First things first: concept selection. I made a pugh chart (see below), and the highest scoring were ideas involving turning regular household sprayers into guns - either gun decals that would make your kitchen sink sprayer look like a revolver, or gun-shaped spray bottle tops for putting on cleaning solution bottles. The 20-second marble maze soap dispenser also scored well according to my criteria: fun, feasibility, novelty, relevance to the theme for the assignments (sinks/basins), and my ability to make a sketch model of the concept.

Final Concept Pugh Chart

The last criterion, however, was given higher weight as I wanted to have a sketch model to use in my elevator pitch video. So, while I initially used the toothbrush syringe (self-pasting toothbrush) as a baseline and gave it all S's, it ended up being the best choice for my purposes and a decent choice in general. It was chosen as a baseline because I felt I knew the most about that concept, so it ultimately made a good concept to address further and pitch.

tube-in-one_sketch.jpg

The evolution of the self-pasting toothbrush:

  • SCAMPER - M

  • toothpaste-syringe_01.jpg

  • Investigation - Questions for Sketch Models

  • PDES5701_A7_sketchmodels.jpg

  • Investigation - Questions for Elevator Pitch

  • PDES5701_A7_toothbrushpitch.jpg

With all this in hand, I set out to make a video that demonstrated the concept using the sketch model. I took a video using my Mac's iSight camera. Unfortunately, the software I used to do so was faulty (it was a beta version whose development was apparently abandoned in 2007, but unfortunately one of very few options that showed up when searching for a tool that could record video from the iSight camera in Mac OS 10.4). This was frustrating because I used up two trial sized tubes of toothpaste getting shots of problems related to traditional toothpaste tubes, such as in these photos:

Tube Spill

Toothpaste Roll

I was able to get a new software program up and running Monday morning in order to re-shoot video, although the timing meant I had to do it at work and didn't have access to toothpaste tubes and other props. You can view a clip of the demo now, but I will be attempting to re-shoot the entire video and edit it together on Tuesday.

In the meanwhile, the gist of the pitch is that flexible toothpaste tubes can be messy (spill toothpaste by squeezing too much or crust over onto the cap), unsightly (I hate seeing haphazardly crimped toothpaste tubes lying around), take up bathroom counter space which is often at a premium, and are hard to manage with one hand. My video showed brief clips of these issues and then how the "Tube-in-One" toothpaste dispenser brush helps solve the problems by incorporating the toothpaste tube with the brush and using a metered dispenser to limit spills, make refilling easy, and allow one-handed use.

For future elevator pitches, I may be taking a few tips from this neat article that was posted today on a favorite blog: Art of Manliness - How to Give an Effective Sales Pitch.

And heeeere's the pitch:
Tube-in-One Elevator Pitch

Research and Benchmarking

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I started out with a stack of 40 ideas from the structured idea generation assignment (and a freak mutation from the sketch model activity). I wanted to cut that number in half quickly so I could spend a lot of time investigating a smaller number of promising ideas in more detail, and started this process by looking at marketability.

Marketability
I used a double-elimination yes-or-no question to quickly narrow down which ideas to use. If I couldn't easily answer "yes" to at least one of the following criteria, the idea went in the discard pile.
1) Is it useful?
2) Is it fun?

I ended up discarding 11 ideas, but of the 29 I had left, there were some that were very similar, so I consolidated any concepts that achieved similar results by similar methods. This narrowed things down to 23 ideas.

Novelty, Feasibility
The next step in narrowing down to 10 usable ideas to investigate in-depth was to do some first-order benchmarking to see if any products existed for the ideas I had to work with. I used Google to search 1-2 terms and checked the first page of results (web and images) for the "obvious" answers. I linked the closest result on the market and/or the most similar patent. Ideas are listed by the search terms I used for them, which will henceforth serve as their "names."

Feasibility was investigated by means of searching for patents related to my proposed solutions; relevant patents are linked where applicable.

