Assignment7

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The final blog!

The five questions I decided to ask myself to narrow down to one product were:

Am I personally invested in this idea?
Are there good market opportunities for this product?
Does this idea play to my strengths?
How unique is the idea?
How feasible is the idea?

Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 11.13.05 AM.png

I ultimately decided on the floor stickers idea. I was much more interested in this idea than the others, and it was much more differentiated from other products in its market space. It didn't involve complex new technologies, and I was unable to find patents that were similar to it.

Thumbnail image for floorstickers-4.jpg

I looked at the current brand names for floor mats out there and found a lot of names that made me picture some huge guy yelling them. Think:

"Weather-Beat"
"Extreme-Duty"
"MAXLINER"
"Husky Liner"


I decided to stick to something simpler for mine, that communicated what made my product unique. The product is sticky, replaceable, and protects your carpets. I came up with a list of synonyms and metaphors for sticking: cling, grip, hug, gecko feet, spider webs (quickly eliminated - intense dislike of spiders), tape. I realized that in nature, the concept of getting rid of something when it gets old and worn is similar to molting... but that was a bit gross. After focusing on the attributes, I came up with two potential names: GripShield and TraceErase Liner. I went with TraceErase since it seemed to more clearly communicate the unique benefits of the product.

TraceEraseMats.png

Assignment6

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MARKETABLE

In order to get feedback on my ideas, I created a survey and some basic questions to send out online.

For each product I asked the following questions:

What are your feelings toward this product? (very unfavorable - very favorable)
The likelihood of me using this product is (very unlikely - very likely)
The likelihood of someone I know using this product is (very unlikely - very likely)
The likelihood me owning a product like this is (very unlikely - very likely)
Would you buy this product? (yes/no)
How much would you expect to pay for this product?
How much would you be willing to pay for this product?
Is there any other feedback about this product that you'd like to share?

To be honest, my results were a bit less positive than I had hoped. Some products that people had a pretty favorable view did not have a high "I would buy this" percentage. One of my friends noted, though, that because it was necessary to scroll to the right to see the more favorable options when taking the survey on a mobile device, some of my results might be a bit skewed.

Here's a link to my survey if you'd like to check it out! https://umn.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_4MGVCKi7hru19UV

Based on my survey, the ideas I've decided to pursue are:

grassmats-3.jpg

Grass-Like Mat
People would pay between 10 and 20 dollars for it. They thought that a different color was necessary and didn't like the idea of squeezing the slush out with their hands. With that in mind, I think it would be a wise idea to make the "grass" look and feel more like carpet. After doing a bit of research, it seems as though sponges are washing machine safe, so perhaps this product could be machine washable. The only setback there would be the plastic bottom.

Thumbnail image for floorstickers-4.jpg

Floor Stickers
People were willing to pay between 10 and 15 dollars for these. They felt that they seemed cheap and were possibly going to be a hassle to put in the car. I think that if these could be made cheaply and were disposable after they started to get dirty, people might view them more favorably.

heated windshield mat.jpg

Remote Mat
People expected it to be around 50 dollars but were only willing to pay about 30 dollars. They didn't have much other feedback in the survey, but when I talked to a few people face-to-face, they recommended attaching it to the inside of the windshield so it didn't get wet and couldn't be stolen.

Thumbnail image for snowscoop-1.jpg
Snow Scoop
Most thought it would be around 25-35 dollars, but many were only willing to pay 10-15. They were generally very in favor of this idea, and the only feedback was that an attachable handle might be nice.

Thumbnail image for frost resistent film-2.jpg

Windshield Film
People were generally really excited about this one. They were also willing to pay more for it than most of the other products. The average price that people were willing to pay was $40. The range was $20 - 60.

NOVEL

Grass Mats 2x2.jpg

Grass Mats
There's something inherently a little tacky about putting astroturf on or in your car. Changing the color tends to help a bit. Most of these models are focused on catching dirt rather than liquid. Some of the more absorbent related products I found were not, in fact, car mats but bath mats or golf mats.

