Cookies are pretty amazing. They taste great, and the only bad thing you can really say about them is that they sometimes look a little boring, so I guess that’s why different shaped cookie cutters were invented. Stars and hearts are nice shapes and all, but how about Rupees and Triforces and Hylian Shields? That’s right, IEFDesign has produced a series of cookie cutters featuring iconic shapes from the Zelda series. They graciously sent Zelda Universe a set to test out and review. The resulting cookies looked fantastic, and I foresee these cutters getting a lot of use in my household.
The cutters are 3D printed from eco-friendly PLA plastic. This type of plastic is sensitive to high temperatures so the cutters need to be hand-washed, but IEF also offers them in dishwasher-safe ABS plastic on request. Both types of plastic are food-safe, and the cutters come in two sizes (medium and large). The 3D printing allows for some pretty intricate cutter designs which look great, but I was curious to see how well those designs would hold up after baking. The only type of cookie cutter I’d used before these were simple outlines.
I used a basic sugar cookie recipe that I’ve used many times before to make things like Christmas-shaped cookies. One of the biggest tricks I’ve learned from trying to make Christmas cookies on hot Australian summer days is that getting clean shapes doesn’t just depend on the cutter. You also need to keep the dough cool. While making these Zelda cookies I cooled the dough in the fridge, cut the shapes and then cooled the cut shapes in the fridge again before baking. This gave me the best chance of getting a nice result at the end. The cutters come with a set of instructions on how to use and look after them, and these also say that the dough should be cool.
The instructions also recommend spreading a bit of flour on the cutting board and cutter to prevent the dough from sticking, and that you can even dunk the cutter into the flour for better results. Initially, I figured I’d just sprinkle on the same amount of flour I’ve used previously for cutting simple outlines, but it was not enough. The intricate shapes provide more places for dough to get stuck, and once stuck it’s almost impossible to push it out easily, let alone get a clean result. I quickly took the advice printed on the instructions and dipped the cutters in a bowl of flour before each cut, and this led to much better results.
The one area where these detailed cutters are a little unforgiving compared to outline cutters is in the thickness of your dough. The enclosed instructions tell you that it needs to be 6-8mm thick. It doesn’t need to be super precise — I never bother to measure my dough thickness exactly; I just eyeball it — but if you roll it out too thinly, some of the details may not transfer onto the cookie. It it’s too thick, you won’t get clean shapes as the dough oozes up over the edges.
I baked the cookies according to the recipe and was seriously impressed with how well they retained their shape and detail after baking. I had originally planned to ice and decorate some of them but decided that they looked fantastic as they were. Too much decoration might take away from the detail, although I think I’ll put some gold sugar dust on the Triforces next time, and maybe color the Rupees.
When it comes to the least fun part of baking, washing up, you might have dough stuck in some of the small spaces that is a little hard to get out. If you dip the cutters in flour before each use, as I mentioned earlier, hopefully this won’t be a problem. But if it is, leave the cutters to soak in the soapy warm water for a few minutes to let the dough soften and it should come out easily with a dish brush.
Being able to make Zelda cookies is a novelty that I’m not going to get tired of any time soon. I’ve already made a batch to serve to non-Zelda fan friends (who liked the shapes even if they had to ask what they were) and a batch to be used as lunchbox snacks. I can’t wait to serve some up the next time I have friends over for a gaming night. I can also see myself using these cutters for other decorative purposes, such as cutting out shapes from icing/fondant to decorate cakes or cupcakes for example. If the idea of baking Zelda cookies appeals to you then I highly recommend these cutters.