Racing-inspired gingerbread cookies
We all love cookies, so why not let your favorite STEM project inspire your cookie design? My choice to was to make racing-inspired cookies, of course! Of all the cookies in the world, gingerbread cookies are my absolute favorites, 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 below. The two cookies above are decorated as the KillaJoule. It is quite a job to make a cookie cutter of this style and takes some serious metal-working skills. Expect to be at it for a day or more for a complicated shape.
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 such as the Lulzbot TAZ 5 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.
Last year I 3D printed a cookie cutter with the logo of my former employer – the Center for Novel High Voltage/Temperature Materials and Structures at University of Denver (www.HVTcenter.org). The center logo was originally created by me and fellow graduate student Joe Hoffman, and I created the actual graphics in CAD (the logo as it is used is just a picture of a CAD assembly). I just opened the original file and modified it a bit to make a cookie cutter, and then sent it to the printer. A batch of my grandma’s delicious ginger bread cookies was the perfect guinea pig for my new cookie cutter. I couldn’t be more happy with the outcome.
While the HVT Center cookies were certainly fancy with the imprinted logo, I still like my KillaJoule cookies better. 🙂