01) Squirt Gun Laser Sight/Squirt Gun Flashlight
Product: Water gun toy with "glowing light and flash"
Patent: Laser sight for toy gun
Interesting: Fire extinguisher gun with laser sight
Fire Extinguisher Gun

02) Sink Sprayer Gun Decals The first result for this search was my own blog comment about the idea... and the closest additional results were an attachment to turn your sprayer into a brush, and a paint sprayer that looked kind of like a tattoo gun. Product: Commercial spray gun

03) Spray Bottle Gun/Gun-Shaped Spray Bottle
In general, spray bottle tops are vaguely gun shaped (they have a trigger), but I was surprised to not find any kind of product that actually formed the sprayer into a realistic gun-shape. Water guns are obviously similar, and there are a ridiculous number of gun-shaped products (egg shapers, lighters, vodka bottles, digital cameras, bongs, and even shoehorns), but the closest product was a spray gun lighter that's closer in function than form to my idea.
Product: Spray gun lighter
Interesting: Matrix-inspired gun-shaped shoehorn

04) Cotton Candy Blender
This search returned a lot of questions about how to make cotton candy in a blender, a few single-function cotton candy makers, and the following two solutions to the concept:
Product (DIY): Cotton candy blender hack
Patent: http://www.google.com/patents/about?id=-gE4AAAAEBAJ
cotton-candy-build.jpgCotton Candy Blender Attachment

05) Sit n' Spin Pool
The idea is basically a kiddie pool with a sit-n-spin in the base, and I honestly expected that at least someone on the internet would have done (and documented) exactly that. No such luck. The closest I got to this product intersection was a reference to a defunct Portland laundromat that reportedly had pizza, movies, and board games. Quite an interesting idea in itself.
Interesting: Sit-n-Spin Laundromat: Urban Legend?, Brainwash Laundry Cafe

06) Sink Spinner
As it happens, a salad spinner is just this "sink spinner" but with an extra bowl around the outside to catch the water so you can use it on your countertop. Part of the idea was to extend the uses of the salad spinner, but it seems people are fine washing their alpaca wool in their salad spinners, and a separate product enables you to spin baby bottles (and probably Nalgenes and plastic tumblers) to dry them. This idea gets added to the scrap pile.
Product: Baby bottle spinner
Interesting: Washing wool in a salad spinner

07) Magnetic Utensil Caddies
This was another idea for which I didn't find the product intersections I expected. I found lots of magnetic knife racks and magnetic spice caddies for mounting to kitchen walls, and lots of countertop utensil caddies, but no magnetic utensil caddies for hanging on the fridge.
Products: Magnetic spice rack, Magnetic knife rack

08) Simple Drying Rack
Although it passed the usefulness test, this dish rack idea is so lacking in novelty that on the original sketch, I wrote "baking rack?"

09) Collapsible Clothes Rack
A little bit of sifting through myriad clothes drying racks on the spectrum of portable to stationary and collapsible to static unearthed a solution. Although it doesn't mount to the washing machine itself, it does the job specified in my idea in a similar enough way that I removed this concept from the stack.
Product: Folding Frame Clothesline

10) Drop Leaf Countertop
Google had an auto-fill entry for "drop leaf countertop," and the first image search result was this IKEA product that pretty much matches my idea perfectly, as well as other options that include drawers or are double-sided. Scratch this idea as well.
Product: IKEA Norbo
IKEA Norbo

11) Slime Soap
The first couple of search results for "slime soap" were mostly DIY recipes (including some very cool soap slime with soap eyeballs), but eventually landed on a marketed product and added this idea to the scrap pile.
Product: LUSH Cosmetics Shower Jellies
Creepy Slime Soap

12) Pop Rocks Soap/Gasified Soap
Not quite sure how to proceed in this case (doubting that there is a licensed Pop Rocks soap product on the market), I searched "pop rocks, soap" and got a lot of information about how pop rocks themselves are made, including their related patent for "Process of preparing gasified candy." Additional patents discuss how to make specific shapes of "gasified candy" rather than the irregular bits seen in Pop Rocks. Working from this point, I searched for "gasified soap" and discovered a few patents for soap extruded under gas pressure or, interestingly, containing gas particles that would produce a pop effect when in contact with water/moisture. I was not able to find any products fitting this description, but the existence of patents investigating or asserting the possibility make it seem like it ought to be feasible to either add pop-rocks type segments to a regular soap bar which would "pop" when the bar got wet, or to use a similar process as Pop Rocks to gasify a soap mixture into fizzy, pop-rocks like bits. In the Interesting category, I found an experiment that mentions observing the reaction of Pop Rocks and liquid soap. I haven't tried it yet, but I imagine it might have useful applications. This idea is a keeper if only because I'm now fascinated with the study of making fizzy soap.
Patents: Pop Rocks patent, Popping soap patent, Shaped gasified candy
Interesting: Pop Rocks experiment