Screen Shot 2013-12-04 at 12.27.19 PM.png

There was one similar patent, however, this did not include the absorbency component that I intent to address with mine. It also had a different shaped "grass" than I had planned on.

Floor Stickers
Since my intention for this product was for it to be sort of disposable, I looked at the range of mats from the disposable paper mats used by auto repair shops to some pretty heavy duty rubber mats. I also looked into the range of products from those that stay put and those that will slip around easily.

Floor Stickers 2x2.jpg

The most similar idea that I found as a patent was an anti-creep spray for rugs which prevents them from slipping around.

Screen Shot 2013-12-04 at 11.38.13 PM.png

Remote Start Windshield Mat
For this I looked at the ease with which you could put these products on your car and the amount of coverage it gave your car. I think that my product could fit well in the easy to put on + medium coverage area.

Heater 2x2.jpg

I did find a patent that is fairly similar to this idea. The patent is for a remote start, stand alone windshield defroster. It would be interesting to see if covering the area and heating it would work better.

Screen Shot 2013-12-04 at 11.54.05 PM.png

Snow Scoop
For this product I looked to see if there was anything in the market that was both inconspicuous and easy to access. There were a surprising number of places to keep emergency shovels, but all were either attached to the outside of your vehicle or took up space within the vehicle.

Snow Scoop 2x2.jpg

The closest patent that I could find to this idea was a multi-purpose emergency shovel tool.

Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 12.40.25 AM.png

Windshield Film - Preventing Frost
Some of the products I looked at for this category were a bit of a stretch. I looked at ease of application and visibility. Therefore, the windshield covers had no visibility and some of the other films appeared to have so many bubbles and creases when applied that they had limited visibility as well.

Grass Mats 2x2.jpg

I found two patents that were actually fairly similar to the product I was proposing, however, I was not able to find places to actually buy a product that was for this specific function online.

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FEASIBLE

The most difficult component of the grass-like mat would be finding a sponge material that both captured the water and dried out within a reasonable time. People hated the idea of squeezing it out with their hands. Keeping costs low would also be important, since people only wanted to spend between 10-20 dollars on it. Since a current mat made of astroturf sells retail for $10, we could estimate that the rough manufacturing cost for that is about $2. Combine this with a spongey layer which, based on retail data for sponges, is probably around a dollar for manufacturing costs. With this very rough estimate, the manufacturing costs for this product would be approximately $3.

The most difficult part of the floor stickers would be keeping the costs low. A regular paper disposable floor mat is $0.50. To add stickiness to one side and a bit more absorbency on top, I estimated the cost to be around $0.40.

The most difficult parts about the heated mat would be getting it to stick to the inside of the windshield and actually heating it up. The cigarette lighter in cars has 120 watts and it takes 100 watts to power a power drill or light a light bulb. While it might be possible to power the defrosting mat partially with this power, fear of draining the car battery might make assistance from solar power would be a good option.

Snow Scoop
A typical flexible plastic floor mat is between 50 and 70 dollars. If we assume that the cost to manufacture is around 6 dollars and add 2 dollars to have the metal inside, we come to a total rough manufacturing cost of about $8

Window Film
The most challenging part of this product would be developing a film that was transparent enough to see through and had the frost resistant properties. Based on my patent search, it seems like some form of the technology might have actually already been created.

Assignment5

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For this assignment I chose to focus on the floor mat as my archetypical product. I had generated a lot of ideas from my focus group for keeping windshields from icing over or cleaning them once they had, but since we had practiced with ice scrapers in class, I felt like many of the ideas I came up with would be much too similar.

With that, here's Part 1: Application of SCAMPER

Substitue:

Change grooves to outlets that run to a reservoir
Clean the shoes before they enter the car: brushes underneath
Prevent dirt from leaving shoes: shoe covers
Mat made of absorbent material
Custom fitted mats

absorbant floor mat-1.jpg

Change the thinking - What if they made your car cozier? At the time, I didn't know how I would go about this, but I felt it was important enough to keep in mind throughout these exercises.

