Matthew Petroff wanted to bake something to serve at this year’s BICEP / Keck collaboration meeting held at Harvard (they build, operate, and analyze data from cosmic microwave background telescopes installed at the South Pole). As a collaboration member at the host institution, Matthew decided to bake them for a coffee break at the meeting, arriving at the idea of making butter cookies in the style of Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies.
To create the custom shapes, I 3D printed molds. To create the molds, I first drew a set of 43 mm by 53 mm designs—the size I measured the commercially-available cookies to be—in Inkscape, making each line at least 2 mm thick, to ensure it would survive the molding and baking process. In the end, I settled on twelve designs: four designs showing E- and B-mode polarization patterns; four designs with Antarctica themes, specifically, an Adélie penguin, the True South flag, an Antarctica outline, and the ceremonial Pole marker; and four designs with BICEP themes, specifically, the Dark Sector Laboratory (DSL) building with BICEP3 ground shield, the BICEP3 cryostat, the BICEP Array tower connected to the Martin A. Pomerantz Observatory (MAPO) building, and a BICEP Array cryostat.
Others have previously baked cookies in this style, so there is an existing reference for a recipe to use.
See more in the post here.