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My Cookie Books!

Baking with Cookie Molds
Secrets and Recipes for Making Amazing Handcrafted Cookies

 

 

Cookie Molds Around the Year

An Almanac of Molds, Cookies, and Other Treats for Christmas, New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Other Holidays, and Every Season

 

Around the Year with Cookie Molds

 

September

 

Quilt Block Cookies

 

 


 

September Issue Contents

September on the Island

Fall Quilting

Quilt Cookie Mold: Hearts

Recipe: Cookies for Quilters' Tea

Quilt Cookie Mold: Heart in Hand

Quilt Cookie Mold: Schoolhouse Quilt

Quilt Cookie Mold: Tulip Basket

Quilt Cookie Mold: Baltimore Album Wreath

Quilt Cookie Mold: Homespun Heart

Tip: Choosing a Recipe for Quilt Cookie Molds

Quilt Cookie Mold: Vase

Quilt Cookie Mold: Tree

Finale: A Whole Quilt!

 


September on the Island

 

September brings big changes to San Juan Island. All summer, the island has been like a party, a vacation. We look around at unfamiliar faces, realizing that people work hard all year for the privilege of spending two weeks in a place we live in. We take the island less for granted now. True, it has its drawbacks--the isolation, the lack of choice. But it's a beautiful, safe, friendly place. We remember why we came here.

Slowly, like migrating birds, the visitors go home. Back to their schools, their jobs, their comparatively warm winters in the Southwest--or their colder ones in New York or Chicago. The afternoon light looks golden at this time of year. The days are still long, but we know winter is around the corner.

Still a few days to sit on the lawn with a view of the bay. Still a few excursions around the island, maybe a ferry trip to another island just for the fun of it. This is the time to wash quilts, or anything else that must dry in the sun, because it's our only reliable dry season. Soon the summer clothes will be packed away, the coats and boots will come out of hiding. We're on a steep hill, so the lightest snowfall can strand us if there's any ice on the road. We lay in winter supplies--canned goods, drinking water, milk in boxes. We are like squirrels--except that the island has no squirrels. When spring comes, we'll donate any of our unused hoard to the food bank.

We make sure our emergency lanterns are charged--Fall brings wild windstorms here. The power company is good about repairing outages, but you do need light in the interval.

Saying goodbye to summer and preparing for the coming cold and dark--that's September. But we love the island in all seasons, and feel a little sorry for our visitors, because they never get to see it on a wild winter night. They have their memories and their photographs of blue sea and flowers, but they haven't heard the wind rushing through the cedars like a freight train or seen a mist of frost, sparkling like dancing sugar, swirling above the road to the beach.

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Fall Quilting

 

Victorian crazy quilt, folk art

Every season has its delights, and if you're a quilter, fall begins a time of planning and creating--quilts! Even on the island, summer days can be too hot for quilts in your lap, even if you use a frame to lift them. Fall brings new possibilities, and new reasons to make quilts.

Gifts, maybe for the holidays if you work quickly or your project is small. Keeping you or your loved ones warm in the cold, windy, island winters. Even just something to do when it's too cold to go out.

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Quilt Cookie Mold: Hearts

Cookie painting and quiltmaking--maybe they have more in common than we might think. Both are traditional women's arts, and both may be taken for granted. But they're both about love, I think--and maybe that's why hearts turn up so frequently in both quilts and cookies. This delightful design by Louise Sturdivant reminds me of quilted wall hangings, complete with fabric patterns!

There are many cookie molds in quilt patterns, and the cookies just beg to be decorated. You might not want to do something this special very often, but even a simpler decorating job will look charming.

Cotton Press makes this mold.

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Recipe: Cookies for Quilters' Tea

I've always enjoyed orange spice tea, so this cookie recipe is based on those flavors.