13) iPod Dock Bathroom Caddy
This was another one of those product intersections where I started by combining the product names in a search to see what was out there. Unfortunately, an almost identical product exists - all it lacks is a toothbrush holder, but it makes up for it with a toilet paper roll holder. See the Interesting file for other odd bathroom products and ideas... which includes a toothpaste dispenser that might knock an additional idea into the discard pile.
Product: iCarta iPod Dock Bath Tissue Holder
Interesting: 10 coolest bathroom products, Quirky iPod dock ideation

14 + 22) 20 Second Soap Dispenser
I had a couple options for a 20-second soap dispenser (musical, marble maze) that helps kids (or scatterbrained adults) remember to wash their hands for the CDC-recommended 20 seconds, so I started by searching "20 second soap dispenser" to get an idea of what products/concepts existed and which directions might be the most fruitful. I ended up finding musical and ink dispensers or attachments for kids, and an LED-timer model for adults, but no marble-maze "mechanically timed" dispensers.
Products: Musical soap pump, Musical soap-pump topper, Squid Soap ink timer, and a grown-up version, Simplehuman soap pump with 20-second LED indicator.
Interesting: Bacteria-laden public soap dispensers, Uber-Marble Maze

16) Fluoridated or Ionized Water
This idea replaces toothpaste with fluoridated water to prevent tooth decay. Normal tap water is typically fluoridated on a large scale for this purpose, and some studies suggest that brushing with non-fluorine toothpaste is ineffective at preventing cavities. Brushing teeth with water (at normal or increased levels of fluoridation) or toothpaste substitutes (e.g. baking soda) could possibly reduce the need for toothpaste and related dispensers entirely. Other solutions for water additives or alterations to replace household consumables such as toothpaste and cleaning products include the use of electrolyzed water as a cleaning solution. Deployment as a product would likely involve user control of additives, including the option to use "plain" water for ordinary tasks like handwashing or cooking.
Background Information: Water fluoridation, Electrolyzed water

17) Disposable Toothpaste Cartridge/Pod
21) Toothpaste Syringe
There are a lot of products dealing with making the toothbrushing experience either more portable or more tidy. Solutions include portable toothbrushes, often pre-pregnated with a toothpaste coating, devices for rolling toothpaste tubes, pumps and dispensers either pre-filled with toothpaste or for use with a toothpaste tube, dispenser brushes, and single-use toothpaste or substitutes such as chewable tablets, trial-size tubes, small packets, and capsules (see products/patents list).
What stood out to me in this case was the lack of long-term solutions for individualized dosing that minimized mess. A bottle full of tiny toothpaste capsules is the closest solution, but requires the user to twist the plastic tail off of a miniscule tube before squeezing the paste onto their toothbrush much like a traditional tube. Tablets produce granular pieces which cannot be evenly distributed throughout the mouth. One of my solutions uses a hardware faucet attachment designed to hold single-use pods, which are dispensed using the water pressure of the sink being used, and as far as I have found, this particular approach has not been used. Another solution, a toothpaste syringe, is similar to hard-plastic toothpaste tubes sold by a limited number of manufacturers, but which (like stand-up pumps), are not popular because they make it hard to advance the toothpaste.
Products: PasteBuds toothpaste capsules, Toothpaste tablets, Toothpate packets, Wisp portable toothbrush, Toothpaste tube dispenser, Toothpaste pump
Patents: Toothpaste dispensing brush

My collection included a plethora of other toothpaste tubes and dispensers, and since I was able to identify 11 promising concepts thus far, I disregarded additional toothpaste concepts.

Further work on these concepts would involve more in-depth feasibility and marketability research. I have some marketability data in terms of retail prices a random selection of people decided they would pay for each product, gathered during two shifts of work at the computer lab where I pinned up the 11 "surviving" ideas and asked students who walked buy about a few ideas each. The paper I recorded this data on is likely in my stack of clipboard notes from last week and will be appended ASAP.

