That MAY have all just changed. Last week I attempted to make sugar cookies with Hannah (age 4) and managed to make it all the way to cookies-in-the-oven without scolding, shouting or pulling my hair out.
I started while she was playing by measuring out the ingredients, eliminating the first of many frustrations. This included cracking the egg, softening the butter and putting all the containers away.
When I called her in I already had the stand mixer in place and the ingredients prepped. She was excited to be cooking and didn't notice the lack of opportunity to throw flour around the room.
I allowed her to pour, spoon and dump in the ingredients one at a time. She allowed me to take pictures.
Based on this idea from Gourmet Mom-On-The-Go, we split the dough into three pieces and colored one pink and one green, leaving one regular cookie color. Then Aunt Stacy came home and helped her roll out the dough. Note: It is MUCH easier to bake with kids when there is another grownup around. Especially Aunt Stacy. No, she is not for hire, she is MINE.
Then I stacked up all three colors and rolled them into a log. And Aunt Stacy took pictures.
We refrigerated the dough log for about half an hour. When I took it out of the fridge Hannah was amazed at the swirl inside the log of dough. Doing sugar cookies this way eliminated another stressful step for me, cookie cutters. I know, I'm not winning any mommy awards here, the cookie cutters are the most fun part. BUT my goal was baking with my daughter, in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. WIN.
The swirls really did look cool.
I will definitely be baking this way again with my kids. Low stress, yummy cookies, lots of (good) memories and great pictures. Not bad for one afternoon!
UPDATED: I didn't initially post the recipe that I used because, honestly... the texture was a bit off and I didn't want to throw anyone under the bus out here for all the internets to see. Then I found out that you shouldn't cook sugar cookies on stoneware or they turn out more like biscuits. Second batch was great! Annie, I knew you wouldn't fail me. I should have had more faith from the beginning. Here's the recipe.