Something I’ve been working on alongside all the gaming props I’ve been 3D modelling are tools to help me in the kitchen. I started with cookie cutters and have been having a lot of fun putting them to use in a variety of ways, from the cookies themselves to using them in cake decorating. I wasn’t entirely sure how to approach it from a blogging perspective though. Sure, sometimes I’ll make a post just to show you guys a new cake I’ve done or something, but for cookies there’s always a recipe. And when it gets to actually cutting the dough it seemed a bit unfair to suddenly say “uh, now freehand cut out this thing I made myself a cookie cutter for”. So going forward I’m going to provide them for purchase from my Etsy store. You absolutely can freehand it if you prefer. But at least now if you want to replicate exactly how I did it, the option is there!
Of course I have to start with the pikachu cookies. Long time readers know my entire childhood was Nintendo. Not much has changed in my adulthood, including that Pokemon obsession. Only now with Pokemon Go I’ve finally been able to drag my fiance into it as well. He never really had the patience for the main games, but the mobile outdoorsey element of it has gotten him right on board. When Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee came out I was absolutely thrilled for this merger of two worlds: the main series of games combined with the more casual element of Pokemon Go. In the weeks leading up to it I made a bunch of Pokemon-themed baked goods in celebration. So yeah. For anyone who remembers when that was released, this post is a long time coming.
After some time test printing the cutter I’d modelled it was time to test it on some actual cookie dough. It turned out better than I’d expected for my very first cutters ever.
I almost didn’t want to cover up their adorable little faces.
The cutters work best on chilled cookie doughs, like sugar cookies, srhotbreads or gingerbreads. You can leave them as is, or pipe royal icing on top using the features as a guide. When choosing your dough recipe, you’re looking for a roughly 321 recipe. That is a ratio of 3 parts flour : 2 parts fat : 1 part sugar. A 3:2:2 is also fine for sweeter cookies. Most require chilling in the fridge to reduce the amount of spreading when baking.
My recipe starts with the usual: creaming the butter and sugar together, then folding in the flour. You don’t want to knead or overwork the dough as you’ll develop too much gluten in it.
Then you’ll roll it out ready to chill. Not only will this help keep the shape of the cookies, but it also makes them far easier to cut.
Plastic cutters have a tendency to get stickier than metal ones, so a nice chilled dough helps get clean cuts that preserves all their features. The more detailed a cutter, the more important this is.
Once they were baking I tried my hand at piping. It has been a very very long time since I’ve piped anything, but I’ve also developed some shaky hands in the past year. So these are definitely the mark of a struggle! But it’s definitely incentive to try to practise more and overcome that. It was still a lot of fun making his little expressions. And of course, I couldn’t resist making a little ditto pikachu as well.
I’d like to say it hurt to eat them, but lets be real – for something so basic, sugar cookies and royal icing are crazy addictive.
Here’s the recipe I used for these pika cookies
Basic sugar cookies decorated in the style of the world's most recognisable electric rat
IngredientsSugar Cookie Dough
• 250g unsalted butter, room temperature
• 180g caster sugar
• 1 egg
• 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
• 400g plain flour
• 1/2 tsp baking powder
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1 egg white
• 200g pure icing sugar
• 1/2 tsp lemon juice
• food colouring (preferably gel)
Sugar Cookie Dough
- In a medium bowl, beat the butter, and sugar until light and fluffy, and well combined. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Sift the baking powder, salt and sugar together, then fold into the butter mixture a third at a time.
- Divide and roll the dough between 2 sheets of baking paper or plastic wrap until about 5mm thick. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour, ideally 2-3 hours.
- Preheat oven to 175°C (350°F). Line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Use cookie cutters to cut pikachu shapes out of the dough. Your dough may get tacky as you work and it starts to cool, so dusting your cutters will help if they are sticking.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until cookies are firm. You can rotate the tray 5 minutes in if you’re having issues with browning too much on one side. Allow the cookies to completely cool on the tray before transferring to a rack to cool completely.
Note: At this consistency your icing should be good for piping the borders. To fill in the main portions you will need to let the icing down with a tiny bit of water to make it ‘flooding’ consistency.