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Nerd Cookies and a Giveaway



Let’s start with a question.  What is the etiquette for posting recipes to your blog? After all, there’s a thriving community of cooking blogs composed almost entirely of recipes; a community whose activity and sheer bulk overshadows even the sprawling craftblog community.  You’ve got to figure most of those recipes did not spring virgin and fully-formed from blogger’s heads.  They’re probably from cookbooks, from other blogs, from family- or if not directly from, than deeply inspired by.  Sharing recipes has been integral to the whole human food experience, I suspect, since we started writing the damn things down, but sharing and copying run too close together for comfort much of the time.


It seems to be a fairly popular topic in the food blog community as well, much as the line between inspiration and copying as been hashed and rehashed in the craft community.


Factoid number one: copyright law doesn’t protect a list of ingredients.  It’s all the other stuff- the precise diction of the instructions, the carefully-staged pictures- that gets protected.  But forget the law; what, in food-blog-world, is polite?  You see, I’d like to start posting more cooking here, and I’d like to share the recipes with a bit more than a link, because this is the internet and the link that is here today may 404 tomorrow.  But I would hate to venture forth into the world of food blogging, only to make a total ass of myself from the get-go.


For today, then, we’ll stick to a link.  I’m always on the lookout for better cookie recipes, and even like to take a somewhat experimental approach to it.  My chocolate chip cookie experiment, for example, is legend amongst my coworkers (who get to eat the leftovers).  The current victor in the experiment gets the hallowed title of “go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe”… until it must defend its title from the next challenger. Dun dun DUNNN!


In my world, there are similar bouts and title belts for sugar cookies. Right now, the title holder for “Go-To Sugar Cookie Recipe” is this hard-fighting badass: the Best Cutout Sugar Cookies (indeed!) recipe from ApartmentTherapy co-blog, the Kitchn.  The cookies manage to stay soft while still being easy to cut out and transfer to a baking sheet, hold their shapes fantastically through baking, and are delicious.  Make some. Nom them.  Thank the Kitchn.


A little while ago, I whipped out a batch and immediately made them as nerdy as possible.  Behold, lab cookies!



Yes, that is a beaker, an erlenmeyer flask and a test tube.  No, they are not beautifully decorated, mostly because I wanted to eat the damn things already.  These are the notorious Science Lab Cookie Cutters (which I picked up from ThinkGeek), and just imagine what you could do with them, were you more patient and less hungry than I.  If your imagination is failing you, then how about taking a look at the fine flask-y cookieworks of other, more talented bakers.  Go on, click on a few. I’ll wait.


Awesome, right?  In fact, I wouldn’t post these sad (but very, very tasty) excuses for science cookies at all, if it weren’t for one detail.



See it? What is that, standing unopened behind my cookies?  Could it be a bright and shiny, brand-new, whole other set of Science Lab Cookie Cutters just for one lucky reader?



Oh, it could. Erlenmeyer Flask, Beaker, Test Tube and even an atom (well, in a symbolic sense)!  All you need to do to win these beauties and make your own nerdtastic cookies is leave a comment.  Make sure you include a method of contact (or how will I tell you you’ve won?), and you’re good to go!


But wait, there’s more! Get a second entry by sharing about this contest somehow.  Blog, tweet, facebook, tell your Aunt Cathy over the thanksgiving Turkey, I don’t care; just leave a second comment telling me how you told someone else and you’ll have two entries


(Science break! Or, well, math. The problem that has always nagged at me with the get-a-second-entry-for-sharing! deal is that, if the people you tell actually come over and enter, then your second entry won’t do a whole lot for your chances.  I mean, say two people enter.  They’ve each got a 50% or 1 in 2 chance.  But then let’s say person 1 tweets the giveaway, gets a second entry, and then three people come over from twitter and enter.  Now each person has a roughly 17%  (1 in 6) chance except the tweeter, who now sits at around 33%, which is not as good as their original 50% chance.  Boo, probability! Maybe you want to keep it secret. Keep it safe. Tell no one.  That sort of thing, y’know?)


The contest is open to readers in the US and Canada and runs from today, 11/22/2011, to two weeks from today (12/6/11) at which point I will select a commenter at random, drop them an e-mail for their address, and send them some geeky fun just in time for the Holiday cookie season.   Good luck!

