Kitchn Love Letters

One of the Most Versatile Tools in My Kitchen Is NOT What You’d Expect

updated Apr 19, 2021
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Modern and bright Loft kitchen
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One of my most-used kitchen tools is small, costs less than $25, and made up of nearly a dozen nesting pieces and fits in the shallowest of drawers. Any guesses? I’m talking about my biscuit cutter set.

In addition to biscuits, I also use these cutters to punch out dumpling wrappers, cannoli rounds, mini hand-pies, ravioli, and so much more. In fact, I find myself using my set multiple times in a day. How, you ask? Let’s start with breakfast.

Credit: Katie Leaird

Nothing says good morning like a breakfast sandwich. I grease the inside edge of a large biscuit cutter, put it down in my skillet, drop a little butter down to sizzle, and then crack an egg into the form. The biscuit cutter gives me a breakfast sandwich-ready, perfectly round fried egg every time. And because biscuit cutter sets include many sizes, you can precisely design just how big your fried egg is, tailored to fit whatever bread it’s meeting (use the little guy for a biscuit sammy, and the biggest one, perhaps even with two eggs cracked in there, for a bagel sandwich).

I’m a professional cook and baker, so “working” often means making a cake. Once I’ve got a baked, filled, stacked, and frosted masterpiece, it’s time to decorate. I’ll use the small biscuit cutters as stamps around the side of the frosted cake to make pattern stencils, then I’ll pipe over the circle designs with icing. Or, sometimes I’ll gently press the little cutters into the frosting, then fill them up with a thin, even layer of sprinkles; once removed, I have sparkly polka dots!

I have a toddler, so lunch-time has to be fun. I refuse to buy those de-crusted, pre-made sandwiches at the grocery store, but crust-aversion is real. So, sometimes I’ll make my daughter a sandwich and then punch out different-sized circles with, you guessed it, my handy biscuit cutters. Speaking of mealtime fun, I’ve also used these little fellas as napkin rings for dinner parties (remember when we had people into our homes to eat together, way back when?).

Credit: Katie Leaird

Pasta-making is a pretty big part of my work (and life, if I’m being honest). I couldn’t make many of my handmade shapes without my biscuit cutters. I not only cut ravioli, but also shape them, with biscuit cutters. I put my filling down on a thinly rolled sheet of pasta dough, then cover it with a second sheet. I flip a medium-sized biscuit cutter upside down, so the blunt end of the cutter touches my dough, and slide it in a circular motion around the filling to gently corral it into a tight mound, expelling any extra air. Then, I use a larger biscuit cutter to cut out each raviolo. 

Why do I do it this way? Because I’m obsessed with handmade pasta. But also because you have so much more freedom for customization — no need to stay within the confines of a ravioli maker mold. When you have a simple set of nested biscuit cutters, you can make both the filling mound and finished product any size you want! I also use my biscuit cutters to cut different-sized circles for tortellini (small) and cappellacci (larger) … this list could go on and on, but you get the point.

Biscuit cutters are cookie heroes, as well. Being able to cut out any size cookie, customizable to the eighth of an inch with some sets, is downright delightful. The multiple sizes of cutters is especially helpful when making Linzer cookies, or filled cookies with little windows punched out.  

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

And then, of course, there are donuts. I mean, what would a weekend morning be without homemade donuts? Just as you’d suspect, biscuit cutters cut the perfect donuts … and holes!

Again, I could keep going here, but I think I’ve made my point. Maybe you’ve seen biscuit cutters in stores and online before? Maybe you’ve passed them over because they didn’t seem like something you’d need? Maybe I just convinced you otherwise?

What are some of your most versatile kitchen tools? Tell us in the comments below!