Combine:

I struggled with the combine prompt a bit. If the product is only one piece and one material, how do you combine? I made myself an association map, and while it highlighted areas that I could change, I struggled to see opportunities for combination. Then I thought about maximizing the number of uses and combining different talents. What if I could combine the talents of someone concerned with making people feel comfortable and someone who was concerned about keeping cars clean? Overall, I came up with:

A two part system where one layer seals to the floor, and an attachment similar to a memory foam bath mat goes on top

A floor mat made of material stiff enough to act as an emergency shovel

snowscoop-1.jpg

Adapt:

For this prompt, I first thought about all of the things I could think of that similar in either function or form to a car floor mat.

Placemats
Rugs
Bathmats
Drop cloths
Tarps

When painters want to prevent paint from getting on an edge, they use painters tape. Can I tape off the edges where the mat might not cover?

I realized when thinking about biomimicry that drivers had different needs for their floormats in different seasons. While snow might be a concern in the winter, sand might be a concern in the summer. Could my idea address both?

I realized that one way I've often cleaned my shoes is wiping them on the grass. Grass directs liquids down towards the soil and brushes against things that slide over it. It is also a pleasant sensation for many people to walk on grass barefoot. Grass-like floormats might not be a bad idea.

grassfloormat-1.jpg

Magnify/Modify:

Attachments for different seasons
Disposable layers
Oversized grooves and edges
Covers the seat too
Heated for foot warmth
Pleasantly scented

quiltedpaper-1.jpg

Put to other use:

Floor protector for under wheeled chairs (if ridges minimized)
Dish drying mat
Non-slip pad for equipment
General surface scuff protector - for moving

Dish Drying Mat.jpg

Eliminate

Grooves could be eliminated - reservoir
Solve the problem before entering the car - disposable booties, brushed outside, place to take off your shoes or wipe them before getting in
Split the functions of protecting the carpet and dealing with seasonal issues

disposable booties.jpg

Reverse/Rearrange

What if the grooves were channels instead?
Instead of focusing on the front end of removing dirt, can we focus on cleaning?

Next, I used the Morphological Analysis tool to explore some other ways of accomplishing the functions of a floor mat.

Morphological Analysis.jpg

I selected a couple of different combinations that I thought would work well. I ended up not using the Removable from Car requirement since it was already addressed in the Stays in Place category.

Morphological Analysis2.jpg

sponge mat.jpg

Morphological Analysis3.jpg

createyourown.jpg

Silly Ideas:

My brainstormers were actually pretty practical. Most of the funny ideas they wrote down were sarcastic. For example: A way to keep ice from forming on your windshield... A heated garage. How to deal with it once it's already there? Take the bus.

There were a few silly ones that I could improve, though, and they're listed below.

In my brainstorm someone had suggested a rubber pickaxe for dealing with windshield ice. Everyone else had laughed and associated it with the game Minecraft. While a rubber pickaxe might not be very effective, if we affix a scraping edge to the flat side of the curved axe part, a user can cover more area with the product, and it's a fun joke product for Minecraft fans.

Someone had suggested a non-stick butter spray for the windshield so that the ice would just slide right off. Cooking spray might not be the best idea for a windshield coating due to things like visibility, but a spray that decreases the sticking power of ice is brilliant. The trick would be finding a technology that wouldn't influence a drivers ability to see, or one that would easily wash off with windshield wiper fluid, or a permanent film with the same slippery properties.

Someone had also suggested that any sealing floor mat should be called SaranMats. In fact, the Saran Wrap press and seal has a lot of qualities that we were looking for in a product. Perhaps some of the sealing properties could be included in a floor mat.

After all the brainstorming and focus grouping and revising, the 10 products that I'm most interested in pursuing are:

vacuum sealing liner-3.jpg

grassmats-3.jpg

sponge mat.jpg

frost resistent film-2.jpg

retractable cover-2.jpg

absorbant floor mat-1.jpg

snowscoop-1.jpg

createyourown.jpg

heatedwipers-4.jpg

floorstickers-4.jpg


Assignment4

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As a quick recap from last week's blog, two of my problem statements were:

My dad's customers need a way to protect their carpets safely because using too many floor mats can interfere with the gas and brake pedals.

