How to Make 3D Cookies

Take your cookie-baking to a whole new dimension – try our ideas for homemade 3D cookies! This makes a great wet-afternoon project for you and the kids.

Making The 3D templates

For the easy way out, buy specially-designed 3D cookie cutters. You can find Halloween House, Christmas Tree and even Rudolph designs. But it’s rewarding to make your own – and you can use any shapes or characters you like. Cut out your templates from greaseproof paper, then put them onto the cookie dough and cut around them with a sharp knife. To ensure your template will work properly, do a test run with a little of your cookie dough, baking and testing it before continuing with the rest! Here are some ideas:

  • Stand-up Bob – To make legs for any character, trace a template of the body and arms only. Then draw the legs separately, and draw vertical slits halfway down each leg. Draw two vertical slits about 1/2cm into the bottom of the body, where the legs will be. Use the three templates to cut out the cookie dough (you’ll need three pieces per figure). When they’re baked and cooled, slide the legs (at a 90 degree angle) onto the body.
  • 3D Christmas TreeChristmas Trees are easy to build in 3D. You’ll need two identical Christmas tree shapes to make one cookie. In one, cut a vertical slit from the bottom, reaching to the centre of the cookie. On the second template, cut a vertical slit from the top, reaching to the centre (the two centre points on the templates should match up). Use the templates to cut out shapes in the cookie dough and bake as described. Once cool, put together the cookies in pairs, sliding the first cookie over the top of the second at a 90 degree angle.
  • Halloween Pumpkins – It’s surprisingly easy to make 3D pumpkins – you can even use pumpkin cookie cutters and adapt the shapes to stand up. If you don’t have a pumpkin cookie cutter (at least 7cm diameter) then trace your own templates onto greaseproof paper. (You’ll need two per cookie.) Make the two pumpkin templates identical – but shape one with a stalk and one without. Draw a vertical slit in each template – for one, draw a slit from the base of the pumpkin to the middle, and for the other, draw a thick slit, from where the stalk would be, to the middle. (The middle points on the templates should match up.) Once baked and cooled, slot the cookies together in pairs.

Butter Cut-Out Cookies

Here’s a great basic recipe for rolled butter cookies that can be decorated as they are, or used to make your 3D cookies.

You Need:
  • 100g (4oz) caster sugar
  • 100g (4oz) unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 4tsp golden honey
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 300g (11oz) plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 170ºC. Using an electric mixer, food processor, or just your hands, squish and beat the butter and sugar until softer and lighter. In a small jug, beat the eggs and honey, and pour them into the butter mixture with the vanilla extract. Continue to mix until everything is combined. (Don’t worry if it looks curdled at first.)

Put a sieve over the bowl and tip in the flour, baking powder and salt. Sift into the butter mix and then beat everything again until it’s combined to make a soft dough. To make it easier to roll, wrap the dough in clingfilm at this point and put into the fridge for half an hour.

Roll out the dough on a floured board and cut as described above. Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until tinged with gold at the edges.

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