Decorative Eats

cookie craft book cover

Cookie Craft
No-Bake Designs for Edible Party Decorations and Favors
Williams and Williams
1977

I am not a big fan of when food looks like something that isn’t food. I can appreciate some of the artistry, but no for a snack. This book is more about using common store bought cookies or crackers to be some of the foundations. Not a bad idea. In fact, I had a pastry chef do a cupcake decorating programs for some teens and the ideas were similar. The kids started with a plain cupcake and used candy, fruit roll-ups, and other products to make some really cute cupcakes. The teens loved the class.

This book probably does a pretty decent job for what was available in the 1970s. The black and white pictures and cookie/cracker choice don’t sound that appetizing. The chef I had do the class was miles ahead of this book, because the creations were actually delicious. Yes, the “art” is edible, but I don’t think that was the point. This was more about food as decoration rather than for eating.

Mary

 

cookies

cookie truck project

dice cookie project

parasol project

Christmas tree

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13 comments

  1. My relatives considered a gingerbread house for Christmas verboten because playing with food was a waste and waste was a sin. This book is certainly about playing with food.

    Some of the things here look like they might be fun to make but not fun to eat. Trying to identify modern cookies and crackers with the 1970s equivalents could also be a problem.

    Hey, it’s probably better than weird congealed salads.

  2. I think there is more to books of this sort than may be readily apparent. Taken in the context of the complexity of the universe and the mystery of life itself, the sheer absurdity of a miniature parasol made of cookies and a pipe cleaner lends the material a certain charm that may allow us momentarily the innocence and wonder we left behind in childhood. In layman’s terms, there’s something to be said for warm fuzzies.

    1. re sheer absurdity: the phrase “reinforced buttercup wheels” does it for me. The fire truck on the cover reminds me of Gumby, now that I think of it, which was certainly a show of make believe and non-hostile weirdness.

    2. Dear Adam,
      but are you channeling Leonard Pinth-Garnell from the early SNL sketches? I think it was Dan Ackroyd who would play the ‘extraordinarilly frefined’ art critic to great comic acclaim.

      If so, You’re doing a wonderful job! BRAVO!

  3. For what I presume were professionals doing this book, their frosting is pretty messy. They couldn’t redo that ladder on the cover? The front cover, the only color photos in the book? The dice have pretty lumpy frosting too.

    OTOH, the imperfections probably made people feel better about their icing technique.

    I had to look up “sea toast crackers”. They don’t make them any more. And I’m not too sure about a saltine/frosting combo.

    If you’re not going to eat the decorations, why make them edible? Just use cardboard, paint, etc.

    1. In some forgotten long-ago context, I was offered saltines with chocolate frosting on them. They weren’t bad, actually — the sweetness and saltiness complemented each other. Perhaps like sea salt caramels today.

    2. Well, edible decorations do make things a lot more worry-free when toddlers are around. Even if a decoration tastes awful, no one needs to worry about their little darling when they start chewing it.

  4. I loved those scalloped buttercup cookies (though I didn’t know that’s what they were called) when I was a kid in the 70s. I remember stacking them up on my fingers and pretending that they were rings, and then trying to eat them from the outsides in, while hopefully still leaving the center circle intact around my finger. (We were starved for entertainment back then, lol)

  5. ISTM they missed a trick not using Pinwheel cookies. All tall and sculpted, chocolate and marshmallow. I ate a ton of those in the 70s.

    Also, how many people ever decorated sugar cubes to look like packages? That Christmas tree looks like way too much work, and we don’t even see the “string, wire and rubber bands” that lead up to that part! Just go down to Sears or K-Mart and buy some darn centerpieces while you’re stocking up on polyester shirts for the family.

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