Tom needs a way to clear his windshield in an emergency because driving with limited visibility is scary.

From there, I developed the "How might we" statements:

"How might we protect car carpets?"

"How might we clear windshields of ice and snow quickly?"

I had 4 people participate in my focus group [left to right]:
Tom - a Finance and Supply Chain major
Will - a Chemical Engineering major
Matt - a Chemical Engineering major
and Ryan - a Marketing and Entrepreneurship major

IMG_2138.JPG

I let them know ahead of time what the areas we would be focusing on were and asked them to start thinking about ideas. I also let them know that pizza would be provided.

After everyone was well fed and happy, I laid out the guidelines for the activity:
1. No passing judgement on any of the ideas
2. Feel free to come up with ideas that you don't think are possible
3. Everything must be written on a note card with a picture

I set the timer for 20 minutes and started on the first prompt. I didn't give a lot of background information on why I had chosen this problem statement because I wanted to give everyone a chance to take it in whatever direction they chose. As we progressed, I revealed a little bit more of the information and enlightened them as to why this was a real problem and posed a safety threat to some drivers.

All of my participants were incredibly mindful of the no judgement rule. Almost everyone at some point expressed frustration at having to draw out their ideas, so I encouraged them to keep the visual representations really simple and reminded them that it was just to easily keep track of the ideas.

IMG_2130.JPG

The second brainstorming session seemed to go much quicker. Everyone grew more confident about building off of each others' ideas. We had a couple repeated ideas, but we just acknowledged them and kept moving forward. I imagined that calling someone out for repeating something would have about the same effect as criticism, and it was valuable to know which ideas multiple people thought of anyway. As I went on, I revised the "How might we" statement to be "How might we quickly increase visibility for drivers" since I realized that clearing the windshield might not be the only solution to this problem.

When the ideas started to stall out a bit, I encouraged the group to think of the most ridiculous ways they could solve the problem - we ended up with a few drawing of a tiny man hiding in your car to dry your shoes, but later on, we had an idea for a machine that would do the same thing. We laughed about a few of them, and it freed up our minds to think of more out of the box ideas.

I also utilized the improv game that I came up with for this assignment. I thought about a couple different factors when I was creating the game. What makes an improv game an improv game anyway? What makes my favorite games my favorite? I decided that I liked "Clams are Great" and the tossing a ball around game we played in class. I made a little list of considerations:

-spontaneous response
-building on others' ideas
-changing the direction of an idea
-passing the "speaker" position around
-relatively simple

Now this list is certainly not all inclusive, but it seemed like enough to get me started. The rules for the game I created based on this list are as follows:

RED GREEN BLUE YELLOW
1. The game will start with a color [For example: green] and this person will point to someone else
2. The second person will say the first thing they think of associated to that color [grass] and point to a third person.
3. This person will say the first related word that comes to mind [bugs] and point to the next person.
4. This person will say a word that is both related to that word and related to a color (red, green, blue, or yellow) that hasn't been said yet [ladybug] and point to the next person
5. This person will say the related color and point to the next person.
6. The process repeats until all of the colors have been said.

After we had brainstormed for 20 minutes on each "How might we" prompt, we silently sorted them into categories. For the "clean car" prompt, the categories we came up with were:

1. Cleaning Services
2. Preventing slush from leaving shoes
3. Eliminating shoe wetness inside the car
4. Better surfaces to resist damage from winter conditions
5. Alternate places for dirty shoes


IMG_2133.JPG

For the "visibility" prompt the categories were:

1. Improved scrapers
2. Easier frost/snow/ice removal surfaces
3. Camera systems
4. Removable layers
5. Heated snow removal technology

IMG_2136.JPG

We used some fun sticky flags to vote for our favorites (green) and the most useful/valuable (red).