1 cup (225 grams) unsalted butter
1 large egg
1⁄2 cup (120 milliliters) honey
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
1 teaspoon natural orange flavoring
1/2 teaspoon culinary orange oil
1/8 teaspoon natural lemon flavoring
1⁄2 cup (100 grams) sugar
1 teaspoon finely ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1⁄8 teaspoon salt
About 4 1⁄2 cups (630 grams) all-purpose flour (plain flour)

1. Melt the butter and set aside.
2. Beat the egg in a large bowl until the yolk and white are fully mixed.
3. Mix the honey, orange juice, orange flavoring, orange oil, and lemon flavoring. Add to the egg and beat until well mixed.
4. Mix the sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Add to the egg mixture and beat until well mixed. If the mixture isn’t smooth, don’t worry—it will become smooth as you add the flour.
5. Add the melted butter slowly and beat until well mixed. Don’t just pour it in quickly—the heat still in the butter could cook the egg!
6. Add flour slowly and mix in until you have dough that is solid enough to knead.
7. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface. Continue adding flour by kneading in a little at a time until the dough is smooth and slightly sticky.
8. Wrap or cover the dough to prevent drying, then refrigerate to make it less sticky. This should take half an hour at most.
9. Roll and form the dough according to the directions for your cookie mold.
10. Refrigerate the cookies while you preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175oC).
11. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until the edges have slightly browned and the top has begun to firm up.

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Quilt Cookie Mold: Heart in Hand

 

Here's the heart motif again, superimposed on a hand this time. This may have originally been a love token, but a similar motif was also used by the Shakers to mean "Hands to work, hearts to God."

I did the "painting" on this cookie, and, since painting is not one of my skills, it was done in the photo program on my computer. It does show what could be done, though.

 

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Quilt Cookie Mold: Schoolhouse Quilt

 

Another quilt wall hanging type cookie from Louise Sturdivant! Here we see the same mold with two different painting treatments. The flowers, bright colors, and azure background of the cookie on the left are like a colorful village on the seaside. The strong colors of the cookie on the right are perfect for the bright flowers she uses in the border.

This is a Brown Bag mold called "Schoolhouse Quilt." It's actually for paper molding, which requires a much shallower mold. Without the painting, the cookie would not be nearly as effective. Like almost all Brown Bag molds, it's no longer available new. It isn't difficult to find a used one, though, and it shouldn't be expensive.

 

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Quilt Cookie Mold: Tulip Basket

This one comes from Cotton Press. I like the way the stitching is detailed in the mold itself.

 

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Quilt Cookie Mold: Baltimore Album Wreath

The Baltimore Album quilting style originated in Baltimore in the 19th Century. It's a distinctive style, sometimes very elaborate, and still popular with quilters today. Here's a link to more information:

Maryland Historical Society Quilt Show

This cookie mold shows a very simple Baltimore Album block, and Louise Sturdivant has painted it in traditional colors. On the right, we see the stitching of the quilting lines, carefully picked out against the natural cookie color. And on the left, Louise has chosen a white background to duplicate the usual color of the Baltimore Album Quilts.

The mold, made by Cotton Press, is still available.

 

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Quilt Cookie Mold: Homespun Heart

This mold was made by Pampered Chef, and is now out of production, but easy to find used, and inexpensive. I don't know of a quilt block with all these elements, but the star element is a traditional one called "Ohio Star."

Painting by Louise Sturdivant.

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Tip: Choosing a Recipe for Quilt Cookie Molds

Especially if you plan to paint the cookies, you'll want a light colored dough. It should also be very fine-textured, so you won't have lumps and bumps.

This is probably not the best use for layered cookies, because the lower-layer goodies can make the surface slightly irregular.

Some good choices from my book, Baking with Cookie Molds, would be Anne's Lemon Cookies, Apricot Jam Cookies, Danish Butter Cookies, and Perfection Springerle.The Apricot Jam Cookies would be particularly suitable for molds that are shallow or otherwise difficult, because that recipes prints and unmolds more easily than any other recipe I've tried.

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Quilt Cookie Mold: Vase

This is one of the Pfaltzgraff "America" series, no longer made but still easily available. It's a motif that's found in both decorative painting and appliqued quilts.

 

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Quilt Cookie Mold: Tree

A quilter would probably call this pattern "Pine Tree." This mold is another of the Pfaltzgraff "America" series.

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Finale: A Whole Quilt!

Imagine how cute it would look to arrange a tray of cookies to make a whole quilt! Here's one you might make for a baby shower, but the possibilities are endless! Tip: have the background color match the color of the cookie edge so minor irregularities will disappear.

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Coming in October

Halloween

Full Circle of the Year, and Announcing Next Years' Project (Hint: This time, readers will have a major role...)

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