My first cake/cookie decorating set was one I purchased from Martha Stewart’s Martha by Mail catalog. It came in a lovely little tin and contained all the basics for decorating: a piping bag, a variety of tips, sanding sugars in oh-so-martha pastels and a little book of inspiration. The little book was one of a few Martha included with her baking supplies and cookie cutters. Each contained lovely examples of cookies decorated to perfection. These little gems are now collector items and sell for a pretty penny, with or without the cookie cutters or baking items they traveled with originally.
The Martha by Mail cookie cutters are also prized possessions. And sadly, I don’t have any. But, I did some digging and found the coppersmith who designed and handcrafted most of Martha’s cutters! I now have a sizable collection of made-to-order Michael Bonne copper cookie cutters. Who could blame me? They’re amazing! So, even though I didn’t know I was destined to be a baker and my original Martha by Mail decorating set is no longer in tact, I can celebrate her designs with Michael’s help. Thanks Michael!
The sugar squirrel & mighty acorn were one of Martha’s fall cutter sets. Like all of the Martha by Mail copper cutters they’re not petite. In fact, they’re gigantic! (I think their ambitious size makes them perfect for gifts or party favors). I’ve seen photos of the little book that shipped with these and to my surprise (and delight) Martha kept the decorating on these woodland creatures to a minimum and used sanding sugar to give them a furry coat. So, I decided to do the same. Less is more, right?
I used naturally colored sanding sugar from Williams-Sonoma on royal icing for the squirrel tails and acorn caps. I painted egg whites on the squirrel bodies and acorn nuts, sprinkled with sugar quickly before the egg white dried, and shook off the excess. The result is a natural and woodsy cookie perfect for a late fall or early winter gathering.