Aunt Chick named in the Oklahoma 100 – The state’s best food, restaurants and cooks
She dispensed practical kitchen wisdom to several generations of cooks and solved the problem of weepy meringue. But the Tulsa World’s Aunt Chick is remembered best for her cookie cutters.
There’s the jolly Santa with the puffy cheeks and curly beard. And the stocking with its patch at the toe and toys coming out of the top. They’re elaborate and big and beloved.
Every Christmas, people call the paper to say their mother or grandmother’s Aunt Chick cookie cutters have finally worn out and they’re desperate to replace them. And, luckily, we have a place to send them – to a website called www.grammascutters.com.
After tracking down a warehouse full of old cookie cutters, Carrie Greno Falzone not only bought them all but bought the molds and the copyright too! The business couldn’t be sweeter.
Not bad for a cookie-cutter designed in the ’40s, by a woman who started using a nom-de-plume because she didn’t want her rich banker husband to know she was writing a newspaper column.
Aunt Chick – Nettie McBirney – was her generation’s, Martha Stewart. Not content with writing about cooking, she pioneered techniques we still use today.
She made rolling-pin covers and wire-bottomed pie pans that eliminated the soggy crust. And she got them sold nationally. A best-selling cookbook – “Aunt Chick’s Pies” – followed and sold more than 650,000 copies. And the plastic cookie cutters were like nothing anyone had ever seen.
Not only were they incredibly detailed, but they had little bumps all along the inside that were supposed to help the dough slide out easier.
They’re still not easy to use, but the cookies are truly heirloom quality.
– Ashley Parrish
My mother had a set of the cookie cutters. She made dozens of them, decorated them like an expert. I was born in 1951, so she had them then. I always thought she received them through a General Motors Co. She stopped making holiday cookies in the sixties. I still have the stocking and the snowman, but the santa (my favorite) and the tree have gone missing. Yes, VERY difficult to use, they could have a better grip, but they hold fond memories. I have trouble with rolling to the correct thickness. Too thick, the design disappears during baking; too thin, no impression. Oh, well.