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BAKING & COOKING

by Eva Hakansson

Baking and cooking is a science in itself! You can also use STEM skills to making baking and cooking much more exciting.

Racing inspired gingerbread cookies

Gingerbread cookies are my absolute favorite cookies, and the best I have ever tasted are made with my grandma Carla’s recipe (you can find it here).

More than half of the fun of making gingerbread cookies are to use fun shapes and to decorate the cookies.  The best cookie cutters are made from stainless steel and have really sharp edges. My dad made me the KillaJoule cookie cutter that you can see above. The two cookies above are decorated as the KillaJoule. It is quite a job to make a cookie cutter of this style, and you need to have access to a real workshop.

A simpler alternative is to 3D print your cookie cutter. It doesn’t give as sharp cutting edge and the dough tends to stick to it a bit more, but the possibilities are endless. If you happen to have access to a 3D printer like I have, you don’t have to be fluent in CAD (Computer Aided Design) to print your own cookie cutter. There are many print ready designs that can be downloaded for free from www.thingiverse.com, one of my favorite 3D printing websites. Just search for “cookie” on the website. Of course, if you want just your racing vehicle or favorite pet or any other custom shape, you have to draw it yourself.

If you want to 3D print your own KillaJoule cookie cutter – scroll down the page to read more! 🙂

 

Download 3D printed KillaJoule cookie cutter

If you are lucky enough to have access to a 3D printer, you can download your own KillaJoule cookie cutter here (.zip file). The compressed folder contains two varieties of the the KillaJoule cookie cutter – with and without imprint of the lightning bolt. It also contains the two cutters to make the sidecar shown in the photos below. If you want to modify the cutters, the original Autodesk Inventor files (.ipt) are also included.

To open the compressed folder (on a PC), right-click and choose “Extract all”. Open or import the .stl files in your 3D printing slicer software (such as Cura or Simplify 3D). Use the slicer software to send the model to your 3D printer. The exact steps depends on your printer and software used.

The cookie container in the photo below is also of my own design, but the design take quite a bit of tinkering to print and cannot be sliced with a regular 3D slider, so I will have to release those files at a different time. Sorry. Same for the KillaJoule “Easter egg” on the cover photo.

Imprint version of the KillaJoule cookie cutter

KillaJoule ginger bread cookies. Download the files to 3D print the cookie cutters above.

  

Cookie cutter without imprint

The cookie cutter with imprint is easier to use because the dough doesn’t stick so easily. The cookies may also get more uniform shape, and will be very suitable for decoration.

 

 

 

Quick treat or gift: No-bake Oat and Cocoa balls

Super simple and super quick Oat and Cocoa Balls is the perfect treat of gift. Just mix all ingredients in a bowl and shape into balls with your hands. Chill and serve. This is the base for the treats shown in the cover photo. It is optional to roll them in sprinkles, shredded coconut, or anything else you can think of, but they are darn good as they are as well.

I chose organic, local and/or fair trade ingredients if I can, but that I of course a personal preference. If you want a low-sugar option, substitute some or all the sugar for stevia.

Ingredients for ~20 balls, about 1.25 inch (30 mm) in diameter:

Metric units:
100 g butter at room temperature
0.5-1 dl sugar, granulated or powered (the amount depends on your personal preference)
2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
4 dl rolled oats (quick or regular)
1-2 tablespoons of water

Imperial units:
4 oz butter at room temperature
0.25-0.5 cups sugar, granulated or powered (the amount depends on your personal preference)
2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
1.5 cups rolled oats (quick or regular)
1-2 tablespoons of water

Optional flavoring, such as vanilla or coffee (or liquor for an adult version). The ones in the cover photo had 1 table spoon of liquid vanilla per batch. The coffee ones had one table spoon of instant coffee (dissolved in a small amount of hot water) per batch in addition to the vanilla. Several of the ones shown in the cover photo were also filled or dipped. Here are the additional recipes:

  • Burgundy: One table spoon of instant coffee, dissolved in a small amount of hot water, per batch.
  • Gold: Formed a ball of marzipan, and surrounded it with the dough. Placed them in the fridge until hard, then quickly dipped in melted white chocolate, placed on tray covered in parchment/baking paper, and sprinkled “gold” sprinkles on top.
  • Green: Same idea, but a junior mint in the center, dipped in dark chocolate, and white chocolate stripes on top.
  • Blue: Just rolled in “pearl sugar” (can be hard to find, a Scandinavian specialty).
  • Purple: Hazelnut in the center, dipped in milk chocolate, and chopped hazelnuts on top.
  • Silver: Just rolled in shredded coconut.

Note: a scientifically minded person will notice that the amounts are not identical in metric and imperial units. The recipe is very flexible, and you can adjust the amounts based on your personal preferences.

Step-by-step instructions:

Prefer a printed version? Download the instructions as PDF here for easy printing:

Step 1: Gather all the ingredients. I personally prefer organic, local and/or fair trade.

Step 2: Add all ingredients to a bowl.

Step 3: Mix it all. If you don’t mind getting your hands messy, it is actually easiest to do this with your hands. I place the bowl in the sink to contain potential mess.

Step 4: Shape into balls using your hands. If it sticks badly to your hands, try to first rinse your hands in cold water. It sticks much less to wet hands.

Step 5 (optional): Roll in shredded coconut…

…or sprinkles. Or something else you can think of, liked chopped hazel nuts. Or follow the other suggestions above to make them as delicate as the treats on the cover photo!

Step 6: Chill, and then place in a nice box, or just eat them directly! Store them in the fridge. Sorry, the files for these boxes are not posted, they are quite tricky to print.

Cover photo: KillaJoule “Easter Egg” with homemade treats. The Easter Egg is of my own design, but the design take quite a bit of tinkering to print and cannot be sliced with a regular 3D slider, so I will have to release those files at a different time. Sorry.

 

 


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