Four alder wood laser cut cookie stamps for autumn.
These stamps have been tested through 10 dozen cookies but it is important to remember that wood has grain and being gentle while pushing down at narrow points is important.
Bread/Wheat – In Europe, wheat was incredibly important to the health of the community. It was used in the making of both bread and beer. Typically, one in four crops failed. Imbolc and Lammas are two celebrations on the Wheel of the Year directly connected to wheat. Imbolc for the planting and Lammas (also known as Loafmass) for the harvesting of this previous grain.
Chaplet/Blueberries – Lughnasadh is an Irish harvest festival with additional layers of tradition. It is a gathering of the community, a chance to strut your stuff and have your skills recognized. Lugh was a god of craftsmanship, mastery and knowledge therefore tests of these attributes are a perfect way to celebrate. Think of it as the logrolling/jumberjack contests of long ago. A laurel chaplet has often gone to the winner of a contest in ancient times and has been included on this cookie stamp. Bilberries/blueberries are also an agricultural link to past activities. Young girls would gather bilberries and bake cakes for the young men they had their eye on. Young men would collect bilberries, string them into bracelets for the young girl that caught their attention. Wild bilberries grow on the side of Irish hills and mountains, so often the search included a trip to the highest place in the area on what has also come to be known as Bilberry Sunday. Flowers were gathered along the way and left for Lugh as offerings or buried at the top of the mountain in recognition of the end of summer. Lugh is considered a sun god so the top of a mountain would be an ideal place to leave an offering. The summit of the highest local peak also would offer people a fuller perspective of their connection to the land and its stories.
Apple – Ah, the apple, symbol of almost everything. From the consequences of the temptation of Adam to the jealousies of Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite that sparked the Trojan War. From the Isle of Avalon that holds the Once and Future King while he rests to Iðunn, a Norse Goddess, who cares for the apples which give the Gods their immortality. Love, fertility, lust, beauty, envy, obsession, deceit, temptation, treachery are so connected through the apple that in Latin, the words for apple (mālum) and for evil (malum) are almost identical. Venus is often painted holding an apple with its five pointed star hidden inside. The same symbol that reflects as her planet travels the night sky.
Cornucopia – Bounty and harvest are the themes of this symbol of overflowing abundance. In Greek mythology Zeus, while a baby, had a goat nurse, Amalthea. She cared and fed him. One day, Zeus broke off one of her horns which then began to offer up a continual supply of food for him, hence the cornucopia’s other name, “horn of plenty”,”cornu” meaning horn and “copia”, plenty. Today this emblem is often seen at harvest time, in a place of honour, woven from plant materials, still symbolizing gratitude for bountiful crops, food for all and therefore safety over the coming winter months. Harvest festivals happen all year round depending where in the world one lives and Lammas/Lughnasadh, Mabon and Samhain are the four celebrations of gratitude for the gathering of the harvest in the Wheel of the Year.
It is best to use a recipe with little or no large extra bits. Spices, extracts and zest are fine but chopped nuts and dried fruits can be more challenging to work with. The cookies in the picture below have a bit of added lemon zest and rum extract.
Roll out dough of your chosen recipe and cut circles either with a glass or scalloped edge cookie cutter.
Tap stamp in flour and push down into the center of the precut cookie.
Sugar cookies are traditionally taken from the oven before they brown but since these cookie will not be iced, I personally prefer to get them just a little golden around the edges. That will mean a little paying attention so as not to over bake.
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