Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Cookie baking here

This little girl has had MORE than ENOUGH cookies in the last couple days. 
She has also learned the fine art of licking a spatula, beater, or spoon.
She even knows how to TRY and reach over and re dip when she has licked it clean.  
She also will point to the mason jar of chocolate chips and say demand, "chip."

And she knows how to dress for Christmas cookie baking...doesn't everyone wear their extremely girly girl pink boots, pj pants, and WHITE shirt top.

This year all three of my kiddos were itching to be involved in the adventure. 
So I strategically picked cookies that had multiple ways to help. 
First, the boys spent time selecting cookie cutters for the cut out cookies that were on our list (this required sorting through big bins of cutters, which is always fun).  They did this while I made the kiss cookie dough (otherwise known as cyclops cookies in my house growing up).
Then I had them unwrap kisses while the kiss cookies baked.  While they were unwrapping, I made the batter for the m&m cookies.  They took breaks to put the kisses on the baked cookies.   While waiting for more cookies to bake they unwrapped candy canes for future candy cane cookies.  And then they placed the M&Ms on the baked M&M cookies as they came out of the oven.

For the cut out cookies I decided to have each kiddo come over one at a time so things would be more happy instead of mama snapping at everyone for everything.  Henry began, then Sydney came and gave it a try, and we finished with the patient Mr. Charley.  It ended with the boys playing with some leftover dough for a good 30-45 minutes.  Hilarious to me.  Play dough never lasts that long.  

I love baking with my kids. 
I know not everyone loves baking and not everyone thinks they can do it. 
But, for me, I love little hands, excited to dump and stir.  I like that there is usually a yummy end product, chatting can happen, and I feel like I am accomplishing something while focusing on my kids.

I have learned that prepping materials before hand and having them at an arms reach so you aren't digging around in cupboards helps.  

I have learned that finding things that your child can do independently so that you can hand off a task and they can feel proud helps (unwrapping items, putting cupcake liners in the pan...etc) helps.

I have found that having the kitchen cleaned up prior to baking helps.

I have found that picking cookies that are somewhat easy to throw together helps.  

Henry loves to roll dough balls and both boys would have loved to measure and put together the dough, but knowing what my sanity can handle and what my boys moods can handle means sometimes they unwrap kisses and I make the dough ...and sometimes they make the dough too...or sometimes I bake when they are in bed ;)

Holiday baking is a family affair and as they grown I hope they still desire to do this with me. 
I remember decorating cookies with my mom and brothers and sisters. 

And not only do I value the task of Christmas cookie baking, I also value the choice of cookies. 
My mom doesn't have to bake our favorites anymore, because I am carrying on the tradition and baking up many of the favorites that she made.  

What cookies are the "Christmas isn't Christmas without these cookies" at your house?


MOMOF2 said...

Good morning! I have some M&M's that need to go in a cookie or I will eat the whole bag. What is your M&M cookie recipe?

Crystal said...

My mom always makes this yummy peanut butter candy - kind of a cross between a fudge and a candy. We always make buckeyes and peanut butter cookie cups with reese's in them. So good! I love baking with my kids too!

Crystal said...

p.s. - can you tell that peanut butter is one of the five basic food groups in my house? LOL


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