An autumnal pair of giant cookie cutters named Chubby Pumpkin & Tom Turkey were exclusive Martha by Mail designs made by one of America's most talented coppersmiths. Gleaming copper was shaped, cut and formed into iconic images that have recently become quite the collector's items for most of us. From what I've seen over the years, this pair of cookie cutters rarely goes up for auction perhaps because not many of them were made when they were in production for the catalog.
At 8 inches or so in size, each cutter is stamped with its corresponding name on the thick handle for easy identification. Such beautiful cookies can be made from brown sugar cookie dough, chocolate dough or even a spiced dough to usher in the season's sweetness. They can be made for a Halloween party or for a nice Thanksgiving dinner. Imagine giant cookies used as place cards set atop plates with the names of your guests at a festive gathering or a few of them decorating a mantel with seasonal squashes & gourds. Cookies can be packaged into large cellophane bags for gift giving and tied with colorful ribbons in shades of orange or chocolate browns and personalized with tags.
You don't need me to tell you that anyone receiving an enormous Pumpkin or Turkey cookie will smile at such a thoughtful gift. With so many good cookie recipes out there, choose among your favorites and make several flavors. Ice them in the best colors of the season or get creative and custom make your own shades for whimsical, one-of-a-kind treats.
If you happen to own the Chubby Pumpkin & Tom Turkey Cutters from Martha by Mail, do use them and cherish these pieces of Americana for years to come. I'm not sure we will ever see quality like this again.
Happy Baking & Collecting!
"Make festive cookies in jack-o-lantern and turkey shapes with these heavy-duty copper cutters. Copper tarnishes, so clean cutters before using: Dip a cut lemon in salt and rub it on the metal. Rinse in hot water; polish with a dry, soft cloth."
"We decorated these cookies using a pastry bag fit with a #2 tip and Martha's royal icing. Sugar flowers are available at baking supply stores."
Using thick white icing, pipe parallel lines, 1/2" apart, diagonally across the cookie. Across the cookie, pipe additional pairs of these parallel lines, 1" apart. Pipe orange icing in the middle of each pair. Do the same design, this time perpendicular, across the cookie. Add dots of white icing to each square in the lattice. Pipe a dot of thick yellow icing at each intersection of orange lines.
Outline and flood cookie with thin white icing; let dry. Pipe thick peach-colored wing, tail feathers, and toes, and outline and flood the breast with pink icing; while still wet, flock with fine sanding sugar. Allow to dry, and tap off excess sugar. Pipe and eye with purple icing.
Outline and flood cookie with thin orange icing. Allow to dry. With white icing, pipe a border, and add feathers, a wing, and an eye. While wet, flock with sugar. Once dry, tap off excess sugar, and add yellow dots to the tail.
Outline and flood cookie with thin yellow icing, and allow to dry. Pipe a border of thick brown icing, and flock with sanding sugar. Allow to dry, and tap off excess sugar. Attach sugar flowers to the border with icing, then pipe dots of thick orange icing on the border. Pipe thick yellow icing dots to flower centers, and flock with sanding sugar. Allow to dry and tap off excess sugar.
Making Jack-O'-Lantern Cookies
'Carve' pumpkin cookies before baking them. Chill cutout cookie dough thoroughly, then cut out eyes, nose and mouth with a sharp knife. Bake according to recipe. Arrange baked cookies on a greased cookie sheet or Silpat baking mat.
Break up one cup of orange or red hard candies. Heat in a microwave-safe spouted measuring cup on high for two minutes or until candy melts. Pour candy immediately into cutout shapes of cookies, filling each three quarters full. Use extreme caution when pouring hot candy. Allow to cool completely before touching or moving; candy will harden as it cools. Once cooled, continue decorating.
Outline and flood the cookie with thin purple icing. Allow to dry, then pipe a zigzag border with thick white icing. Pipe three zigzag lines to make the lobes of the pumpkin, using the bottom as a guide for placement. Using thick lavender icing, pipe tiny dots within each point of the zigzags.
Cut out mouth, nose, and eyes, leaving a half circle of dough intact on the side of each eye. Once baked and cooled, outline and flood cookie with thin orange icing. Allow to dry, then pipe a border of black icing. Pipe each eyeball without moving the tip, until icing forms a ball. Pipe small dots around the edge of the eye, nose and mouth.
Outline and flood cookie with thin orange icing. Allow to dry. With thick pink icing, make large dots by not moving the tip until icing forms a ball. Make smaller peach-colored dots the same way. Immediately flock with sugar. Allow to dry, then tap off excess sugar. Pipe tiny purple dots throughout.
Use the carving method described above. Cut mouth, nose, eyes, leaving a half circle of dough intact on the right side of each eye. Once baked and cooled, outline and flood cookie with thin orange icing. Allow to dry. With thick yellow icing, pipe each eyeball without moving the tip, until icing forms a ball, then outline the entire cookie, eyes, nose and mouth.