Cut Outs

March 18, 2010 by  
Filed under Die Cutting Machines and Supplies

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Need a recipe for cookie cut outs...?

I want to have some of the neighborhood kids over to decorate cookies and I have never made cut outs before. I have all kinds of cookie cutters (you're asking why right?). It needs to be yummy but not too crumbly because most of these kids are under 5. Also need a recipe for frosting and some ideas for other goodies to decorate with. Thanks!

COOKIE CUTTER COOKIES

1 1/2 sticks softened butter
1/2 c. dry powdered sugar
1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

Blend above ingredients. Add 2 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Mix and chill in refrigerator for 1 hour. On smooth surface, dusted with powdered sugar (not flour), roll out dough 1/4 inch thick. Dip each cookie cutter in powdered sugar and cut out dough. Bake at 350 degrees for 7 minutes. Food coloring may be added to dough so that cookies may be served without frosting. Examples: red for Valentine's Day cookies and orange for Halloween cookies.

FROSTING: Soften 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese and 1 stick butter. Blend together with 1 teaspoon vanilla. Using electric beater, slowly add 1 box powdered sugar. Blend until smooth. Chill for 1/2 to 1 hour. Food coloring may be added to frosting before chilling.

COOKIE CUTTER COOKIES

1 c. unbleached flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla

Beat together butter and brown sugar, when well blended beat in the egg and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients and add, blend in the flour mixture until well mixed. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Roll out dough on lightly floured surface (flour the rolling pin too!). About 1/4-1/3 at a time. Rolled dough should be about 1/8 inch thick. Cut out cookies and place on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for about 7-10 minutes, until light brown. Cool on rack. Makes about 3-4 1/2 dozen, depending on the size of cutters

Holiday Cookie Projects: Snowflakes, Dreidel Trios, and Ornaments
Yield: about 24 cookies

8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1/2 cup dark molasses (not blackstrap)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 1/4 cups cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

For decorating:
4 cups confectioners' sugar
6 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Food coloring
Colored sugar

Cream the butter in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or using a hand mixer) until smooth. Add the sugar and mix. Add the egg and mix. Add the molasses and vanilla and mix. Sift the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves together. Working in batches, and mixing just until combined after each addition, add the dry ingredients to the butter-sugar mixture. Shape the dough into a thick disk, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 1 or 2 sheet pans. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out 1/4-inch thick.

Icing decorations:
Stir the confectioners' sugar, milk, and vanilla together until smooth.

To make snowflakes:
Use a snowflake-shaped cookie cutter to cut out the cookies, rerolling the scraps as needed. If you plan to hang the cookies, use a toothpick to make the holes in the dough about 1/8-inch wide, keeping in mind that the holes will shrink as the cookies bake. Bake until firm, 12 to 15 minutes, and let cool on the pan. Using only white icing and a pastry bag fitted with the smallest plain tip, pipe thin lines from the center of the cookie out to the points, like spokes of a wheel. Connect the spokes with thin lines in between them, making a spiderweb effect to make it look like a snowflake. Let the icing harden before threading the cookies onto wire, string or yarn for hanging.

To make dreidel trios:
Use a dreidel cookie cutter and cut out 3 cookies. Lay 1 on a greased sheet pan. Fanning out at an angle, with the handles overlapping at the top, lay 2 more dreidels next to the first one (it will look like a paper-doll effect). The handle is now 3 layers thick; press on it gently to thin it slightly and make it larger. Repeat with the remaining dough, rerolling the scraps as needed. If you plan to hang the cookies, use a toothpick to make a hole in the handle about 1/8-inch wide, keeping in mind that the hole will shrink as the cookies bake. Bake until firm, 12 to 15 minutes, and let cool on the pan. Color some of your icing blue with food coloring, or use blue colored sugar and white icing together. Using a pastry bag fitted with a small plain tip, pipe Hebrew letters or stars of David on the cookies' faces. Sprinkle the sugar on the icing while the icing is still wet. Let the icing harden before threading the cookies onto wire, string, or yarn for hanging.

To make ornaments:
Use any holiday-themed cookie cutter to cut out the cookies, rerolling the scraps as needed. If you plan to hang the cookies, use a toothpick to make holes in the dough about 1/8 inch wide, keeping in mind that the holes will shrink as the cookies bake. Bake until firm, 12 to 15 minutes, and let cool on the pan. Meanwhile, color some of your icing in festive colors with food coloring, or use colored sugars. Using a pastry bag fitted with the smallest plain tip, pipe a few colorful borders and decorations on the cookies. When set, add more lines of icing in white. Let the icing harden before threading the cookies onto wire, string, or yarn for hanging.

Gingerbread Boys and Girls
Yield: 18 to 24 cookies

3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 stick butter or margarine, softened
2 large eggs
1/4 cup molasses
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting work surface
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt

Icing:
1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 to 2 tablespoons milk
Food coloring, as desired

Using an electric mixer at low speed, cream the sugar and butter until thoroughly combined. Add the eggs and molasses and mix until combined. Sift together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and combine with a spoon or spatula.

Remove the dough from the bowl and wrap in plastic wrap; place in the refrigerator until firm, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Allow the dough to sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes, until pliable. Take about 1/2 cup of dough at a time and roll onto a floured board until about 1/8-inch thick. Cut out with gingerbread boy and girl cookie cutters. You can re-roll the scraps. Using a spatula, transfer the cookies from the board to the prepared cookie sheets.

Bake for 10 minutes, until just beginning to brown at the edges. Transfer to wire racks to cool.

To make the icing, combine the confectioners' sugar and milk. Divide the mixture into thirds; leave 1/3 white, and color 1/3 green and the final third red. Decorate piping eyes, mouths, buttons, and bow ties.

