the journey of Mr. Melty and a very small me

Warning. This is a long story. Back in ’08 I made this guy. I call him Mr. Melty. I was brainstorming some cookie ideas, wanted to do a snowman, but an untraditional one, and this melting thing just came to me. Well, Mr. Melty struck a chord. He was posted on the front page of flickr, got thousands and thousands of hits, and is still favorited two years later. Total surprise to me.

As tends to happen, fame was not kind to Mr. Melty. Others used Mr. Melty as inspiration, which I get and encourage. That’s why I have tutorials, and I get so much inspiration from other bloggers, it’s how creativity happens. But then things got a little out of hand. At first, I was credited with the idea, but after copies of copies of melted snowman cookies, I was lost and Mr. Melty’s path of destruction began. I started seeing him everywhere. Near exact versions of my original. (I even saw a version in Family Fun magazine–of course I recognize the same idea could’ve come to others coincidentally, I just wonder.) And everywhere, he gets raves and praises for the brilliant idea. Mr. Melty and I were gone. It is very small of me, but it was and is very surreal and sad to see a melted snowman cookie and then see others getting the accolades. I know. Small.

And then my loyal readers started seeing him around the internet and recognized him. A few apparently had some very unpleasant exchanges when they tried to offer the original source. And then I saw Mr. Melty himself, my very photo, entered in a contest. (Read about that here.) I gave up. I thought I would just say good-bye and let him go free. But I still happen upon versions of him and cringe when the comments rave of the clever and brilliant idea. Part of the reason I submitted Mr. Melty to this book is selfish. Now he has my name attached to him in print.

Believe me, I know the image of a jealous, frustrated cookie decorator shouting to her computer screen, “But it was MY idea, not theirs! Please, tell me I’m brilliant, not them!” is not a flattering one. But as I admit to getting inspiration from others, I also always give the source of that inspiration (for example, see here. Or here.). Every time. Neurotically. I find zippo zilch fulfillment in taking praise for another’s creativity.

Clearly from the length of this diatribe, I’m way too invested in melting snowman cookies. So I’m trying to embrace the joy of them again with some new ones. And sharing these with you.

People and snowmen, we aren’t too different. We all react to things in our own way.

Some additional ideas:
Make a hat (Tint fondant black. Roll out and cut out a little circle. Roll a small ball, flatten the top and bottom and attach with a dab of corn syrup. Wrap a thin strip of colored fondant around the ball. Adhere to the top of the snowman head with corn syrup. Let dry overnight.)

Make a scarf (Roll out tinted fondant and cut a curvy scarf shape with a sharp knife. Cut little slices at the ends for fringe. Attach to the snowman with a dab of corn syrup.)

Make mittens (Do the same thing as for the scarf.)

Use sprinkles. I just used confetti sprinkles from the craft store for the buttons.

Candy instead of fondant. Instead of fondant, use candy to decorate. Use Tootsie Rolls for the hat, gum drops, or other candies to decorate, a fruit roll-up for the scarf…

Feel free to share (nicely)! While my blog's photographs and text are protected by copyright, I do allow (and encourage) you to share ONE photograph with credit to "the decorated cookie" and link to this blog post. PLEASE don't reprint any part of the blog post and PLEASE don't post a photo without credit. Thank you!


  1. Pat says

    Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Stop beating yourself up! You have done nothing wrong and feel nothing out of line! You are totally justified in your hurt feelings, your "genius" was stolen from you, others took credit for it and that is JUST PLAIN WRONG! And it is okay to be upset about injustice, however it happens! It may not change what happened, but I know I and millions others would feel the same way.

  2. Sue says

    I would feel just as you do, Meaghan! To have such an amazingly unique and original idea is so fun and exciting to share, but to have others use it as their own (with no credit to the original)is completely unethical! Don't be so hard on yourself; your feelings are completely understandable! I'm glad that you now have your Mr. Melty published in a book:)

  3. Victoria (The District Chocoholic) says

    It's such s great idea, I can see why so many try to copy it. But we know you are the original!

  4. Bea @ CancunCookies says

    Meaghan your idea is awesome! I loved it from day 1… sorry to hear Mr. Melty and you got lost and stolen… don't feel bad about your feelings…

  5. SprinkleBakes says

    So glad it's in a book tied to your name now! I've seen this many places but didn't know it was yours. I'm so glad to know now!

    Your feelings are totally justified. I don't think it's small of you AT ALL. I love that you are making known what happened. You go girl.


