Gift Guide, Day 5

December 2, 2010

Handmade copper cookie cutters

The year the monogrammed sterling silver yo yo appeared on my desk at Christmas, I knew the corporate gift giving culture had gone insane. When you’re a magazine editor people are constantly sending you gifts you don’t want.

But occasionally something both useful and pretty actually shows up. My favorite was a huge copper cookie cutter in the shape of a star; it makes beautiful cookies – and looks swell on the Christmas tree.

Stars are kind of generic, but cookie cutters come in every shape and style you can imagine, and you can tailor your cutters to your friends. Coppergifts makes cookie cutters in 2,000 shapes (every dog you have ever seen, for instance) – and if they don’t have what you’re looking for they’ll custom craft a cookie cutter just for you.

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  • Thanks! I have a great cookie cutter collection, still growing after 36 years of marriage and long after the kiddoes graduated college. Now, my piano and cooking students and neighbors come by one day during the holidays for “Drop in and Decorate,” a fun late afternoon-evening of icing and sprinkling already-made cookies.We share a pot of soup left on the stove, as well as a few bottles of cheer. Cookies go to our local assisted living center for folks who no longer can bake. Last year, I did sugar cookies, shortbread, chocolate cut-outs and, of course, gingerbread figures. Ok, time to get baking. After I check out the copper cookie cutter site! (Lots of new cookie cutters are so poorly made… glad to know of some strong, good ones.)

  • I am wondering what you think is a great potluck dish?
    I have to make something for a dinner party for a lit class at my university. I am thinking of taking a bottle of sustainable chardonnay/ Mendocino Valley from Whole Foods; I was considering roasting a dish of veggies,asparagus etc. with olive oil and herbs, or some Braggs? But not sure that will travel well in between classes, and I want something that will be a bit of a treat and surprise, but really needs to be affordable.
    If you have a minute, would really appreciate your thoughts.
    Best wishes,
    ps. love the pictures added into your books- somehow, everything looks as I imagined it!
    which never really happens in film, pics and books- shows the true craftsmanship and artistry of your words.

  • Ruth Reichl says:

    Jessica: Nick had to take something into two of his classes. One had to be vegetarian, and he ended up making a great pot of chili. It traveled well, and everyone really liked it. I can post the recipe I send him if you like. For the other class he wanted something unusual – and cheap – so we came up with the idea of congee. He made a huge pot and took along all the fixings. He said everybody really liked it – and he was amazed by how cheaply he managed to feed 25 people. I can post that one too if you like.

  • Thanks for the great ideas, I really appreciate it. I am particularly interested in the congee, but if you have time I would love the chili one also.
    In regards to the chicharrones discussion I saw on the hot dog pg. you posted- Have you ever eaten at Mr Salsas in uptown Chicago? Tiny corner stand, run by two brothers from Mexico, sweet family. Best Mexican food I have ever had, and cheap. Wanted to recommend it to you and your readers.
    Thanks again, I am reallygrateful. . Best wishes