Friday, November 30, 2007

How to make a bulk cookie cutter from tuna cans

Have a cookie making marathon in your future? Invest a few minutes and make a bulk-cookie cutter, and save tons of time.

This bulk cutter uses the dough efficiently, and allows a bunch of cookies to be cut at once. The only difficult part is eating all that tuna!

I used the following materials:

  • seven cans of tuna (eat the tuna and wash the cans)
  • 18" heavy duty aluminum platter (rescued from a catered community event, but too large to fit in my oven's drawer!)
  • seven 1.5" brads
  • duct tape
These are the tools I used:
  • drill with bit smaller than the head of the brads used
  • scissors
  • pliers (helpful for bending the foil pan, but not strictly necessary)
  • pen that marks on foil pan (e.g. Sharpie/permanent marker)
  • glue gun (optional, probably unnecessary)

STEP 1: Collect and thoroughly wash a number of tuna fish cans.

I soaked mine for a few minutes in hot water that had some lemon juice added to remove the fishy odor, then ran them through a dishwasher.

STEP 2: Drill a hole in the center of the bottom of each can.

STEP 3: Mark the hole locations on the foil platter, grouping the cans as close together as possible.

STEP 4: Drill holes in the platter at the pen marks.

STEP 5: For each can, feed a brad through the hole in the can and the corresponding hole in the platter. Open the brad on the back of the platter, pull tight and curl the "legs" of the brad to secure. The cans should be able to spin, but not wobble.

STEP 6: (Optional) I put a dot of hot glue from a glue gun on the back of the platter, to help secure each brad. This was probably unnecessary, but can't hurt.

STEP 7: Cut the platter from its edge to the outside of the can, for each of the outer-most cans. (There are six outer-most cans in this configuration.)

STEP 8: Fold two opposing "leaves" cut from the platter over the back of the platter.

The idea is to reinforce the strength of the cutter and make it safe for pushing with palms (no sharp edges) when in use.

STEP 9: After the initial two edges are folded in, snip (with scissors) a wedge from the edges of the remaining flaps (to reduce bulk) and fold them in to the back of the platter.

I used a pair of pliers to help with the folding.

Make sure all sharp edges are removed and folded. Your hands will be pushing on this device, and those snippets of aluminum can cut skin!

This is the shape of the wedge removed from the flap sides. With six cuts, I had six flaps and six wedges.

STEP 10: When all the flaps are folded over, crimp the folds with the pliers and cover the exposed edges with duct tape.

STEP 11: Whip up some cookie dough and go to town!

This worked well, and it's sturdy enough that I plan to keep it indefinitely. I drilled a hole in the edge so I could hang it on my basement stairwell wall, where I keep most of our other baking pans. (This is a storage strategy that allows all the pans to be visible, while freeing up considerable cabinet space.)

Here is a picture of it (bottom center of the photo) hanging on the Wall o'Pans:

(Update: Wonder what to do with the lids?)

6 comments, so far. Add yours now!

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Meredith said...

Love your ingenuity!

Orthonomics said...

This time I know not to ask if you have to toivel this. ;)

Anonymous said...

I was going to ask about toiveling (only thought about it since the last cookie-cutter creation adventure here)...but I guess you probably don't have to since you've created this amazing new entity!
Thanks so much for sharing. I'm always afraid that you'll think you're sharing details of your life that are too tedious for a blog and stop posting. Keep it up!

-Chana Raizel

Kashrut News said...

Very clever! Thanks for sharing!

RaggedyMom said...

Somewhat off-topic - I notice that you have some silicone baking pans hanging up on the wall o' pans: Do you find them very difficult to clean after use, or am I doing something wrong? Perhaps it was because I used Grease-n-flour cooking spray instead of actually greasing and flouring it myself, or that the pan came from Amazing Savings (made me less guilty about eventually tossing it), but the stains on the silicone were impossible to remove. Your thoughts?

Unknown said...

This is a great idea and just in time for all the Christmas cookies I have to make.
As far as eating the tuna... o.O well.... >_<

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