Further feasibility study involved sketch models, of which I made two at Leonardo's Basement: one for a combination toothpaste syringe and dispensing brush (which has a patent but no major applications according to my search of product ideas #17 ans #21), and a marble-maze soap dispenser which is intended to run for 20 seconds. I'll be posting pictures and other information (what questions they answer) in a separate post for clarity's sake.

Idea Manipulations

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For my product, I chose to further investigate the idea of a faucet that also dispensed toothpaste. Click the method names to go to the pinboard of those ideas.

Toothpaste 1

I used SCAMPER to come up with ideas like this:

toothpaste3.jpg

I then used TRIZ, mainly because the problem of combining toothpaste dispensing with existing plumbing seemed to suggest a technical approach:

toothpaste2.jpg

I used triz40.com to find the problem matrix and figure out the solution categories.

Blue Sky Ideation

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For my brainstorming group, I was able to convince members of my roller derby team to stay after practice. I figured that I owed them a little something for their generosity, so our improv warm-up was "Lions Are Great Because..." and each group member got to keep their little animal "prompt." I was lucky enough to find a few different packs of them at the Target dollar section last week, so if you feel like you need to stock up for improv games, that's a handy source.

Target also had some good deals on candy, and tired roller girls will eat pretty much anything you put in front of us, so:

brainstorm4.jpg
Jessperate Measures and La Rebel Bella get to sink-storming.

Note that there's rather a bit more candy than I circled in the photo... I have Photoshop ADD and decided that every cluster and bag didn't need to be circled. Anyway, candy and games seemed to get people into brainstorm mode:

brainstorm1.jpg
Rebel seems pretty seriously into that drawing.

Just to make sure we were in a silly and creative mood (it can take a lot to loosen up after three hours of repetitive drills and endurance training), we started with a brief brainstorm of "bad" ideas for daily routines involving bathroom sinks - dangerous, gross, or useless things. Here are a few highlights:

Bad Ideas

Then, we did a longer brainstorm of "good" ideas for daily sink routines, including practical and silly. We silent sorted them and found that our ideas generally fell in three groups (which we named afterwards for purposes of organization):

Sink Attachments
Sink Shapes or Placement
Faucets and Waterflow

Since we only had a little time before some of us had to get back to practice for scrimmaging (I'm a referee - we have "bonus" practice), I ended up having to pick 20 ideas to highlight on my own, so I only posted about 20 ideas to pinboards: mostly the ones that the group reacted well or interestingly to when they were presented, but also some that I found really intriguing going through them later. There were also a bunch that I couldn't figure out or remember what the concept was when I sorted and scanned them this morning, so those aren't posted with the other ~20.

Idea Wallet and Bug List

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I've kind of already been keeping an idea wallet on Pinterest. I've consolidated the good stuff and added a few things to this pinboard:

Pinterest: Idea Wallet

As for the bug list, I did start a pinboard for my bug list as well, because some annoyances have to be shown, not written:

Pinterest - Bug List

But for the most part it's a list from my sketchbook:
01) Sidewalk rumble strips
02) Ballpoint pens that skip and smudge
03) The coating/paint on bobby pins that peels off in your hair
04) Bus stop request buttons right next to the seat
Bus Stop-Request Button
05) The browser button on my flip phone is placed so that I bump it when trying to flip open my phone
06) Glasses make the sides of your hair fuzzy - especially when you need to change glasses in the workshop
07) Locks where you have to hold the key to the side and turn the knob at the same time.
08) When the part of the flip flops that goes between your toes pulls out of the sole
09) Misaligned velcro on my knee pads always tears my derby tights
10) Bus layovers in the middle of the route
11) Soda/coffee gets inside the threads on bottle caps and spills the next time you open it.
12) If there's ice in your water bottle, it suddenly slides forward and makes the water splash out all over you.
13) If you get make-up on your hands or clothes, it doesn't wash off.
UPDATED 10/9/11
14) Bringing my groceries home, leaving them in the kitchen, going upstairs to grab a Sharpie, labeling all of my food before putting away (including wiping off anything cold/wet so I can write on it, which requires another trip upstairs where I keep my dish towels) - all because if I leave a single thing unlabeled or unattended, my roommates proceed to consume, soil, or abscond with it. I need a combination mini-fridge/safe (or better roommates).
15) I have an external hard drive that I use for storing work from previous semesters and large files. I have to plug it in separately in order to turn it on, and oftentimes that means unplugging my laptop or desk lamp.
16) Coffee drinks with the plastic wrapping you have to tear off to open it - so you're taking it "on the go" and suddenly have a handful of noisy, plastic garbage.
17) Doors that don't quite fit in their frame (usually in old houses/apartments) and clatter if you leave the window open.
18) Dishwasher racks that don't fit mugs or larger glasses.
19) Plastic condiment packets. Somehow they always manage to tear wide open and spill everywhere.
20) Delicious, unwieldy fruits. Pineapple, melons, pomegranates... all so tasty and so damn difficult to cut/peel/core/seed/etc.

