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Ho, ho, ho! 


I know many of you are wearing shorts, swimsuits, and sunnies, but here in the Practice Bakes Perfect kitchen, it is Christmastime! Well . . . sort of. You see, for this latest challenge, you will be asked to repurpose your Christmas/winter-themed cookie cutters to create a set of cookies that are anything BUT Christmas/wintry.


But before we get to the challenge details, I want to tell you about the ridiculously awesome prize that we have in store for one lucky challenge entrant, who will be chosen at random at the close of Challenge #11. Very generously offered by BRP Box Shop, the prize for this challenge includes a HUGE assortment of cookie boxes and packaging materials (estimated retail value: $55)!


Julia Usher GiveawaywithText


Specifically, the winnings include the following 16 items:


[EDITOR'S NOTE: Plus, BRP has agreed to ship to a winner anywhere in the world that UPS ships! Again, another super huge thank you to BRP Box Shop for donating such a great prize. Even if you don't plan to enter, I encourage you to check out their site - it's wonderful!]


With a prize like that, how could you NOT enter Challenge #11?! So, without further ado, let's talk about the challenge details.


For this challenge, I would like you to stretch the limits of your imagination and really think outside the (BRP) box (pun intended). I would like you to take a set of your own Christmas/winter-shaped cookie cutters and create a NON-Christmas/winter set of cookies with them. Now, I have never made an entire set of non-Christmas/winter cookies from Christmas/winter cutters, but a few of my Christmas cutters do tend to make appearances year-round. A couple of favorites of mine are my snowman cutter:


Snowman Bouquet Triptych


And my present cutter:


Bunny Present Cutter pm


And, if you are like me, you own about 1,000 different Christmas and winter-season cookie cutters, so the possibilities for this challenge are endless. Here are just a few of my favorite seasonal cutters, but really, for this challenge, I want you to scour your own collections of Christmas and winter cutters and breathe some new life into them, or maybe, even use that odd or "misfit" cutter for the first time ever.


Xmas in July Cutters



  1. Create a non-Christmas/winter set of five (5) or more cookies using your own Christmas/winter cookie cutters.
  2. Each set of cookies must be created using at least five (5) DIFFERENT Christmas/winter cookie cutters. For instance: a snowman, a mitten, a snowflake, a gingerbread man, and a stocking. The five cutters must be completely different, i.e., not two different snowmen.    
  3. You must create something different from each cutter than what it was originally intended to be. For instance, if you choose to use a star cutter, it must be used to create something other than a star.
  4. You may not "Franken-cookie" or alter your Christmas cutters/cookies in any way. You must use your chosen Christmas cutters as they are. For instance, if you are using your snowman cutter, you may not cut off your poor snowman's head to create a cookie that is the shape of the number eight. Nor may you combine two or more cutters to create a single shape.
  5. You can include additional, non-Christmas/winter cutters in your set, but they must form a cohesive set with the other five required cutters/cookies.
  6. When posting your challenge entry, kindly identify which Christmas/winter cutters were used to create which of the cookies in your set. (If you can post a picture of the cutters you used in the comments to your entry, even better!)
  7. As always, we ask that you make a brand-spankin' new set of cookies for this challenge.
  8. Think outside of the box, take some healthy risks, and HAVE SOME FUN.


To enter:

  • Please post an image of your cookie set to the site under the Practice Bakes Perfect clip set no later than August 16, 2015 at 5 pm central.
  • Because these challenges will be ongoing, we ask that you put "Practice Bakes Perfect Challenge #11" in your photo caption (subtitle field) AND in a tag, so that we can tell the challenges apart from month to month. Please use the main title field to uniquely name your cookies as you normally would.
  • Please also assign other relevant clip sets and tags to your images, as you normally would. (Meaning don't just use the Practice Bakes Perfect clip set and leave it at that, or your photos won't easily be found with keyword searches.)
  • You can enter more than once, but please post only one clip of each distinct entry/cookie set. Multiple clips of the same entry/cookie set are not allowed unless added in a comment beneath the one primary clip.

After the challenge closes on August 16, we will announce the winner in the Saturday Spotlight the following weekend (August 22). The next challenge will be announced after this challenge is closed.


And one last thing . . . This is NOT meant to be a competition. The only person you should be competing against is yourself. Period. These challenges are intended to inspire the artist in you and push you to be the best cookie artist YOU can be at this snapshot in time. Remember, the whole point of this exercise is to get you OUT of your comfort zone - to "take healthy risks," as my wise-beyond-his-years son always reminds me. Plus, prizes are given entirely at random, so healthy risk-taking has its own rewards!


I would love to chat with you as you journey through this process, so if you have any questions about the challenge, are having trouble getting started, need help bringing an idea to life, or need technical advice (other than, "Where the heck did I store my Christmas cutters for the summer?"), please leave a comment below.



Christine Donnelly began her professional baking career at 16, when she was hired on the spot at her local bakery to work the counter and decorate cakes. After detours to college and law school, she worked as a trial lawyer in Chicago for many years, ultimately leaving that career to become a stay-at-home mother to her two children. In her “retirement,” she continued to bake at home, at last finding her preferred artistic medium in decorated cookies. In February 2013, Bakerloo Station was born with a presence on both Facebook and Instagram. Christine makes cookies to balance her left brain, to inspire and share creative ideas, and to feed those needs that only art can satisfy. 


Photo credit: Christine Donnelly


NotePractice Bakes Perfect is a bi-monthly Cookie Connection blog feature written by Christine Donnelly that poses inspiration or challenges to get you to stretch as a cookie artist - for practice, for prizes, and for fun! Its content expresses the views of the author and not necessarily those of this site, its owners, its administrators, or its employees. Catch up on all of Christine's past Cookie Connection posts here.

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