Arduino

I’ve been staying with D in the suburbs of Pittsburgh. (More to come on this later.) We needed a project. A joint project. For him, it’s important that the project is either original (that is we can’t find a lot of people who have done it before) or such a thing that we can do it significantly better than others have done before. We discussed a Tardis (“They have a guild!” He said this as though it was explanation enough not to build one.) A circuit cake was suggested, but there are many of those on the internet already. Finally, after some time of lying on the hallway floor, frowning and thinking, D announced that we would make Arduino cookies. He went down into his workshop to check if it had been done before. Content that neither a really good arduino cake (or cookies) had been made, we set to the task of frowning at pictures, making mental lists, and debating how to make the different parts of it. We went to the grocery store and picked up various kinds of candy, frosting, food coloring, and chocolate.

While he was at work, I made the cookies, a simple cookie cutter cookie. (Two sticks of butter, one cup sugar, an egg, 1 tsp vanilla, 2 tsps baking powder, three cups flour. Mix. Roll out with lots of extra flour. Bake at 400 for seven minutes or so.) For the first batch I cut them out before cooking. They became rather misshapen in the process. They had through holes, which caused some structural problems with the cookies. For the next set I cooked them a little under done, took them out, cut them while they were still soft, and then stuck them in for a little longer. This did wonders for the misshaping, but the through holes did not work. These ones were shaped a lot better and looked a lot nicer. I had been using a pharmacy plastic syringe to make the through holes, but that couldn’t puncture through the mostly cooked cookie without causing some damage. I also mixed up the icing and dipped the baby marshmallows into chocolate.

We iced the cookies with the blue icing. We used the ones that didn’t work out so well as test cookies, places to experiment with techniques and possibilities.
Kitkat bars were used for the microcontrollers. D put the pins on using the syringe and white icing. He also pinned and marked the voltage regulator (the half a Hersey’s square on the left.) Around the USB (the whole Hershey’s square) are white sprinkles. The reset button is an M&M on top of a cut in half baby marshmallow glued together with more white icing. The LEDs are green and red M&Ms. D is very colorblind, so we hope those are the right colors. The ICSP headers (all the way to the right with the yellow) are the parts I think are the coolest. To make those we took cut Hershey’s squares and yellow sprinkles. To get the sprinkles to stick, we melted more chocolate and used that to hold them upright.

The cookies taste pretty good in that not-to-sweet cookie kind of way. The icing is icing, so that’s that. With everything on it, I don’t suspect they’d taste too good, but we think they look pretty neat at least.

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