  6. Nourhan @ Miss Anthropist's Kitchen says

    OH MY GOODNESS! What an adorable idea, I just discovered your blog and I'm totally in love! I'm a fanatic when it comes to decorating baked treats, and yours are simply amazing :)
    Would be totally honored if you stopped by my blog! :)

  7. Kim @ Party Frosting! says

    you are so justified! and we all know how genius you are! I am LOVING frosty btw – keep your chin up and know that there is a world of us that look up to you like a cookie goddess!

    many hugs – Kim @ Party Frosting!

  8. Pink Little Cake says

    This is an unique idea and you should have all the credit for it. I also have seen Mr.Melty everywhere and other people taking credit for it, I am glad is in the book with your name on it, you deserve it. You are so creative Meghan!

  9. Lacy @ Catholic Icing says

    Cutest snowman cookies ever! I think it's always important to credit your source! I think I even saw one of these as an ornament made out of hot glue. Even if you take the idea to another level like that, you should source your original inspiration. Btw, edible crafts is my favorite blog right now! I have to check it multiple times a day :-)

  10. Kelly says

    Not small at all… It is very frustrating to be creative and trusting and have people crap all over that.

    Unfortunately there are people out there who just want to make a quick buck and don't care who they trample on to get it.

    Love your snowman, such a cute idea. I'd love to make him, but I'm too incredibly lazy.

  11. Chic Cookies says

    Well, now THESE comments sure perked me up! Thank you all! So morose sounding, my post. It's not meant to be, just commentary on how things sometimes work in the world I think!

    Catalina, your exact phrasing reminds me of exactly what one of my good friends would say. I thought you were her in disguise for a second!

  12. Stephanie @ The Brunette Foodie says

    Not small at all!

    When you put so much effort into an idea {no matter what it is}, and you see others take credit for it or copy it without sourcing it hurts. Unfortunately it seems to be becoming more and more popular with food blogs {and craft blogs, etc}.

    I had another blogger steal a recipe I wrote…not adapted…wrote. No credit nothing. What followed was an unpleasant exchange about common courtesy and copyrights…

    There's nothing wrong with being upset.

  13. Chic Cookies says

    It's crazy, Stephanie, I've had the same conversation with other blogger friends who have confronted others who blatantly stole things from their site, and the result was terrible unpleasant. I don't get it!?

  14. Keely :) says

    HI! I come across your blog around Spring of this year and I've waited ALL YEAR to make these cookies! So sad to see the journey of Mr. Melty got lost but I love your passion! No one can blame you for your feelings. I'm just happy Mr. Melty is still with us :)

  15. Jelly Shot Test Kitchen says

    I am so happy that your Mr. Melty is now in a book – such an awesome and adorable idea! I would feel the same way . . . Love the new Meltys too!

  16. Christy says

    I'm glad you said it. I tried Mr. Melty last year, and I linked back, promise! BUT the more I blog and share original ideas, the more I realize I open myself up this same problem….to a smaller level….I'm not glad it's happening to you, but I'm glad you acknowledged the problem so 'these people' know….you know! Ugh!

  17. Vibeke says

    Your snowman is so cute. You are amazing. However, I am one of those who have borrowed your design / stolen, but without knowing that you have created original, and I apologize. For I would naturally link to your blog. It is only fair to you. I have now made links to your blog on flickr and on my blog. Thanks for the inspiring blog.

  18. Linda V @ Bubble and Sweet says

    Phew, wipes brow thankful I've acknowledged you as my inspiration in past…Only kidding it's common courtesy to acknowledge a source when it is known and you have every right to be miffed about it. Mr Melty is quite fabulous I can see what all the fuss is about.

  19. Chic Cookies says

    And I should also emphasize I understand how so very many people of course of course are totally innocent folks with no bad intentions who may post on Mr. Melty having no idea where he came from!!

  20. Anonymous says

    my dear, that snowman cookie lead me straight to this blog, of which i am a devoted follower. i LOVE your ideas and tutorials. I am a gluten free baker and am able to adapt your ideas. And I want you to know I give credit for borrowing other people's ideas. In interviews I have been asked how I come up with recipes and ideas and I often say "I'm not creative enough to come up with my own, so I borrow and adapt from others. The internet is my cookbook." Just last night my kids and I made dreidels with a hershey's kiss, a giant marshmallow, and a pretzel stick. And I showed them how you draw on marshmallows, so we got out our food writers and drew the hebrew letters of the dreidel on the marshmallows… something I would have never done without your marshmallow drawing inspiration. Don't worry… your loyal followers know you are the true genious behind the medlted snowman!
    Amy Fenster Brown

  21. Anonymous says

    I visit may different cookie/cake blogs for ideas. Yours is one of my favorites. I've recreated many cookie designes that were not my original idea, however, I usually don't remember exactly where I found the original idea. I always mention that it was from another blog, but many tmes don't know where as I gather up ideas over the months. To protect your ideas I would suggest watermarking all of your photographs.

