Kin of the beetle,
you glow like a star,
one you can catch and let go.
– Blaise Moritz

When he was in grade school (I like to think of him in grade school!), my husband wrote a haiku that remains as thrilling, now, as it must have been, then. Since the kids are memorizing poetry [see my previous ketchup post], I thought I’d have them memorize their father’s “Firefly” haiku and learn a little more about the overall form. To do this, I made lunchbox cookies with sections of the haiku imprinted on top along with a special index card that will travel with them every day so that they could keep track of the progress of the poem and learn about the form. Thus, Haiku-kies were born!

There are many ways to make your lunchbox Haiku-kie Happy for the week. For this particular project, I used my own Haiku-kie! Recipe [below] and Williams Sonoma’s Message-in-a-Cookie Cutter Set. This set comes with a full set of type that you arrange along their cookie cutters and impress into the face of a sugar cookie. It’s a great set, and quite flexible in its application, especially if you’re a little on the bookish side. [See my gallery at the bottom of the page for a step-by-step guide.]  Still, NEVER FEAR! If you DON’T HAVE specialized cutters, you can easily DO SOMETHING SIMILAR by using thick gel icing to write words on cookies, by filling fortune-style cookies with slips of paper, or by including slips of paper alongside of the cookies when you package them up each day.

Here’s a a printable pdf version of the index card I’ve included in the kids’ lunchboxes this week:  The Lunchbox Season’s Haiku-kie! Printable Index Card.

But, do me a favour, people, FIND YOUR OWN HAIKU! For a start, try some of the examples on the bottom of this webpage on the work of poet and translator Robert Hass . Even better, have the kids write Haiku of their own [17 syllables split into lines of 5 (x2) and 7 syallables]  and then have them BAKE and EAT their very own Haiku-kies!



makes 36-72 cookies, depending on size (I used .75 of this recipe for the 30 haiku-kies I made)
Author: Roseanne Carrara, The Lunchbox Season



  • 1 1/3 c butter
  • 1 c granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbs milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • [Optional]: Gel or liquid food colouring

Powdered Sugar Icing

  • 1-2 icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • milk by the tbsp
  • a few drops of food colouring



  • In a mixer or bowl, stir butter until soft.
  • Incorporate sugars into butter until light and fluffy.
  • Add eggs, milk and vanilla until combined.
  • Add powder and salt.
  • Add flour by the half-cup until fully combined.
  • Divide dough into quarters.
  • [Optional: Incorporate food colouring as you see fit]
  • Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 2-12 hours.
  • Heat oven to 375.
  • Roll dough out 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.
  • [I like to roll my dough between wax or parchment paper]
  • Cut and "press" cookies per the cutter-instructions or use your own cutters.
  • Bake 7-9 minutes.
  • Cool completely on wire racks.

Decoration Ideas

  • Incorporate gel or drops of food colouring into sections of the dough before you refrigerate it.
  • Use small purchased tubes of coloured icing gel to decorate around the words.
  • Or, as I did, ice around the typed words with basic powdered sugar icing:


  • Prepare icing by adding vanilla and then milk by the tablespoonful to the icing sugar until a drippable slurry is formed, and then add food colouring as desired.

Here’s the poem all set to “go to press”:
 20120916-171515.jpg 20120916-171521.jpg 20120916-171528.jpg  20120916-171541.jpg 20120916-171548.jpg

and the dough poem:
20120916-171555.jpg 20120916-171600.jpg 20120916-171605.jpg 20120916-171616.jpg

and the baked poem:
20120916-171629.jpg 20120916-171634.jpg 20120916-171639.jpg 

and the finished Haiku-kies:
20120916-171646.jpg 20120916-171657.jpg 20120916-171652.jpg

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One Response to Haiku-kies!

  1. mydearbakes September 17, 2012 at 3:13 am #

    Aww, this is a brilliant piece of work! =D