Observation Study

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The first and easiest step to identifying problems (opportunities!) for sinks seemed to be making a bug list. Obviously, the easiest way is not always the best way, and a bug list is limited to problems relevant to me, but I thought I'd let loose with Occam's Razor and hopefully find a few good points to branch off from.

Sinks Bug List

Okay, so the bug list does its job. Lots of simple, irritating little things that happen often - mainly with bathroom or kitchen sinks. What I didn't really get out of it are: things that happen with less frequent situations (laundry tub, hand-washing clothes, pools, dish basins like they have at restaurants, industrial dishwashers), things that are perhaps more fun than functional (LED water faucets), and technical details (materials, assemblies, water pressure).

Since the assignment was to focus on one area, I stuck with the direction my bug list took: household sinks (kitchen and bathroom) and related tasks. I think fun things can fit into that category, as it relates to how kids approach mundane household activities.

Since I'm not a kid, I needed to figure out what kids might want or need in their daily routine. Time to create a persona. I asked a few friends who study or work in early childhood education for tips on what kids are into these days. Although I think solutions in this area might lean towards younger kids just learning good hygiene habits, I included a larger age range (3-13) at the "problems and opportunities" stage in case some other ideas come from it (a line of sink-related prank products for older kids?).

Persona: Kid

Again, this persona board is more broad than it would be if I were working on a solution, and basically gives an overview of what kids within the age range are into, as well as some products that have been marketed towards those ages.

For my third method of investigation, I thought I'd revisit the more refined concept of daily routine, and storyboard how some of the bug list items fit into the bigger picture.

Sinks Storyboard

I have photos to go with the storyboard that I'll upload as soon as I can get this stupid borrowed digital camera working (i.e., find a card reader because this adapter cord is shot).

Mined Maps

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This is the first thing that came to mind when I started working on the mind maps project:
Mined Maps

Also, if you get a kick out of mind maps and such, you should go watch Important Things with Demetri Martin. Each episode centers around a topic and starts with a mind-map of that topic... and in between comedy sketches, there are usually a few stand-up bits involving charts.

Aaand for anyone who was wondering about the grey leg-face man I mentioned at Huge today: it's from a British comedy called "The Mighty Boosh." I highly recommend it for anyone who thinks laughing is fun.

Mind Maps

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I accidentally did the wrong assignment, doing mind maps and silly ideas for tape-based products. I blame this on my chosen method of getting into a creative/humorous mood: watching Fraggle Rock for the first time. While the muppets were quirky and delightful, I'm pretty sure they switched off the rational part of my brain that thinks to double-check my assignment notes.

A sample of the tape work:
Tape Sample

Getting started on my second mind map, for the sink/basin prompt, I opted to watch a few episodes of The Guild, which made for a few good laughs without the side effect of absent-mindedness. I started with some basic divisions that come to mind when I think of sinks and basins, mainly that I think of sinks as having plumbing (running water and a drain) and basins as being the reservoir for holding water (and other things). That allowed me to work on associations and features for each, and I eventually found I had much more possibilities for sinks and the considerations involved in obtaining, dispensing, disposing, holding, and even altering water.

