16 Jan 2013

The Shortbread Cog Machine!

You may have occasionally heard me mention Chief Engineer.

He makes marvellous things in his sheds (note I say Sheds plural) and one of his latest constructions is a Pantograph.

This is not actually a machine for creating frilly bloomers,oh no. It is a very clever mechanism designed for creating exact copies. It was first used in 1603 to copy diagrams and plans accurately.

Chief Engineers machine has been designed to use a fine tipped router to carve an exact copy from a three dimonsional original, reducing the carved design by a 2:1 ratio. This means that from one original model he can create any number of exact half sized replicas.

So, he created me a gorgeous gearwheel shortbread cookie biscuit mould!

It is carved in mahogany and is a beautiful object in its own right. while it can also be used to mould fondant icing, or marzipan, I wanted to test it's cogs upon some biscuit dough....

This is my recipe, it is very delicious but because it's quite buttery the gear wheels do spread slightly when baked....

125g butter
40g caster sugar
20g rice flour
170g plain flour
1 dessert spoon powdered cinnamon

preheat the oven to 150degrees C

  • cream the buter and sugar together, mix in the flour and cinnamon to a firm dough. Cut into roughly the right size slices for the gear wheels.
  • leave in the fridge for half an hour. 
  • Oil the mould with a brush and wipe out any excess with paper towel. pour flour into the mould, tap round so every area is covered, then pour all the flour out.
  • press a slice of the dough into the mould and level off with a blunt knife.
  • tap the mould gently to release the biscuit.
  • repeat with the rest of the dough, though you only need to oil the cog at the beginning of each batch, for the second cookie onwards just flouring the mould is fine.
  • place on an oven tray, a little appart and return to the fridge for an hour, this should help stop the cookie spreading when baked.
  • bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
leave to cool on the tray for a minute then finish cooling on a wire rack.

There may be a limited number of these available to buy in my etsy store soon, all hand carved by me and The Chief, so do let me know if you'd like one!


  1. Thats fantastic! I don't know which I like more, the pantograph, or the end result! Nom Nom!

  2. Ooh those shortbread's look delicious. I'd be interested in a cookie mould if any become available.

    J x

  3. Those cookies are too fun!