IMG_2137.JPG

Our collective ideas per minute were:

2.0 for "clean"

and

1.75 for "visibility"

The ten "best" product ideas are as follows:

"Clean"

saranmats.jpg[Will]

alternate shoes.jpg[Matt]

vroomba.jpg[Will]

shoe covers.jpg[Ryan]

pump with tubes.jpg[Matt]

"Visibility"

nonstick surface.jpg[Will]

hidden covers.jpg[Matt]

UV light defroster.jpg[Will]

windshield camera.jpg[Naomi]

wiper heaters.jpg[Ryan]


Assignment3

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The sub-theme within Winter I'll be taking on is Winter Driving. Not entirely surprisingly, people had a lot they wanted to share about what they don't like. Brace yourself for a pretty lengthy entry. I've put down the steps I took to get some insight into the topic below.

ASK:

The first person I talked to was Jose Ochoa, my dad. I'll qualify the use of an immediate family member with the fact that (with some overlap) he had 3 years of experience owning a repair shop, 35 years of experience as a mechanic, and has 22 years and counting of experience as a service advisor at various dealerships.

I started by asking questions about what car related problems he associates with winter.

Here are a few of the problems he addressed:

Dad interview.jpg

I had to redirect the interview a few times when my dad started to focus more on how to keep me safe during winter by bringing up problems like "Not having a safety kit. I'm putting one in your car when you come home."

One other interesting winter issue that came up was people with new cars bringing them in for minor rattles in squeaks in winter. It apparently happens just because these newer cars have a lot of plastic components, and there's not really anything that can be done to stop it. These people who have just spent all sorts of money on a new car end up have to just "deal with it." Not the kind of post purchase experience most people are hoping for.

Sometimes people try to approach their winter driving issues in creative ways which can actually lead to their detriment. Wanting to keep their carpets nice, some drivers will pile up floor mats on floor mats. Soon there's 4" of floor mats in their car, and it starts to interfere with their gas and break pedals. The pedals will get caught in the mats and pose a safety hazard.


The next person I interviewed was Sam, a roommate of a friend. His least favorite part about winter driving was getting into a cold car. I watched him look visibly distressed at the thought of it. His car has leather seats, and only the driver's side is heated. The last time he drove in the winter, he was late for an interview because it had snowed the night before and there were accidents causing traffic delays. He had even left with twice the time it would normally take.

The third person I talked to was Tom, another student. He had just made a three hour trip to Hibbing and encountered snowy weather for the first time since getting his new car. It was pretty clear from the start of the story that his experience had been a pretty negative one. His windshield wipers were old and, while ineffective during fall rain, they did very little to combat the snow and slush kicked up by other cars. Only a quarter of the drivers side was clear. They were lots of cars on the road, and he had a hard time judging where he was on the road. He had his wipers changed by a mechanic ($15) before driving again.

Tom strongly dislikes the winter driving experience, and actively avoids driving in winter. He specifically looked for a spring job that wouldn't require driving in order to avoid having to drive in traffic during inclement weather. To him, winter driving feels much more like a chore than summer driving. While a confident driver in summer, he sometimes feels nervous in winter, mostly due to traffic. He also identified the issue that it's more unpleasant to operate the steering wheel when the cold makes you want to keep your arms close to your body for warmth.

OBSERVE

Since there isn't snow on the ground yet, it wasn't possible to observe that aspect of winter driving yet. What I noticed about the cold factor of winter driving is that some people I would ride in the car with would play off the cold as no big deal. Perhaps these people were concerned that showing how cold they were would make them appear less tough?

When I hit a road block with what I could observe at this point, I decided to look online to see if I could observe people's thoughts about winter driving via social media. While a different sort of observation, it did provide me with some pretty unfiltered sentiments. Here are a few of best/most common/entertaining ones:

Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 2.46.21 AM.png

Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 2.45.43 AM.png

Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 2.03.07 AM.png

Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 1.56.28 AM.png

[Source: http://www.reddit.com/r/lifehacks]

Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 2.05.03 AM.png

(Which actually seems like a terrible idea)

[Source: http://www.marondahomes.com]

Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 2.18.43 AM.png

[Source: http://www.infobarrel.com]

By looking for areas where people were improvising, I was able to identify problem areas.

