I invited my grandchildren to come bake and decorate Christmas cookies in Nana’s kitchen yesterday. I don’t think I have to talk it up too much, because the looks on their faces pretty much tells you they had a good time. You can also see that their cookies came out just great! For a quick, fun video of the three of us making cookies together, go here. Or, for a how-to video showing the best way to roll out dough, go here.
I’d already made up the sugar cookie dough, rolled it out between sheets of baking parchment, and chilled it as the video here shows. Then the kids went to work cutting out the cookies using the cutters they personally chose from my collection. That’s Lizzie admiring the cookies just before we baked them.
The next step was to make the simple powdered sugar icings. The kids got to pick the colors and do all the mixing themselves, which they enjoyed a great deal. Since I prefer to minimize their exposure to synthetic food dyes, all of the ones we used came from fruits and other natural botanical colorants.
The next step was to set up the kids at a table with the icings, sprinkles, and cookies. Notice that they are working on sheets of baking parchment (makes for easier cleanup!). I also provided a spoon for each icing so the shades wouldn’t get mixed together as the same one was dipped into multiple bowls.
As they decorated the kids did a lot of sampling of the icings and sprinkles (especially Charlie), which is why I skip the synthetic dyes in the first place. At first they also tended to load on too much icing in too many colors, but when they saw that this resulted in a messy look, they started adding less. (I made a point of letting them work as independently as they could.) We picked out their best efforts and those are shown in the pic at top. Very appetizing, I’d say. (For some easy decorating tips, go here.)
If you’ve got a few extra hours in your schedule and some special little people in your family, consider letting them have a cookie baking and decorating party in your kitchen this holiday. It may mean a lot more than any gift you can buy.
Have a joyful, peaceful holiday everyone.