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Cookies, Cookies, Cookies

I don’t know any activity that children enjoy as much as baking cookies. But for a busy mother, the mess of flour, cookie dough, and frosting can be daunting. Here are some tricks that I have found which simplify the whole process:

  1. First, buy a lot of small (1″ to 1½”) cookie cutters. Larger ones are difficult for small hands to handle and the finished cookies are really too big for little ones to eat, too.
  2. Second, either buy ready-made sugar cookie dough in the refrigerator section of your supermarket or make your own and roll it into 2″ by 12″ rolls, wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate until hard. (I often make a large recipe, divide it into 12″ rolls and freeze it – make sure you’ve double wrapped it in plastic wrap followed by foil – and then take out what you need at a time.)
  3. Cut the dough into ½-inch slices and have the child press a cookie cutter into each one. You can use both the cut out cookie and the part that is left with the design in the center to stack onto plain slices.

Instead of frosting, try these two ideas:

  • Colored sugars are now available in dozens of colors. Have the child sprinkle the sugar on top of the cookies before baking. When they’re done, the cookies already look festive without the hassle of frosting each one.
  • You can make sandwich cookies by frosting the plain slices with either jam or frosting and placing the cut-out slice on top. The design will show through the hole in the cut-out ones.