Cookie cutters should get to play with way more than unbaked cookie dough. Whether you sprang for the jumbo pack of cutters at Target (It’s a dinosaur! Or maybe a cat wearing a hat?) or are the guardian of your great-great-grandma’s ancient metallic gingerbread men, these alternate uses might convince you to keep the box of holiday cookie cutters out of storage once January rolls around.
Precision pancake molds: If you’ve got metal cookie cutters, you can pop them right in the skillet and pour in your batter to help keep their shape, then remove the cookie cutter when it’s time to flip. If your cookie cutters are plastic, make round pancakes and punch out shapes after they’re cooked.
Eggs in a hole: Bird’s nest basket, frog in a hole, egg in a basket, toad in the hole … whatever you call it, this perfect union of egg sandwich and fried toasty is breakfast magic. Use a cookie cutter to remove the middle of the toast, add to a buttered frying pan, and crack an egg in the hole. Wait for the bottom to set, flip the whole thing over, cook another minute, then serve.
DIY chicken nuggets: “Any chicken nugget is a good chicken nugget.” Wise words from Jonathan Melendez, who shares his recipe for dinosaur-shaped nuggets here.
Homemade tortilla chips: Have at a stack of flour tortillas with your stockpile of cookie cutters—or play up Christmas colors with spinach (green) or sun-dried tomato (red) wraps. Coat with cooking spray and bake at 350° until crisp and golden.
Cheese and meat snack plate: Kids can create their own cracker stacks using slices of lunch meat and cheese punched into any shape their hearts desire.
Roasted potatoes: Slice some Russet potatoes about ¼-inch thick and punch out shapes before tossing with olive oil, salt, and other seasonings. Bake at 350° degrees until browned and cooked through.
Decorative pie crusts: While that lattice-topped pie of your dreams might require more patience and dexterity than you’ve got around the holidays, recruiting your little sous to cut small shapes out of a rolled sheet of dough is a shortcut to pro-quality, ultra-Instagrammable pies. Head to our Instagram for a slideshow of inspiration.
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