EXPERIENCE

It was again difficult to fully experience winter driving at this point in time. I focused on the cold aspect, which I'm unfortunately already starting to experience. I will preface this with fact that I get cold extremely easily and dislike it intensely. As I write this, I am reveling in the fact that the utilities cost to keep my apartment cozy is included in my rent. A newbie to city driving, I am also dreading traffic in the snow. My car itself heats up pretty quickly. Where I run into problems is that the cold makes me want to do everything quickly and get it over with (running to my car, getting things out of my car, getting out of the parking spot and on the road), but inclement weather is going to cause me to slow everything down so that I don't fall or run into anything.

In conclusion:

People generally have negative feelings towards driving in the winter
(except this guy)
Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 2.42.45 AM.png

People dislike being cold
Cars require additional attention in the winter
People generally worry about other people's driving skills more than their own

More specifically...

My dad's customers need a way to protect their carpets safely because using too many floor mats can interfere with the gas and brake pedals.

Tom, Sam, and I need a way to stay warm until our cars heat up because we are all very averse to being cold.

Tom needs a way to clear his windshield in an emergency because driving with limited visibility is scary.

Assignment2

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With busy schedules, few of my friends had much time for games this weekend. Instead, I improvised a little. First, I finally started the new season of New Girl and watched Winston get weird about puzzles and run around wearing a hoodie as pants.

winstondance.gif

As much as I love the show and think it's hilarious, I was feeling pretty tired and needed a bit more energy to start thinking in a fun way. My solution was to hang out with the most fun-loving critter I know - my roommate's ferret Winston. I'd post a picture but he doesn't generally sit still long enough for things like that.

After running around for a bit, I was ready to tackle some mind mapping. At first, I wanted to start with different associations that the ones we used in our group in class, but then I realized that sometimes I needed to start with those in order to get to new places. Below is what I came up with:

wintermindmap.jpg

After mind-mapping, I decided I really liked the sub categories Winter Driving and Winter Fabrics, and Hot Beverages. I thought I would have a lot of room for playfulness just creating products within driving and fabrics, but soon realized that I was going to end up with a lot of cashmere car accessories. After opening it up to anything related to winter, here's what I came up with:

The Cozy Car Seat
cozycarseat.jpg

Game of Thrones coats (winter is coming after all)
GameofThronesCoats.jpg

Boot Covers
boots.jpg

To-go Cup Sweaters
go-cup.jpg

No More Warm and Cozy Blanket
heatedblanket.jpg

Coffee Defroster
coffee.jpg

Happy Sweater
happytree.jpg

Arm Scarves
armscarf.jpg

Puppy Earmuffs
earmuffs.jpg

Salt-removing Car Blow Dryers
cardryers.jpg

Assignment1

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After utilizing every inch of counter space in my kitchen and shelf in my refrigerator, I think I can say that I have something different. Here's a rundown of how I got from drink recipes to pumpkins...

The first thing that came to mind when I heard of this assignment was Ginger Limeade. I had it Masa downtown once, and have been perfecting a recipe ever since. The flavor combination of ginger and lime is one of my favorites. I started thinking about how I could translate this to a cookie. A ginger lime cookie? A ginger cookie with lime filling? Lime frosting? If I could make a ginger limeade cookie why not other drinks?

So, for the rest of the week I got really fixed on making cookies shaped like little cups and filling them with some kind of liquid or pudding for a while. I also remembered the "snowball cookies" I made at home growing up [walnuts, butter, and lots of powedered sugar]. If I could snowballs, why not change the shape and make snowmen? Then I realized that this was basically just three of the same cookies stacked on top of each other and moved on.

I had a breakthrough moment when I thought I had thought of a unique drink that was sweet and dessert-like that I could somehow translate to a cookie: horchata cookies. After some Googling, it turns out these already exist.

IMG_1951.jpg

I read through the recommended links and a reference in the el Bulli excerpt reminded me of an innovative food I had once tried in Washington DC. It was wasabi guacamole with wonton wrap chips, and it was hands down one of my favorite things I've eaten. Also one of the most creative. I searched around and found the restaurant I had eaten at - SEI. I checked out their menus for some inspiration. What I found was that many of their Specialty Rolls had really unique flavor combinations and weren't traditional at all.