  22. oneordinaryday says

    I do understand completely. I just saw a recipe of mine that I created and posted to Tasty Kitchen show up on someone's blog and then go on from there. The original did mention TK, but w/ no link back to my original, and after that it was lost on anyone that it came from my kitchen. Very frustrating. I'm glad your experience hasn't kept you from creating more adorable cookies!

  23. Paula says

    I loved your Mr. Melty when I first saw it and I love your updated ones.
    It is very unfortunate that other bloggers do not follow practices of common decency and ethical blogging.
    While it is very complimentary when something one has created is admired so much that it is replicated by others, however it is very hurtful when proper and accurate credit is not given to the originator.
    Take pride and comfort in knowing that these little snowman and all your cookies are a result of YOUR creative talents, of which no one can take from you.
    As for confronting those bloggers who choose to copy without credit…personally I feel it is a waste of time. You are trying to reason with people who have such little regard for another's rights, talent and creativity that your efforts, in my mind would we wasted and falling on deaf ears. Better to spend your time on much happier and creative pursuits. Like making the beautiful cookies that you do!

  24. Magicka says

    You are so talented and creative and I love reading your posts. I am sorry for what happened. The good side effect is that it led to new Mr. Meltys and they are also sooo lovely! :))

  25. rudie2shoes says

    I think your work is amazing & I would feel the same way if it had happened to me. I hope you get the credit you deserve & keep up the awesome job on this website. It's always an inspiration to me (even though I have yet to try any of your decorating tips). :)

  26. withpatience says

    I love your Mr. Melty and can totally see why you are a "little" upset that many, many others are getting credit for him! I am going to make these cookies with my son over Christmas break. I can't wait!

  27. Anonymous says

    I can soooo understand your feelings! I am a writer and all too often, I will get an email with something I have written that has someone else's name attached!!
    I have even found my work on websites with another person's name or no name at all. I don't think it is selfish to want our info with our work. I would never take someone's article and put my name on it!
    The cookies are so cute! Good job! :)

  28. kate says

    My friend posted this blog on facebook. I am so glad she did! I LOVE it! I am always looking for fun cookies ideas! Thank you for sharing them and I am so sad that someone stole your ideas. I always steal ideas- in a good way!- because I am so not creative. But they only make it to our table or to a party! I can't wait to tell other friends about your blog. Those snowman cookies are coming to our table soon! I love fondant, too, so it is great to get to use it along with the cookie. Thanks!

  29. Lisa says

    Meaghan…I have seen Mr. Melty before, but due to what you talked about above..had no idea you were his Mama! I cannot stand when people steal someone else's creativity. It's like they took a walk through your brain, uninvited, and pilfered pieces of lobe.

    I had something similar happen to me with my copycat Levain cookie (though not to the degree you did), and in fact, one blogger got Serious Eats photo and write up of the day for it, claiming they came up with the recipe. I contacted SE, but they never did anything about it because it's a popular blogger. It still ticks me off to no end.

    In any event, Mr. Melty is amazing, and back where he belongs :)

  30. Katrina says

    Awesome cookies! (Sorry about the annoying people out there.) We used to live in Arizona and I bought this cute little crafty snowman that is a flattened pillow. He's called an Arizona Snowman.
    May you somehow, sometime get all the real credit you deserve for these.
    And Lisa's Levain copycats are the best. Ha, I just made some today. I've always linked and credited her with my love for them, so it's not me. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  31. Kudos Kitchen says

    These are the funniest cookies I've seen in a long time. What a creative and unique idea Meaghan! LOVE them SO much! Kudos to you for coming up with such a great and fun cookie!!!!!

