Page 2
Butter Mold
Cheese Mold
This is not a cookie mold, but instead a part of a butter mold. This hexagonal piece fits inside a tube-like wooden frame and then the butter would be molded inside the tube to produce 1 pound of butter. The sheaf of wheat design would then be imprinted on the end of the butter once it had set.
Butter Board
These large molds are occasionally found on internet auction sites and in antique malls. They are almost always called cookie molds, which they are not. Most examples are round, though I once owned a large rectangular cheese mold. What distinguishes this type of mold from a cookie mold is the back of the mold (bottom picture). Two large pieces of wood are attached via pegs to the back of the mold, which in turn hold two metal handles in place. These handles were needed for leverage to pull the mold away from the cheese once it had set. You will also notice the fairly shallow-carved design on the front (top picture). This is necessary so that the mold can be removed from the cheese without damaging the design left behind by the mold. A deeply carved mold would allow thick parts of cheese to harden within the mold design, making it almost impossible to remove the mold.
While a butter board does resemble a cake board in some ways, there are some obvious differences. One obvious difference is the handle which is found on every butter board. To date, I have yet to see an example of a cake board with a handle. Also, most butter boards have a geometric design instead of a popular 19th century motif which is common with cake boards. To my knowledge, butter boards are not being reproduced and the good old examples that are sometimes found are mostly from Germany or Switzerland.
German Butter Mold
Fondant Mold
This German-design butter mold is commonly called a cookie mold, sugar mold, or cheese mold.
Fondant molds are almost always wrongly identified as cookie boards. I owned one for several years and always thought it to be for cookies until I researched their actual use. These mold-types are always round and can be distinguished by the center of the design being higher than the border of the design. When molded, fondant from this type of mold would resemble a dinner plate. These molds originated in Belgium and the Netherlands, where they were used to make Borstplaat, a sweet served around the Christmas holiday. Borstplaat translates into "breastplate", thus the shape of the mold.
Ma'mool Mold
Ma'mool is a type of Lebanese cookie which is molded in a paddle-like mold (above). These are commonly called butter or sugar molds. Every ma'mool mold I have ever seen has a handle with an egg-shaped bowl where the design is carved. Designs are always geometric and in no way resemble any butter or sugar mold design found in American molds.
Brick Mold
Often called butter, cheese, or maple sugar molds, brick molds are easily distinguished by their heavy construction. Sturdy handles on the ends aid in removing the molded brick and metal braces on the back of the mold add strength to an otherwise fragile wooden mold. Frequently the brick-maker would have his name carved into the mold in relief (see above).
Plaster Molds
French Butter Rollers
The two pictures above show two different types of molds for making ornamental plaster. These mold-types are commonly misidentified as springerle molds, cookie molds, or butter prints.
These two butter rollers were found in a Paris antique shop in 2003. Though they could easily be mistaken as springerle molds, these butter rollers were used by a French dairy farmer to mark his large containers of butter. The roller on the left is late 18th century, while the roller on the right dates to the early 19th century. Another roller (not pictured) of similar design was found in yet another Paris antique shop during the same trip.