15 Comments leave one →
  1. 11/22/2011 8:42 AM

    Ooh, I want to win! As for the recipe posting issue I find I can sleep well at night as long as I include a link to the blog from whence I nabbed the recipe. Then again, I suppose if I had the sort of blog with ads and other fancy ways of making money I would prefer that others simply link to my recipes so I can get more visits. But as it is, my humble little blog is for my own amusement so I don’t really care that much.

  2. 11/22/2011 8:44 AM

    I also tweeted about the giveaway (@evil_lina). Although, as you so kindly pointed out, my attempt to increase my chances of winning may well backfire. Oh well.

  3. Carrie permalink
    11/22/2011 9:24 AM

    Fun! I’d love to win. I just messaged my friend about it so please but me down for 2!

  4. Leigh-Ann permalink
    11/22/2011 9:40 AM

    I love these cookie cutters! For my 4yr old’s birthday he had a science theme party and I made him test tube/beaker cookies, but I didn’t have cookie cutters so I had to cut each one by hand (big pain!), it would have been better to have actual cookie cutters. I’d love to win so I can make him more science cookies!

  5. Leigh-Ann permalink
    11/22/2011 9:41 AM

    I also shared this contest with people at my mom’s group, on their forums.

  6. kristin permalink
    11/22/2011 10:22 AM

    I would love to win those cookie cutters, I love science-related food! Have you seen the science cookie roundups at Not So Humble Pie? So much awesomeness.

  7. 11/22/2011 10:48 AM

    I can’t enter as I’m in the UK :( lol (they look absolutely fantastic cookie cutters) but to chime in on the whole posting recipes debate, I generally don’t, I work in social media and breach of copyright is a big frowned on no no, I mostly don’t post them for self preservation, as I’d hate to risk even the small chance of a ton of lawyers come down on me but also I figure whoever invented the recipe probably wouldn’t appreciate it and it’s just plain not nice to them. However, I agree there is no such thing as an original recipe, so if I’ve altered a recipe I will sometimes post my altered recipe and state which source inspired me. I will also, if the recipe is extremely simple (such as just a simple mix food A with food B to get food C) briefly describe the recipe in my own words, so that someone could possibly follow it but then again really simple recipes probably aren’t that original anyway.

  8. Jessica M permalink
    11/22/2011 11:23 AM

    These are too cute! I love the way your cookies came out, they are definitely within my artistic range…

  9. Kat Z. permalink
    11/22/2011 1:06 PM

    Finally! A contest that allows us Canadians in on the fun! These are so cute, my dad is a lab tech, and his 55th birthday is coming up! I have a feeling if I win, these will grace the dessert table!

  10. Brandy permalink
    11/22/2011 1:58 PM

    These would be really cool! I ‘m a biologist so these would be great!

  11. 11/22/2011 5:30 PM

    Those cutters are great! And I have no problem with people posting recipes in their own style of writing with their own photos, but to be in good taste it would be nice to say where you got that recipe – which cookbook, website, or from your own noggin. Ya know? Post all the Betty Crocker you want if you made it in your kitchen. That’s my 2 cents on the matter. :-)

  12. Cindy G. permalink
    11/23/2011 11:33 AM

    I love those cookie cutters! And, as a 6th grade science teacher, I could maybe sneak in a lesson using science cookies (whole grain, low fat cookies, nut free etc. so I don’t violate the school policy) connected to lab safety. I’ll have to think about that. Perhaps I could use it as part of a measurement unit.

    As for the whole recipe bit, I love recipe links, especially if you’ve posted your own photo of what you made from the recipe! But, if you’ve changed it, I think it’s fine to post it on your site (or post the link and list your changes).

  13. 11/23/2011 1:48 PM

    Those are awesome cookie cutters! And I’ll have to try that sugar cookie recipe you like, as I never seem to have much luck with those…

    leahthezombie at gmail dot com

  14. 11/25/2011 9:30 AM

    Those are adorable cookies! I sometimes thing the more messy decorating makes them taste better! More homemade and yummy.

  15. Leslie Blair Gallagher permalink
    12/06/2011 6:52 PM

    Am I too late, those are awesome!

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