Friday, October 3, 2008

Brown Baggin' It

Several years ago, my mom bought me a cookie press for a gift. I thought it was pretty neat...a little piece of art atop a useful kitchen tool. I even made cookies for family members the following Christmas using my new cookie press. My cookie press inspired me to learn how to make mom's favorite. My mother was so impressed by my new found cookie making talent that when the next gift giving holiday rolled around, she gave me another cookie press. My brother caught on as well and he and my mom have continued to add to my growing collection.

Whenever any guest in our home sees my cookie presses, they ask about them. I've been resistant to say that I collect cookie presses for two reasons... 1.) I never set out to collect them, I just kind of fell into it and 2.) it just seems so-o-o domestic, like a collection that Martha Stewart would have and I am definitely NOT Martha Stewart.

Well, today I received a gift of two more cookie presses, two cookie molds, and a companion book(from Mom, of course). I now have to admit it... I am a cookie press collector.

This made me realize that I ought to do a little research on this and see what I am really getting myself into. Most of my presses and the 2 molds that I receive today are Brown Bag Designs. It turns out that these are highly collectible and most of them are actually retired. The company now only releases one design a year and that design is used, according to their website, to "make a difference in the world." The design is inspired by a charity and a portion of the proceed go to that organization. Pretty darn cool! Last year's design honored Habitat for Humanity and this year's design is for Heifer International. I had never heard of Heifer International before but after looking through their website, I am inspired. Rather that just throwing money at the problem of world hunger, they share livestock and then the recipient passes on the offspring of their gift to another needy family. The gift literally keeps going with each generation of livestock born. Wow. Who would have thought that my little cookie press collection would lead me to learn about an organization trying to end world hunger?!?!?

My daughter wanted to help with the photo. The presses kept rolling so she came up with her own solution and got some ribbon to hold them in place...Love that kiddo!!!

I also learned through a book that my mom included with my gift today that cookie molds can be used for so much more that just cookies. The book is called The Brown Bag Cookie Art New Idea Book. In it, it gives directions for using cookie molds to make molded chocolates, fondant, butter, marzipan, paper casting, gift tags, greeting cards, beeswax ornaments, cinnamon pomanders, salt dough ornament, and of course, lots of cookie ideas. Who'd have thought my little collection could do so much?!?!?

So, I am indeed, officially a cookie press collector. How did that happen?!?!?

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