No 12 - Baby Suit 10cm Cookie Cutter
No 13 - Number 1 Tin Plate Cookie Cutter
No 14 - Elephant Cookie Cutter
No 15 - Large Numbers 7cm Cookie Cutter Set
No 16 - Bone 10cm Cookie Cutter
No 17 - Paw Print Mini Cookie Cutter
No 18 - Classic Number 1 Cookie Cutter
No 19 - Set of 5 Mini Australian Themed Cookie Cutters
No 20 - Bat 8cm Cookie Cutter