Baking with Kids – Fun Cookie Recipe

Candy Cane Cookies

Image by janielianne via Flickr

Cooking with kids can be fun and create memories for years to come. Remember when the kids kept snatching cookie dough from the refrigerator? You finally had to put a toothpick in the dough with a note that said to not even think about eating it.

Here is a cookie recipe that will be tempting, either in the dough form (which they shouldn’t eat) and in the baked form (which will be hard to resist).

This recipe lists red food coloring as an ingredient. You may want to avoid using artificial food coloring by using natural products. You can  purée or juice a beet to get a very effective red dye. Mix a drop of this juice into the dough to make it pink or add a little more for red. Just keep your fingers protected unless you want red fingers for the next few days. You can also use a little pomegranate juice.

This cookie recipe comes from the childrens cookbook, Cooking Around the Calendar with Kids – Holiday and Seasonal Food and Fun by Amy Houts.

Holiday Candy Cane Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
1 egg
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon red food coloring
1/4 crushed peppermint candy
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Children can help measure butter, shortening, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, almond extract, and crack egg into large mixing bowl. Children can mix with large wooden spoon or adult can beat with electric mixer until well mixed.

Note: there is no baking powder in this recipe.
Stir in flour and salt. Divide dough in half. Add red food coloring (or alternative)  to one half of dough. Pinch off about a teaspoon of red dough. Children can shape into about a 4-inch rope by rolling back and forth on lightly floured board or cloth. Repeat with plain dough. Set side-by-side and twist together. Place on ungreased baking sheet, curving one end down to form handle of cane.

Repeat process, placing candy canes about 2-inches apart on baking sheet. Bake for 9 minutes, until very light brown. Meanwhile, mix peppermint candy and sugar. Sprinkle on cookies right when they come out of the oven. Then remove to cooling rack.

Yield: about 4 dozen cookies

Happy baking!

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4th of July Dessert

New England.

Image via Wikipedia

As much of our country’s early history dates back to the New England states, I wanted to share a recipe from this area taken from Amy Houts’ new book, Cooking Around the Country With Kids: USA Regional Recipes and Fun Activities. Her new book just came back from design and layout and it’s looking fabulous!

I think you will believe this recipe is fabulous, too!

Boston Creme Pie

1 yellow cake mix
1 (3 oz.) box instant vanilla pudding

Chocolate Glaze:
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons hot water,
approximately

Grease and flour two 9-inch round pans. Children can help measure, mix, and bake yellow cake according to package directions. Cool.
Mix vanilla pudding according to package directions. Children can spread pudding on one cake, then top with second cake.

For glaze:
Melt butter in a pan’ stir in sugar, cocoa, and vanilla. Add 1 tablespoon water, then one teaspoon at a time until the proper consistency. Spread glaze on top, letting it drip down the sides. Traditionally, the top is glazed, not the sides. Store in refrigerator.

Makes 1 two-layer cake

Enjoy the 4th!

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