Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Cookie Cutter Pumpkins

A couple of years ago, I had a newborn, a young toddler and a burning desire to do everything just right.  Can you say 4th trimester hormones???  So, one morning I suddenly decided that we just had to carve a pumpkin.  The problem was, I am not well blessed in knife skills myself and I couldn't figure out how to allow my daughter to carve a pumpkin without putting a death instrument into her chubby, clumsy little hand.
Suddenly, I had a moment of brillance!  For some reason I have a ton of cookie cutters.  It's doubly strange because I do NOT bake.  We leave that to Hubby in this house.  So I busted out some star cookie cutters in various sizes, strapped Baby in his bouncy seat and got myself set to "carve" a pumpkin.

Here were my supplies:

1 small to medium pie pumpkin
Paper, for the goo
1 large spoon, for scooping
Several metal cookie cutters
1 small, sharp knife, for touch-ups
1 meat mallet (In revisiting this idea again this year, I discovered that I did not invent the wheel on this.  Here is a great link with extra carving tips.  Note that they use a rubber mallet.  We will be trying this method this year as the metal mallet sometimes can damage the cookie cutters.)

Cut the top off of Mr. Pumpkin and hand the spoon over to your toddler.  They love this part, mucking around in all that stringy pumpkin goo.  Once pumpkin is clean, choose the cookie cutter shapes you like.  I used stars for the first time and it turned out really cute.  I have also used a candy cane as a crooked smile and small Easter eggs for eyes.  Really, you can use anything and see what you come up with.  Give your cookie cutters a good inspection and see what else you can "see" in their shapes.  Gently tap cookie cutter into the flesh of the pumpkin.  I used the cookie cutter to cut all of the way through the pumpkin but you can also use it just to make your outline and then finish up with a knife.  You may want to use the second method with a larger, thicker-fleshed pumpkin.  Either way, you should end up with a cookie cutter design on your pumpkin.  You can create "faces" with the cutters or just simple designs.  Here is an example of our first attempt:

 Not bad for a crazy sleep-deprived mom of "two under two!"  If I can do this, anyone can.  Break out those cookie cutters and carve yourself a pumpkin!  Happy Halloween!

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