  32. Chic Cookies says

    I think I need all of you surrounding me every day :) It's amazing how other people's stories are similar too. Sigh. Katrina, someone else told me about the "Arizona snowman", too, after I first posted a couple years ago, and I completely forgot til you just mentioned. So clever, those folks in Arizona :)

  33. Anonymous says

    sweetheart I know your pain! I am the original author of "The Waxing Nightmare" which is a rename of my post "HAIR YE HAIR YE" It was a joke forward that circled the world over, and I NEVER GOT CREDIT FOR IT. I felt like a literary Robert Kearns until finally I let it go. No matter how small, credit is due at its origin, not at the fakers. Again – i feel your pain – and I LOVE Mr. Melty.

  34. Megan says

    I'm glad you commented on my "melted snowman cookie" post on CrazyDomestic! I HATE when I see someone use someone else's idea and not give credit! It drives me crazy, even if it wasn't MY idea being hijacked! I'm going to add a link to your cookies on my post! Maybe we can get "Mr. Melty" back to his roots! Thanks so much for inventing him, he's adorable!

  35. Amanda says

    You and i have talked about this in length. You know that I know exactly how you feel. I can't tell you how many of my original ideas that I've done for Kaboose have ended up on a gazillion blogs, all with comments saying "oh you're so creative" knowing good and well they didn't come up with it. Gah! I love Mr Melty, and even though I keep seeing them around, I know they are yours. You are definitely justified in your feelings and i am really glad that you posted this. it should be public!

  36. Emily in the Kitchen says

    Fabulous idea – my teen daughter discovered your blog the other day. Then I was venturing on other blogs and saw where you had been given credit for Mr Melty (see if did work – good for you!) And poof, I'm back where the Teen showed me!

  37. Valerie Hart says

    Dear Meaghan! What a lovely cookie you designed! And good for you for standing up to tell us that YOU are the original designer! Now the people that promote this little guy can credit you and now link back to your blog!

    Happy Christmas!


  38. abnmpn says

    Just wanted to let you know I came to your blog today specifically for Mr Melty as I plan to make some for my 4th graders Christmas party on Friday. My boys loooove to look at your site and have requested lots of your goodies–the small, goofy monsters were a big Halloween hit this year! They can't talk me into drawing on marhsamallow yet–even with the awesome tutorials :)

  39. Chic Cookies says

    Oh, that's awesome! I love when kids get into the sweets and blogs and making things, especially boys. Hopefully they will lure in you to the edible marker marshmallow phenomenon. Once you start, you'll never go back to boring old plain ones!

  40. bridget {bake at 350} says

    It IS *especially* frustrating to see your own PICTURES posted elsewhere. And in particular, I hate that it happened to YOU because you are one of the most generous bloggers…and one of the most careful about crediting where your inspiration comes from.

    Mr. Melty will *always* be yours to me! โ™ฅ

  41. Anonymous says

    I'm new to your blog and LOVE it! Its so sad when people steal ideas and take credit for it.. its call plagiarisms isn't it? If its illegal in say research and books etc why is it not illegal on line with ideas, like your brilliant cookies?
    I second what all your comments have already said -YOU R NOT SMALL ! you are justified and its healthy to vent and shear your feelings and experience for you and for us! Just wondering why don't you watermark (is that the word) your photos so it can not happen again?
    in any event thank you for the inspiration I really enjoy your great ideas

  42. Anonymous says

    I also work in an industry where people are always copying one another…or at least accusing each other of doing so. The funny thing is…sometimes in the great big world, 2 people can actually have very similar ideas without ever having known each other.
    I know you created your snowman 2 years ago, but I can remember being a child (probably 25+ years ago) and a mom bringing a very similar cookie (not as fancy as yours, more like the marshmallow knock offs) to a holiday party in grade school.
    So as much as it can hurt, don't automatically assume anytime you see one of your ideas somewhere else that someone was trying to blatantly rip you off and steal your thunder.

  43. Chic Cookies says

    Yeah, you're definitely right Anonymous! It's almost impossible to trace sources of inspiration sometimes, especially in the cookie world where there are only so many ways to decorate something! Absolutely will take your advice for my general attitude. On the flip side, what caused the most drama, unfortunately, were clear cases of ripping off, either of stealing my actual photos (yes, time to watermark) or copying exactly what I did. Sigh.

  44. nikitabluewriter says

    Wow, I had no idea… yeah, I got this recipe from another blog, but I think she flat-out said that it wasn't her idea, and one of the commenters left this link – and lo and behold, these adorable cookies were your idea. YOU ARE BRILLIANT. I say it again… YOU ARE BRILLIANT!!