Rainbow Sugar Cookie Arrangement

Decorative container
Tissue paper
Dough disk, recipe follows
Flower pots of various sizes
Long and short lollipop sticks
Jar of jelly beans in varying shades of green
Flower foam
Flower-shaped cookie cutters
Floral tape
Store-bought icing in various colors
Silk leaves
Recipe card, see below for text

Dough Disk:
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
2/3 cup vegetable shortening
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Dough Disk: In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or using a hand mixer), cream the granulated sugar, butter and shortening until fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla and baking powder and mix. Add the flour and mix. Shape the dough into a large flat disk, kneading briefly if necessary to bring the dough together. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill 1 to 2 hours.
Line container with tissue paper and place all items inside.

The recipe card should read as follows:

Get started on your cookie bouquet garden by preheating the oven to 350 degrees, then butter a sheet pan. After that, roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Using the cookie cutters, cut out cookies and transfer to the prepared pan. Insert a lollipop stick inside each cookie and bake until light golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely on the sheet pan.

To ice the cookies, you can either use the icing provided, or if you're feeling a bit adventurous, here's a quick and easy recipe:

4 cups confectioners' sugar
4 to 5 tablespoons whole, 2 percent fat or 1 percent fat, milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 colors food coloring

In a medium bowl, mix the confectioners' sugar, 4 tablespoons of the milk, and the vanilla until smooth. If still too thick to spread, add the remaining tablespoon of milk a little at a time until the icing is smooth and pourable, but thick enough to coat. Measure 1/4 cup of white icing into each of 4 small bowls. Color them 4 different colors. Cover with plastic wrap until ready to use.

When you're ready to ice the cookies, set a wire rack over a piece of waxed or parchment paper. Place the cooled cookies on the wire rack and pour the remaining white icing onto them. Using a metal icing spatula, cover the cookies completely with an even layer of icing. Before the icing sets, use forks or squeeze bottles to drizzle the other 4 colors of icing over the cookies to make spidery lines. Let harden 1 hour then store in an airtight container.

To assemble the cookie bouquet, start by cutting out cubes of flower foam that will fit into the flower pots, then wrap the foam in plastic. Place a silk leaf against the stick in one of the iced cookies, then wrap the entire stick with floral tape, so it looks like a flower stem. Stick the cookie "flower" into the foam in the flower pot then cover the foam with jelly beans.

hope these help. good luck and enjoy.

Comparing Waterjet and Laser Cutting

Abrasive water jet cutting and laser cutting are two very powerful ways to cut through many different types of material. Both have the ability to manufacture complicated parts or create beautiful art. But when you have a particular project in mind, how do you know which cutting method to choose? Here is a brief guide to choosing the right process for your application and/or material.

Abrasive Waterjet Cutting

<a href="http://www.fedtech.com/waterjet2.html">Abrasive waterjet cutting</a> can be used to cut a variety of materials, including steel, copper, aluminum, plastic, glass, Kevlar, Lexan, and more. Abrasive waterjet can also process these materials ranging from .001 inches up to 12 inches in thickness.

Abrasive waterjet cutting has a narrow kerf, or cut width, of .025” to .000” and does not produce a heat affected zone (HAZ). Burrs are virtually non-existent with abrasive waterjet. Because of the lack of secondary operations necessary on most materials, water jet cutting eliminates the expenses of extra tooling making waterjet cutting a very cost-effective choice.

The accuracy of abrasive waterjet cutting meets or exceeds that of other cutting methods, especially in thick materials. Kerf can be adjusted to suit the material, along with adjustments made to the slight taper the kerf edge has. Abrasive waterjet is well suited to cut complex shapes, such as architectural or decorative pieces, with tight tolerances.

Although abrasive water jet is an excellent choice for most cutting needs, it does have some limitations, as waterjet’s lower cutting speeds bring a higher cost of operation when compared to laser. When abrasive waterjet competes directly with laser cutting, such as with thin steels, stainless steel, and aluminum, waterjet may be the more expensive method per inch.

Despite some limitations, the versatility of the abrasive waterjet to handle many materials and reduce secondary operations makes it the best option for a variety of jobs.

Laser cutting

<a href="http://www.fedtech.com/laser.html">Laser cutting</a> is another effective cutting method that eliminates costly tooling charges and can create a burr-free edge. It is a highly accurate approach for thin steels, aluminum and stainless steels up to 5/8 inches thick. However, laser cutting does create a heat affected zone.

With laser cutting, the cutting speed is markedly increased, reducing production costs and enabling very quick turn-around times for a variety of projects. Excellent cutting accuracy also enables complicated parts to be machined easily. Laser cutting can also be used to create pieces for architectural or decorative applications. The versatility of a laser allows for both short and long production runs, no set-up or tooling costs as well as high part to part repeatability are other guiding factors in choosing laser cutting.

In addition to steels, laser cutting can also process aluminum and carbon steel, each material has its own limitations in thickness as laser cutting is typically used for thinner materials. When cutting these thin materials, laser cutting surpasses abrasive waterjet cutting in terms of cost per inch and speed.

Both abrasive waterjet and laser are effective methods of cutting a variety of materials. Depending on your application you may find that waterjet is the best option, or that laser will help you get a project turned around quickly.

<a href="http://www.fedtech.com">Fedtech</a>, located in Minnesota, has some of the Midwest’s largest waterjet and laser cutting machines. They also have the expertise to assist you choosing the best-fit materials and cutting options to help you get your job done right the first time.

About the Author

Ecreativeworks, Inc. is an industrial web design and industrial search engine marketing firm offering custom solutions such as RFQ Shopping Carts and Industrial Ecommerce Solutions.

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