If you follow the LHS Instagram account, you've probably noticed my love of baking with Eli. After he started preschool in September, I decided that we'd spend one of the half-day afternoons doing a special baking project, each week -- until baby comes, of course.
I let E decide every week what we should make, and it's usually as simple as "pie!!" or "cake!" but sometimes its "spooOooKy cookies!" and as luck would have it, I'd just gotten some adorable cutters from The Land of Nod.
We started out with this basic rolled Sugar Cookie recipe, which makes about one metric ton of cookie dough -- so be sure to make room in your freezer for huge balls of dough that you'll be rolling out until next Easter.
Last winter, I had Eli in a toddler-chefs class, and feel confident that he understands kitchen safety when it comes to using a mixer, or cracking eggs (and immediately washing his hands). I will say, that he enjoys sneaking bites of raw flour and sometimes salt, which is downright disgusting.
Baking with kids can be a little edgy, because as an adult, you know that baking is science, and one little mess-up can mean the whole batch is a goner -- and when you're using three sticks of organic butter, you really really want it to come out right.
My biggest suggestion is pre-measuring as much of the recipe as you possibly can. I used to let Eli do all the scooping directly into the mixer, but after a batch of chocolate cupcakes gone horribly awry, I tried this new method out and left plenty of other tasks for him to do.
After our dough had refrigerated for a couple hours we got down to business. It turns out that three year olds don't completely understand the concept of cut-out cookies (JUST LOOK AT ALL THAT WASTED SPACE), and since we had such a ridiculous amount of dough, I let E work on his own slab while I prepped the "real" dough.
I'm not usually much of a sugar cookie fan, but mannnn these were sooo good. We whipped up two basic frostings from butter and powdered sugar (eye-balled amounts), and one with added cocoa powder- both of which Eli applied generously (and often with his fingers like modeling clay). I've had a jar of mini-chocolate drops that we used for eyeballs, some edible eyes I picked up at a craft store and some pieces of stale candy corn that made perfect decorations -- but you could really use whatever you have on hand!
I absolutely love having this guy in the kitchen (dining room) with me, and from what I can tell he's very interested in cooking, baking and google-eyed cookies.
Cookie cutters c/o The Land Of Nod are available here!