  45. Becky says

    I just discovered your blog, through an email sent to me with, guess what, a recreation of Mr. Melty. (This one did however credit you fully, making a less complicated version for the baking-impaired). I have to say this post strikes a chord. I've had this happen to me twice now with two of my own creations. One was a recipe, the other a crochet creation (that's what I do for a living). I like you have received endless inspiration from others blogs, and like you, always give credit. Sometimes I see an idea I think I can do better, and still give credit to the original. It hurts to see others get credit (or cash!) for your imagination. Fellow crafty friends have had the same issue. Vent on girlie, and count me as a new follower to your blog. Just beautiful!!!

  46. Chic Cookies says

    Oh, I love all the "brilliants"! :)
    And ugh, I'm always surprised at all the similar stories I hear! This happens all over the place, and I just don't get it. Misery in company? Or knowledge that there are so many of us who are honest and thoughtful!!

  47. amber says

    I just wanted to tell you what an inspiration you are as a "semi" cookie decorator myself :) I made some similar to these for Christmas, but I used oreos, and melted white chocolate! Not sure if this link will work, but I am posting a link to my facebook page where I mention you!! :)!/photo.php?fbid=175876632443595&set=at.162869160411009.33017.150356274995631.100000199752217&pid=436823&id=150356274995631

  48. Chic Cookies says

    amber, the link worked! I couldn't leave a comment there, so I'm leaving one here to say how awesome they are! Love the Oreo idea. I allllways love anything that involves a shortcut :)

  49. Rene' says

    These are the cutest little cookies I have ever seen!! You're so creative…. I'll always remember you are the baker and creator!

  50. I'm Not a Trophy Wife says

    hi there- visiting your blog from Colorado. Clicked on the icing recipe, clicked again and saw YOUR melting snowman. Maybe you can "set a trap." Create a new masterpiece (and somewhere in the fondant or icing, put your initials). Kinda how the author of the Arthur series (blanking on his name).. always put his children's names in the illustrated photos. It became as much fun to find the names of his children as it was to read the story. Anyway, you have talent and creativity and that will last a lifetime! I'm a new follower and I know I will NEVER be able to recreate mr. melty.

  51. Donna A says

    WOW…. Your creation is just amazing. Sad that others aren't willing to give you credit. But at least now your published and acknowledged as the original creator.

  52. Karen says

    I work for a woman who has an internet business and she also has been copied on her very creative ideas. I have seen her frustration but take it as a compliment that people think your idea so original that they want to imitate. I have never seen a cookie like yours and think it is adorable and brilliant! Keep up the creative thinking!

  53. Peithas says

    I know this is years later. but I just wanted you to know that I searched for the real melted snowman so I could “pin” it. :) Thanks for your work.

  54. I'd rather not say says

    This past year has been particularly stressful at the school where I teach. In December I wanted to help lift some spirits and happened upon your tutorial for “Mr. Melty.” What a great idea! I really didn’t have the time or energy to make everyone a cookie tray, but I could make 36 Mr. Melty’s and distribute them with a tag that said, “you may be feeling a bit melted now, but in another week you will be strong and powerful once again!”. And so I did. The cookies were well received and gave everyone a much needed lift. “I found the instructions on the internet!” I was happy to say to those who commented.
    One young lady told me she was going to make them with her children over the weekend. I was excited for her and happy to show her your tutorial. “Oh, you make the cookie dough?” she asked. “Can’t I just use the stuff you buy in the store in the tube?” Well, I don’t know. Maybe. I’ve never tried that. “Oh, you make the icing? Can’t you use the canned stuff?” “I don’t know. I haven’t tried that.”
    Perhaps it is not just creativity that is not recognized, but the effort that makes everything just a little special.
    I hope you got a laugh out of this story. I do every time I tell it.

  55. says

    This reminds me of Cinderella. You know how in the animated Disney version, the wicked stepmother trips the guy, and the glass slipper falls and breaks? And then Cinderella says, “…but you see, I have the other slipper.”

    I think your new photos of the snowmen are the “other slipper”. They look just like the original (the styling, the lighting, etc.) and they show that you are indeed the real princess…er, cookie creator!

    • meaghanmountford says

      Beautifully put Kathy! You totally win the award of best analogy. Plus, my daughter will LOVE that I’m Cinderella in this scenario. You rock, thank you!

  56. Frankie says

    I first seen the one with the marshmellow and really liked it. BUT, this one gives you more to make it look lika real melting snowman. Thank you you are so cool!

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