Cookie Cutters

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

cookie cutters are the modern descendants of ancient bread stamps and medieval cookie molds that were made of wood, stone, ceramics, wax, and other materials. These stamps and molds had incised motifs for imprinting bas-relief designs on top of the dough before baking. The figures included people, plants, animals, religious symbols, coats of arms, and scenes of daily life. Although these molds embossed the tops of the cookie dough, often with intricate designs, most of them did not also cut the dough into the shape of the cookie itself, which had to be done by hand with a knife or jagging iron, a small pastry wheel with a fluted edge for cutting a scalloped line through the dough. Bakers also pressed inverted metal, wooden, or glass drinking vessels onto the dough to cut out uniformly round shapes. See cookie molds and stamps.