Most of the time, it would seem criminal to not immediately stuff a delicious-looking cookie in your mouth. But every once in a while, you come across one that looks so amazing, you couldn't ever imagine chomping through its decorated exterior.
ButterWinks is a mother-daughter cookie company comprised of Shelley Bean and Mallory Mae. The duo churns out cookies that are so pristine and elaborate, they hardly even look real. The jaw-dropping creations feature pop culture characters, politicians, and other beautiful designs.
"My cookies are completely freehand from start to finish—no templates, projectors or printed icing images," Mae explained to mental_floss in an e-mail. "They begin with many sketches before I get the composition I'm pleased with and the final sketch becomes the shape of the cookie I cut out from the dough."
Larger cookies take as much as three to five hours, which the bakers spread over two days. The piece seen above was created for Mae's first competition, and she spent a few hours every day for a week and a half decorating it. The hard work paid off: she won first prize.
Mae was originally in the cake-making business until one customer asked for some decorated cookies on the side. Shelley had the perfect recipes to use, and the business naturally moved towards cookies from there. Mae is currently working every weekend until July with The Food Artist Group to create cookie masterpieces for food and wine festivals at Busch Gardens in Florida and Virginia, as well as Sea World in Texas.
Images via Butterwinks.