Sunday, January 02, 2011

Out Of My Comfort Zone: Sugar Cookies With A Preschooler

So, you remember how I hate playing games with preschoolers?  I am not a fan of cooking with them either.  It's not the mess (like a tornado hit) or the speed (a turtle's pace) or even the misshapen results (sad, mutated desserts)... ok, it's a little bit of all of those PLUS they can't stop putting their fingers in everything.  Open up the flour, fingers go in.  Open up the butter, fingers go in.  Open up the sugar and they about put their entire faces in!  And the whole "don't eat raw eggs" admonition doesn't seem to make sense to them.

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.

61 comments:

  1. Oh' my screw decorated frosted detailed cookies... I think these are the cutest cookies EV-AH! love them, so glad you linked them up. Jen

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  2. Awesome shots - glad you were willing to give it another go with the kids in the kitchen! Abby loves to help out, and has gotten good at it. Does require patience though...

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  3. How cute to use different colors for layers! They're very fun!

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  4. I totally responded to this on my phone. Blah. Anyway, was thinking that if you're brave, (muahahahha), you could roll the edges in sprinkles. You know, the glitter of baking :)

    Love how the red is pink-ish... I'm sure Hannah loved that too :)

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  5. I too am driven nuts by baking with kids quite often, especially sugar cookies! I did make tie dye sugar cookies with my 3 year old and that went surprisingly well, and now I will have to try making these...they look so fun to make, and eat :)

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  6. I love cookies like this. Icing and shapes are overrated ;) Though the sprinkles are a great idea. Cute pictures!

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  7. Julie saw the last picture and said, "Look! I LIKE those cookies!"

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  8. These are so cute...I may just try this for Valentines!!!

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  9. Saw your project linked up over at Skip to My Lou "I Made It Mondays" and just had to come by. Adorable cookies! I love the colors and the fact that there are three colors and three "girls" that worked on them!

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  10. OK, I give up. You're in my google reader so I don't miss anything. Cool blog now I'll go vote.

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  11. What a fun idea! Looks good and yummy! Plus you crack me up with your not enjoying baking with preschoolers. We had some difficulty at Christmas and the traditional cookies turned out a little funny tasting...

    Would love for you to come link up!
    http://gigglesglitzandglam.blogspot.com/2011/01/glam-party-9.html

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  12. How fun are these???!!! I love it! And what a great helper you have!

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  13. They look super yummy and Hannah is so adorable !

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  14. I am loving these cookies and can think of so many neat color combos for various events and holidays. I thank you for sharing and I'm going to become a new follower - your blog is adorable! Come see me and follow, too, if you like, at:
    http://sceneofthegrime.blogspot.com

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  15. I would do this as a craft project since no one in my house likes sugar cookies, but anything with food coloring is a WIN. ;) Also, i LOVED rereading your post on playing games w/ preschoolers - i can SO relate. And you tell it beautifully. Thanks!

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  16. Thanks for sharing this! I'm going to have supplies ready so we can make these fun cookies when my son gets home from school!

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  17. Thanks for all your comments and suggestions! I'm definitely trying sprinkles next time.

    If I didn't respond to you by email it's because you haven't enabled your blogger account to allow it. Definitely fix that so blog authors can reply to your comments! Here's how.
    http://flexibledreams.blogspot.com/2010/02/bloging-tips-part-2.html

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  18. Those are AWESOME cookies!! I always have good intentions of cooking with my preschooler, but it's SO much harder than it seems!! Good job!

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  19. These are spectacular. Like, I don't even have a preschooler and would still make them for my self. To eat. Alone. Love you blog! And am your newest follower :)
    http://rosyredbuttons.blogspot.com

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  20. Awesome Cookies!! I must try these!!
    Stef
    www.itsallinmyheadstefsblog.blogspot.com

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  21. Ah these look so cute and scrummy! Fabulous. Also, I have to say, I LOVE visiting your site: everytime I see your profile photo, it makes me smile!!! ;-)

    Thanks for linking up to Kids Get Crafty!

    Maggy x

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  22. oh my goodness!!! my daughter is going to flip! how fun!!!

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  23. I am making these with my toddler for sure! she would LOVE it.
    I gave you a blog award...just visit my blog to accept:)
    -Amanda @
    thepaisleycupcake[dot]blogspot[dot]com

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  24. Oh this is so cool~! I can hardly wait to see my grandson, Ben age 4 ~ so we can make these cookies..I like your idea of keeping it simple..no cookie cutters, no letting them measure and spilling flour, sugar ect all over..
    This is a Tiggeriffic idea..good work~!
    ta ta for now from Iowa....

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  25. You are so right, it's the fingers going into everything at lightning speed that really makes it a bit of a dreaded task to bake with the little ones. When I'm feeling really daring, I let all three of my little girls up at the counter to "bake". I have to talk myself through it and send them to naps immediately after so I can recover! Thanks for the swirly dough idea - I think my girls would LOVE it!!

