Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Advent Activity: Making Christmas Cookies

Tonight we had a very sweet, very colorful, very messy Christmas cookie party for the kiddos. I had never done one of these before and it was hysterical. What, you mean you give a bunch of four-year-olds nothing but sugar for two hours and screaming chaos will ensue? Hmmm. Should have seen that one coming. It was great though, and worth the mess. Earlier today, Big B and I talked about what it means to be a good host. I couldn't help a bit of beaming as I overheard him offer a guest some refreshment.I made these chefs' hats for the littluns. I taped the short ends of two sheets of copy paper together, accordian-folded it, cuffed the bottom inch and a half or so, and taped the seam shut. We made old-fashioned sugar cookies, molasses sugar cookies, and chocolate cookies for decorating, and a simple sugar cookie icing. We had several batches made and a ton of dough when the kids started arriving. The decorating table kept growing, with additions of sprinkles, toppings and cookie cutters from many friends. Each cookie had its own unique flair. And then there was the ultimate cookie, the sprinkle pizza. This was a collaboration that, although left to its own untimed development in the oven, came out tasting delicious. The 'crust' was made from Noni's cream-cheese sugar cookie dough, and the toppings...well, it was a free-for-all. I had planned to make ornament dough and send our friends home with hand-painted creations. I'm glad I didn't have time; one more activity might have nudged the happy partygoers right over the stimulation edge. I did have my cookie-making staples on hand: my favorite cookie sheets, parchment paper, and cooling racks.

My all-time favorite holiday cookie recipe:

HOW TO MAKE FRESH GINGER COOKIES
INGREDIENTS:

2-1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2-4 T. FRESH grated ginger
3/4 c. softened butter
1 c. + 1 c. white sugar
1/4 c. Grandma's Molasses
1 egg

Combine flour, soda and salt. In a separate bowl, beat fresh ginger, butter, and 1 cup of the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in molasses and egg. Gently fold in dry ingredients until just combined. Chill for at least one hour. Preheat oven to 350F. Roll dough into balls and roll them in the other cup of sugar. Place 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. In my oven these take about 12-13 minutes per batch; edges should just be starting to brown, centers slightly soft. Let them rest on the cookie sheets and then remove to racks to cool. DEE-LISH.Big B has been asking every day since we unpacked the Christmas decorations if there are cookies in our Santa cookie jar. Now I can finally and happily say yes. Here's hoping your cookie jar is full.

4 comments:

jodyrow said...

looks yummy and FUN! FUN! FUN!

SwedeLife said...

Oh how we wish we were there!!!

The Alchemist said...

Okay - I have to laugh. I hosted a cookie decorating party for bunch of 1-3 year olds . . . we started with already decorated cookies! We really are birds of a feather. I'll have to keep reading (and post my photos from our cookie party).

Jennifer

The Alchemist said...

Okay - not decorated . . . but pre-cooked. See what happens when you type under the influence of a two-year old.