Although I tend to brainstorm in list form, devising headings or categories and adding items to each, I worked a little more loosely for this mind map, coming up with associations and then figuring out how they connected. I thought this might be a way of discovering connections that weren't obvious: for example, I ended up connecting water pressure to the places sinks are used as well as the attachments that alter the flow from the faucet, which highlighted the variable nature of water pressure. Had I started with categories, I'd likely have slotted water pressure as a feature, thinking about it statically.

Here's the map.
Mind Map - Sinks

For silly ideas, I came up with a collection of cross products by clicking onto the Target.com weekly ad and choosing a few products to combine with sinks/basins. I wish I hadn't spent so much time thinking of silly tape ideas because I didn't have a lot of time for this part and I didn't come up with much.

Silly Sink Ideas:
Silly Ideas - Sinks

Next time I'll get the assignment right. For now I'm gonna dance my cares away.

Tiki-Yaki

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My cookies are inspired by tiki bars and okonomiyaki. "Okonomiyaki tiki cookie." It's kind of a bizarre word-final alliteration.

Cookie
I did a bit of research and found a lot of very basic shortbread-like cookies that lent themselves well to a variety of flavors and shapes. From Japanese biscuit-sticks to Swedish butter cookies, simple vanilla-based cookies seemed like a good place to start. I read through a few shortbread and sugar cookie recipes to get some ideas.

Tiki
I'm a big fan of things with themes, so I wanted to base my cookie around a concept. I've seen several recipes for margarita cupcakes, beer bread, and oatmeal stout cake, but never anything similar for cookies. Since cookie recipes involve much less moisture than cake recipes, basing a cookie flavor on a drink was tricky. With a challenge in hand, I looked to my favorite concept spot, a sprawling, kitschy tiki lounge in Northeast Minneapolis for flavor inspiration. Their rum-based drinks feature a slew of tropical flavors and come with wacky garnishes in whimsical ceramic mugs.

tiki_mugs.jpg

Okonomiyaki
Having decided I wanted to use tropical flavors like rum, coconut, and lime, I needed a way to give the cookies a rum-like taste without turning them into a soggy mess. I could have used rum flavoring, but that seemed too easy. I had tried my hand at infusing liquor before, so I decided to use actual rum to flavor my other ingredients. The alcohol would cook off during baking, leaving just a hint of spicy rum flavor clinging to the coconut and lime pulp. All of the "flavoring" ingredients went in a dish together to make a kind of tropical cole slaw. It reminded me of the batter for okonomiyaki, a kind of pancake made with shredded cabbage and other vegetables and toppings. Okonomiyaki batter is griddle-fried into a solid snack that's popular as a street food in Japan. This gave me an idea for using a lot of liquid to make a easy-to-handle treat.

cookie_A1_06.jpg

I had found a few good recipes for sugar cookies, which turned out to be similar to pancake batter recipes except for the liquid content. By adjusting the amount of flour and sugar, I was able to make a hybrid batter/dough that seemed like it would hold its shape on the pan and bake into a solid, chewy cookie. The sugar cookie recipe called for butter and lemon zest; in keeping with my flavor choices, I substituted coconut cream for half of the butter and lime zest in place of lemon.

cookie_A1_05.jpg

Since the dough was much runnier than that of traditional sugar cookies, which are rolled out and cut, I used a drop-cookie method to form the shapes. With so much coconut suspended in the dough, the drops didn't spread out like traditional cookies, and the first batch were critiqued by my taste testers for being overly thick and a little heavy on the lime (I used the juice and pulp from three).

cookie_A1_01.jpg

One of my testers suggested balancing the lime flavor with a sweet icing, but since the cookie itself was already thick, with an unusual texture, I wanted to avoid adding an additional layer. Instead, I thinned the dough using a few teaspoons of rum, and made sure to flatten the drops using the back of a spoon. Adding a liquid such as rum helped with the thickness problem, and also balanced out the lime flavor. To add a little sweetness to the spice of the rum and the bitter tartness of the lime, I added a single maraschino cherry to the tops of the cookies.

cookie_A2_01.jpg

The result was these, the finished product. My intrepid volunteers thought the thinner cookies were more manageable, and the cherries were a nice addition to flavor and presentation.