    Stef

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  26. How fun! What a great idea to do with kids. I will have to give you a try. Thanks for linking up again!!!

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  27. Super cute!!! Thanks so much for linking these up to gettin' crafty on hump day! :)

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  28. These are way cute...my preschoolers will love this. I think I will make it educational too! blue and yellow make what? red and blue makewhat? I can't wait to try it!

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  29. These look great. I think I'll definitely have to make these for a girls' slumber party this weekend.

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  30. I found you at Fireflies and Jellybeans and am your newest follower. What a great idea for sugar cookies, which we love at our house. I would love to have you check out my blog: thefarmgirlrecipes.blogspot.com and follow me back! Thanks

    The Farm Girl

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  31. Fun and cute cookies! And your little one is ADORABLE!

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  32. Can't wait to make these with my grandboys. Thanks

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  33. Oh, I love this idea, and you could change the color for any season/holiday!

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  34. LOVE IT!! And they came out so pretty!

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  35. These are so great, and so easy! LOVE them. Thanks for submitting to M&T Spotlight!

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  36. Those look brilliant. I'm so with you on cooking with kids in the kitchen. Tried to make gingerbread men with my 5yo yesterday. She fell in love with one of the eggs and decided that it was her brother and she was going to make him a comfy bed in her bedroom. Which is super cute but while I was chasing her around to reclaim the egg before it broke the cookies in the oven burnt :(

    Then I made more gingerbread men to replace the burned ones and had to sacrifice her brother eggy. Oh the tears!

    All this trauma because I decided to give out cookie bags instead of lolly bags at *her* birthday party on Sunday.

    Things us mamas do.....

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  37. These are so awesome--color, fun factor AND kid friendly. I can't wait for my granddaughter, Morgan, to make them together.

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  38. these look so fun! definitely book marking these to make with my crazy kid!

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  39. These are awesome! Thanks for sharing ~ please stop by and visit sometime!

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  40. Love these!!! You should add it to my Blog Hop that just started today! http://www.localfunforkids.com/home/2011/1/6/fun-for-kids-friday-blog-hop.html

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  41. What fun...stress free fun is the best.

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  42. THese look so yummy and fun to do with the kids! Thanks for sharing and linking to Fantabulous Friday!

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  43. How cute! We are going to have SO much fun doing this!
    Thanks for linking up to Making It With Allie! I can't wait to see what you have for next week!
    AllieMakes.Blogspot.com

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  44. These are sooo adorable! My daughter saw them and wanted to know why we DON'T make Pink girly cookies! I think she forgot that we made chocolate peppermint ones for Christmas but I may have to make some prettier ones. Thanks for sharing with the Pink Hippo Party!

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  45. What a fun idea!!! I love it!

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  46. How fun! And what a cute helper! Love it!

    Thanks for linking up to Craftify It Thursday!
    Hope your having a great weekend!
    Jennifer

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  47. wow those are DARLING... what a fab idea. Thanks for sharing at a crafty soiree. i'm your newest follower ( -"
    malia
    www.yesterdayontuesday.com

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  48. wow I love these they are so colourful. I was after one of these recipes too! please feel free to add it to our weekly blog hop which we run every monday. here is this weeks! http://monkeyingaround1.blogspot.com/2011/01/rainbow-fish.html

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  49. Happy New Year!! We would like to be friends with you! Follow us on http://travelwithmichael.blogspot.com/

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  50. Loved this idea so much that my Hannah and I made them yesterday! They are pretty yummy too!
    http://handsalwayscreating.blogspot.com/2011/01/rainbow-roll-cookies.html

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  51. These look so cute! Great job! Thanks for linking up for Friday Favorites!

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  52. So I am so extremely interested in these awesome cookies!! Did you refrigerate them before you rolled them out? And probably a dumb question but is that plastic wrap that you rolled them out in? I definitely want to make these sometime!!

    http://alittlechangesalot.blogspot.com/

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  53. Cooking with preschoolers is a challenge for sure...my little one always wants to help. The cookies are pretty! Love how you did that!

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  54. These are so cool! And you were so smart doing all the measuring first. I used to bake with my nieces and nephews and wish I would have thought of that :)

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  55. love it! i just wonder at what stage you tint the dough? dry or wet?
    kristenduke@gmail.com

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  56. hey! i'm featuring these today!

    www.smallfineprint.com

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  57. Oh my gosh.. .how fun are these? I know my kids would love this one! Thanks so much for sharing, and linking up at For the Kids Fridays!

    :)rachel at SunScholars.blogspot.com

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  58. Still haven't tried these yet, but just added them to my 12 days of Christmas Goodie List! I am going to try red, green and another color! Should be FUN!

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