Sunday, March 24, 2013

There’s Something About Cookie Cutters

Musings by Olivia Greyson, from THE COOKIE CUTTER SHOP MYSTERIES, by Virginia Lowell.

What is it about cookie cutters? When I was a little girl, I played with cookie cutters instead of dolls. I’d take out my mom’s cutters and create a little village for them. Each one had a name, even the flowers and the stars.

As I grew older, my mom taught me to make cutout cookies. I got to pick the icing colors, so we created some memorable cookies, such as a purple cat with yellow polka dots. When I remember baking cookies with my mom, I think of warmth and laughter and yummy sweetness.

Lately I’ve realized that my father was the reason I see personalities in cookie cutters. Dad was an ornithologist. He died when I was a teenager, and I always think of him when I make bird-shaped cookies. (He could eat dozens of cookies and not gain an ounce. I did not inherit that particular gift.)

One spring my father pointed out a vibrantly red male cardinal feeding in our yard. While we watched, the male hopped over to a female cardinal, and they touched beaks. “He is giving her a seed,” Dad said, “as an offering of love.” Later in the summer, my father took me out to the backyard to watch a mother robin standing next to her nest and chattering sternly at a mound of nearly grown fledglings. Dad chuckled, and said, “Robins can be impatient and irritable. She is lecturing those lazy kids to get out of the nest and learn to fly.”

Because of my mother, I fell in love with cookie baking—the tastes, the colors, the feel of dough, the heavenly aromas…. And because of my father, I can’t hold a cookie cutter without giving it a name, a personality, and a story to tell.

Do you have a childhood memory that makes you smile?

ONE DEAD COOKIE, the fourth book in the COOKIE CUTTER SHOP series, should hit the shelves on July 2! For updates, visit Virginia Lowell at


  1. No, I never did things like that with my parents. Everything I know about birds and plants and such I learned from a great biology teacher at school, or from books. My dad has no patience or desire to do anything family related, and cookies are just cheaper store bought.

  2. My grandmother taught me to sew, and we started with doll clothes, designing the clothes to suit the dolls' personalities. I never thought of making outfits for cookie cutters, hmmmm. I have traced around cookie cutters to create appliques, though.

    1. My mom can sew anything, and she tried to teach me. She tried so very hard. However, she taught me to bake, and, boy, did I take to baking! What a great idea to use cookie cutter tracings to make appliques!

  3. How utterly delightful Thank you for sharing