If you're like us, cookie cutters are your weakness! It's so easy to fill up your basket with fun shapes and sizes. But it's also easy to get caught up in the fun of novelty cutters and forget the important qualities that make one cookie cutter better than another.
Over the years, we've learned a few handy tips for choosing the right cookie cutter. Read on for our pointers on buying the perfect cookie cutter!
How to buy the right cookie cutter for your next baking project
Simple shapes are most cost-effective
If you're new to making cookies, it's a good idea to start simple. Not only are less complex cutters easier to decorate and handle, they're also more cost-effective.
Simple cutters like hearts, circles and squares are usually a little cheaper in stores. They'll also save you money in the long run since they're so versatile. Square cutters can turn into houses, stamps, monsters, presents or have feature characters piped onto them. Hearts are perfect for birthdays and weddings as well as Valentine's Day treats.
See basic cutters in a new light
Look at cutters from all angles to see if they have multiple purposes. Upside-down hearts can turn into faces or ladybugs. Turned sideways, a heart can also be a pair of lips.
Some shapes, like a hexagon, will look the same when turned, but they're still extremely versatile. For example, you can combine multiple hexagon cookies to create a tiled, or beehive effect. You can also go for a marbled look or a geode cookie topping .
Beware of cutters with thin pieces
If you plan to ship your cookies, avoid complicated cutters that have thinner shapes in their design, like the cookie cutters in the image above. The stem of a champagne glass is pretty likely to break during transit. Watch out for things that could snap off — limbs on animals or characters, or elongated or finicky shapes.
Plus, these shapes tend to be more specific and harder to use in versatile ways. That's not to say you should never buy any oddly shaped cutters! But you should be thoughtful before purchasing anything out of the ordinary.
Be wary of 3-D printed cutters
In recent years, 3-D printed cookie cutters have become more trendy. It sounds like an amazing solution for custom cookie cutters, but you need to do your research.
Before buying a 3-D printed cutter, take a look at the thickness of the cutter — most of the ones we've tried are a lot thicker than normal. This isn't great for your cookies, as a thick cutter will squish out the shape, leaving you a raggedy edge. Also, the plastic used with 3-D cutters isn't usually very sturdy. Wash them in cold water and towel dry. Putting them in the dishwasher will melt them out of shape!
Look for nesting sets
Nesting sets of cookie cutters are incredibly handy, especially when it comes to basic shapes. You get a set of different sizes to work with, including adorable little mini sizes that work well for "filler" cookies, as well as larger sizes for show-stopper cookies.
What's your favorite kind of cookie cutter?