Multi-Purpose: Cookie Cutters

One of the things that I love to do is to figure out different uses for everyday objects around my home. I like to re-purpose an item I already own by using it in a new way other than the intended use.  For one, it is unexpected.  Moreover, it’s like getting something for nothing.  In a world of “there’s no such thing as a free lunch,” it’s an added bonus.

One of the household objects I love to use this way is a cookie cutter.

Place cards are easy with a little cookie cutter help!

Cookie cutters come in all shapes and sizes these days, and they can be as genre-specific as a Star Wars character, as delicate as a little bird, or as classic as a gingerbread man.  At home, I use cookie cutters pretty regularly … just not in the way you might expect.  There are no cookies at the end of these projects, but there are some pretty sweet rewards!

◊ Cookie Cutters For Place Cards, Buffet Markers
What is a cookie cutter, other than a giant stencil?  When I entertain, I frequently use cookie cutters as templates for my place cards or buffet markers.  I can use any shape that fits the season or the occasion and I just trace around the cookie cutter onto colored card stock with a pen or pencil and cut out the shape.  Then, I use the shapes in various holders to mark my place settings or to tell guests what dishes I am serving on my dinner buffet.

◊ Cookie Cutters For Gift Tags
Another clever use of a cookie cutter is for gift tags.  Trace out your favorite shape onto paper or card stock, and write whatever you like.  Next, use a hole punch to make a small hole to thread a piece of ribbon through.  Tie the ribbon to a gift bag or present and you have a personalized gift tag!

◊ Cookie Cutters For Cake Decorating
There are two ways I like to use cookie cutters to simplify the cake-decorating process.  One way is to use cookie cutters to cut shapes out of fondant to decorate cakes and cupcakes.  Cookie cutters work especially well if you want to decorate large areas on the top or sides of a cake.

Another way I use a cookie cutter is as a piping guide for various cake designs.  To start, I frost a cake with icing and allow it to firm up.  Then, I set the cookie cutter I have chosen on the cake where I would like to pipe the shape (ie: a flower, or whatever you like).  I lightly press the cookie cutter into the icing to make an outline of the shape and then remove the cookie cutter.  Finally, I use a piping bag or tube of icing to pipe on the design following the lines of the shape left by the cookie cutter!

Side-note:  This tip works especially well for those of us who have a little trouble decorating desserts free-hand!

◊ Cookie Cutters For Dusting Powdered Sugar
If you want to make a shape in powdered sugar on the flat top of a dessert, think of using a cookie cutter as a guide.  Gently sift powdered sugar within the edges of the cookie cutter.  When you have finished, carefully lift the cookie cutter, revealing the sugary shape inside!