Baking and decorating cookies for family and friends (and, for Santa, of course) is a favorite holiday tradition for many of us.
Who doesn’t love the sweet aroma and taste of homemade cookies? And when those treats are in fun, recognizable shapes, the only thing better than eating them is making them with your favorite cookie cutters.
(FYI: The gingerbread man is believed to be the first cookie cutter shape created. According to historical accounts, in the 1600s England’s Queen Elizabeth I had gingerbread biscuits made as miniature edible replicas of some of her esteemed guests. These artistic confections quickly became popular, and bakers started using tin cookie cutters to meet the demand.)
Today, while most cookie cutters are made overseas, Ann Clark Ltd. of Rutland, Vermont is the world’s leading cookie cutter company in the gift industry. Having started with a pig-shaped tin Christmas ornament and a dream back in 1989, Ann and her husband set up shop in their garage and turned a hobby into a business.
Ann Clark Ltd. now offers over 150 shapes, from acorns to whales, all sturdily made from tin-coated steel and copper. Every cookie cutter comes with a card designed by Ann that includes one of her own time-tested, easy-to-make, rolled cookie dough recipes. The company’s themed gift sets are beautifully packaged featuring original artwork created by Ann herself.
These eye-catching cookie cutters are favorite items with visitors to my store. But not all of them are bought solely for their intended purpose of cutting out sugar cookies. I’ve learned that many people search for, bid on, and buy cookie cutters simply to collect them.
There’s even an official Cookie Cutter Collectors Club (CCCC) that has a big following and meets regularly. These enthusiasts celebrate “National Cookie Cutter Week” (started by the CCCC) during the first week of December, which coincidentally is the beginning of the biggest time of the year for making cookies: the holiday season.
So before you start rolling out the dough, check out the delightful shapes you can create with some of the attractive boxed sets from “The cookie cutter people from Vermont.”