Mar 14, 2013
Whooo, it's the month for patron saints everyone! No sooner are we done with Saint David's Day, than Saint Patrick's Day is upon us! We got our leprechaun gold sorted in the form of some golden coin cookies, minted with some home made custom cookie stamps! I've posted about it over on Alpha Mom, with lots of photos and details on what worked best as far as materials and cookie dough went.
Pop and check it out, and even if you're not into the idea of golden leprechaun treasure, this technique can be used to stamp cookies for any event that you want a custom design for, at very little cost! Birthday parties, birth announcements, valentines, Christmas, Graduation, Bad hair days, bin day, days with the letter Y at the end... you get the idea.
For me, I love it because it removes the need to do complicated cookie icing, which I suck at and have no patience for, and you can't dunk iced cookies in your tea! Well, you can, but your tea would be sweet, and eugrchhh sweet tea?! Are you trying to poison me?!
My kids have told me that we need to make custom cookie stamps with the names of the members of our family on. There are some serious cookie ownership issues simmering beneath that request if you ask me. I would feel slightly guilty if I ate a cookie with someone else's name on though, so maybe they have something there.
Do I have any long time readers among you? Do any of you remember way back in the distant past of 2009, when the kids were all tiny and we made golden leprachaun cookies with some friends back in the US. Some Irish friends no less! That's what gave me the idea to try and make our own cookie stamps. Something a bit more suited to my now seven and eight year old's crafting abilities, but still fun and edible. Awww, just look at little barely three year old Ffi, all covered in flour. I'm looking forward to doing more of those preschooler crafts again with Delyth!
UPDATE (16th March 2013): Alpha Mom has cautiously recommended that you do not use the polymer clay version of the stamp on foods. The reason for this is potentially twofold. They are mainly bothered about phthalates (plasticizers that until 2009 were used in all polymer clays). If you purchase your polymer clay from anywhere in the EU, or California then it will be phthalate free due to regulations that were introduced several years ago, but if you are buying it from elsewhere then you will need to be aware of the fact that your clay may contain phthalates.
Polymer clay has been thoroughly tested by ACMI (Art & Crafts Materials Institute in Boston) and by CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commissions) It has been evaluated to be non-toxic, meaning there are no acute toxicity concerns even when assuming a large (24 mg) daily ingestion of polymer clay, but don't be doing that m'kay? Yuck! Understandably Alpha Mom did not want to recommend the polymer clay option to it's readers when they couldn't be sure if the readers had access to phthalate free clay.
The second issue is that polymer clay is designated as non-food grade plastic. This is not because of toxicity, but rather because it is more porous than food grade plastics, meaning that it is harder to sanitize properly once it has come into contact with food. So, not a good idea to make yourself a dinner plate or a mug to drink your Bovril out of with it, because it could harbour nasty bacteria from the food making it unsafe to use a second time. With this in mind, if you feel that is an issue with using it with raw cookie dough, then you can always make it a one use item and throw the stamp away (the same applies obviously to the salt dough version, which is even more porous than the polymer clay). I will not be throwing away the wooden rolling pin that also came into contact with cookie dough and is porous though, so you've really got to make your own informed decisions about these things.
So, there's a bit of info for you to make a judgement call. If you want to be super cautious then just make your cookie stamps out of the salt dough and then chuck them in the bin when you're done (the stamps, not the cookies silly!).
Here's a hazard risk assessment study done by Duke University Medical Center in 2000 on polymer clay that DOES contain phthalates. (this also addresses the PVC content of the clay for those that are concerned about PVC in their products)