I decided to try to create a cookie using wonton wraps and something that paired well with cream cheese. Given the season, my first instinct was pumpkin. I did some searching to find other flavors that would pair well the two and came up with cranberries.

I took a look at the ideas I had and picked out 3 favorites:
1. The ginger limeade cookies
2. The pumpkin wonton cookies
3. The hot cocoa marshmallow cookies

I headed to the store and picked up some ingredients.

I started with the pumpkin wonton cookies:

I made a filling using:

1/2 cup cream cheese
1/3 cup canned pumpkin
1/3 cup canned cranberries

IMG_1939.jpg

[It didn't look the best, but it tasted good.]

I laid out the wonton wraps and put a spoonful of filling in each. Using water, I sealed up the edges in a couple of different ways. I baked them at 400* for 10 minutes.

IMG_1938.jpg

[before baking]

IMG_1942.jpg

[after baking]

A few of the comments I got from friends/roommates:

"This is more of a savory dessert. Not very sweet"
"I like the textures"
"Try frying it instead of baking it"

I thought about these comments while I made the second type of cookie: Ginger Limeade

I decided the best way to pair the flavors would be with one as the cookie base and the other as a frosting or glaze. I consulted my taste testers and we decided that a lime cookie with a ginger glaze would be best. I used existing recipes for reference and adapted them to be more lime flavored and to include the ginger flavor. The recipe I created is as follows:

The cookie:

1/8 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1/3 cup fresh squeezed lime juice

IMG_1952.jpg

IMG_1943.jpg

Dollop onto lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 400* for 8 minutes. I peeked in the oven a few minute before they were done and realized there was nowhere for the glaze to stay on the cookie so I made an X in some of them with a knife.

[The extra lime juice made the batter extra runny, so I added more flour. This lead to more flour-y tasting cookies in the end]

The glaze:

First I made a ginger simple syrup [much like ginger limeade]

3.5 cups water
3/4 cups sugar
2 tbs minced ginger

Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

Then I combined 3 tbs of this mixture with 1 cup powdered sugar.

IMG_1953.jpg

I drizzled this mixture over the lime cookies. Most of it just went on the baking sheet, but the glaze hardened pretty quickly.

IMG_1946.jpg

Comments from the tasters:

"This is tasty!"
"I can't really taste the ginger."
"It's mostly just a normal cookie."
"It's really sticky."

Knowing that I was trying to end up with just one final recipe, I had to decide which idea had the most potential. I decided not to pursue the marshmallow and cocoa idea since I felt like the two ideas I had already started had the potential to be a lot more interesting. The ginger limeade cookies got a bit more love from my audience, but I had less ideas for improving them beyond being "just a normal cookie." Much of the base cookie recipe was adapted from other recipes. I decided to go with the wonton pumpkin cookies with a few adaptations.

First, I tried just adding the ginger glaze to the wonton cookies. It was weird.
It did get me thinking about how I could elevate the cookies I already had though, and eventually I came up with a few things that worked.

Changes I Made

Since I thought the first batch was a bit too savory, I decided to create a frosting. Since I wanted to keep the cream cheese element and didn't want a traditional frosting to clash with it, I made a pretty standard cream cheese frosting:

2 oz cream cheese
1/8 cup butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Since the cream cheese was now going to be on top, I instead filled the wonton wraps with a small dollop of pumpkin and a small dollop of cranberry. I didn't mix them together this time because I wanted the flavors to be more distinct. I sealed them up in the flattest way I could, making a little square.

I decided I didn't want to fry them. I've had cold cream cheese wontons before, and they're not great. Knowing I was bringing these to class when they wouldn't be hot out of the oil, I had to come up with another plan. I decided on brushing some melted butter on them halfway through the baking process. [400* for 10 minutes]

I topped the cookies with the frosting and sprinkled a tiny bit of cinnamon on them for color.

Here's the finished result!

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