Tiki-Yaki Tropical Cookies
10.5oz sweetened coconut, flaked or shredded (about 3/4 of a 14oz bag)
Juice and pulp of 2 medium limes
1 cup dark spiced rum (I used Kraken)

2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup butter (2 sticks, softened)
1 cup coconut cream (skimmed from one 14oz can of coconut milk - don't shake can before opening)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lime zest
3 TBS rum*

5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder*
1 tsp salt

30-36 Maraschino cherries (drained)

*Variations:
Replace 2 tsp baking powder with 2 tsp baking soda for crispier cookies
Replace rum with coconut milk to reduce alcohol content

1) Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease cookie sheet.
2) Mix coconut, lime juice/pulp, and rum in small bowl. Set aside.
3) In large bowl, mix butter, coconut cream, sugar, egg, lime zest, and vanilla. Some small lumps are okay.
4) Drain coconut/lime mixture. Add 3 TBS rum. Fold mixture into sugar mixture.
5) Add flour, baking powder, and salt to sugar mixture one cup at a time, stirring in between cups until just blended.
6) Refrigerate dough for 15 minutes. Drop by heaping tablespoon onto cookie sheet, flattening slightly with back of spoon.
7) Press one cherry into the center of each cookie
8) Bake for approximately 15 minutes, checking every 5. The tops of the cookies will not appear brown, so look at the edges. When sides begin turning brown, cookies are done.
9) Cool before serving - the cherries will be very hot.

UPDATE:
My second (larger) set of taste testers said they thought the cookies would be better if they were less spongy and more crispy. To achieve this, use baking soda instead of baking powder (same amount). The cookies presented in class on Monday will use this variation, as well as batter thinned with coconut milk rather than rum to limit the amount of alcohol included in the cookies (since not all alcohol is cooked off during baking). The coconut/lime mixture is drained before being added to the batter, so only trace amounts of rum are included in the variation to be presented in class.

Mmm... research.

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In order to come up with a new kind of cookie, a little research on existing cookies was in order. Fortunately, a small local grocery store stocks a pretty extensive selection.

I included some of my favorite cookies, Yan-Yan and Hello Pandas. Both are simple, biscuit-like cookies with strawberry creme and a printed message. Yan-Yan features cookie sticks with silly phrases printed on them; the sticks are dipped in the included creme. Hello Pandas are hollow, creme-filled biscuits with sporty animals printed on them. Both fall into the category of Japanese novelty snacks, which often involve cute packaging, interactive elements, and unexpected flavors (including savory and floral flavors not often seen in American cookies).

I had never tried the Ballerina cookies, but I wanted to include a Scandinavian shortbread cookie because of their ubiquity in Minnesotan culture. The store had a quarter of an aisle dedicated to myriad flavors, shapes, and fillings of small, simple shortbread cookies. A large blue tin filled with an assortment of such cookies was a holiday tradition in my family.

Other cookies I'm including in my benchmarking efforts include Jaffa Cakes (an orange-topped, chocolate covered British "biscuit"), and seasonal Oreos (mint, strawberry). The idea of a very simple cookie base (shortbread or sugar cookie) with flavored coatings or fillings seems like a good place to start branching out.

cookie4.jpg

Recent Comments

  • smit4461: I love the toothpaste cartridge idea. I think you're on read more
  • solzx007: I think gassy soap would work really well at easing read more
  • schof052: Interesting! I like how you documented the process of reducing read more
  • stei0727: Taylor, Two ideas from your brainstorming session that I liked read more
  • spoox007: Building upon the “window box that gets watered” idea, I read more
  • Andrew Carlson: You've got a good start at identifying a lot of read more
  • stei0727: I also really like your use of illustrations. They are read more
  • buck0316: I like your visual documentation process in your journal - read more
  • Brittany Edwards: I really like all the drawings you used, and colors read more
  • Brittany Edwards: I loved the mine-map! read more

Recent Assets

  • Toothpaste Roll
  • Tube Spill
  • tube-in-one_sketch.jpg
  • PDES5701_A7_toothbrushpitch.jpg
  • PDES5701_A7_sketchmodels.jpg
  • toothpaste-syringe_01.jpg
  • Final Concept Pugh Chart
  • Creepy Slime Soap
  • IKEA Norbo
  • cotton-candy-build.jpg

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