Ok, so this might not be a craft strictly speaking. I suppose it belongs more under the bake section. But none the less, your kids will still have loadsa fun messing in the flour and butter goop, and cookie cutting. (all whilst still stimulating their tactile senses)
Kids entertained AND stimulated?? Double WIN!
Its a plain and simple vanilla almond cookie, decorated in honour of Valentines Day. Perfect little gift for daddy or even your tot’s teacher! Or just for munching straight away.And some nice fun with your little darlings. More WINS!
What you’ll need:
One appropriately-cladded little baker.
Dont you just heart her cute lil’ apron! Watch this space for a nice how-to.
-cookie dough (store bought or homemade)
-red, white and pink fondant
-largish heart shaped cookie cutter
-smaller heart shaped cookie cutter or whatever shape you’d prefer. Its your cookie, you can pimp it anyway you like.
The recipe I use is quite easy, and pretty much flop-proof. Although Im yet to test that theory out on my friend who swears shes a “flop” when it comes to baking. (FYI, I dont believe her)
Vanilla-Almond Sugar Cookies recipe
3 c cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 c sugar
225grams (salted) butter- cut into pieces
3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp pure almond extract
-Preheat oven to 180’c.
-Combine the flour and baking powder, set aside.
-Cream the sugar and butter together.
-Mix in the egg and extracts.
-Slowly sift in the flour mixed with the baking powder and beat just until combined.
-Finally knead the dough together with your hands as you scoop it out of the bowl for rolling.
-Roll on a floured surface to about 1/4inch or 3/4cm thick (this just reduces the chances of ur cookie cracking n breaking during baking sheet removal and decorating. Which with a tot is very likely).
I recommend rolling out onto waxpaper/parchment and cutting your shapes there as well, as it may make the transfer onto baking sheet a bit easier. See if that works for u, if not, then nevermind.
-Once all rolled out, let your little cake boss loose on the dough, and cut into heart shapes.(Or whatever shape floats your boat).
This is much like play dough, except way tastier. (As history has taught my DD- watch this space for that story!)
I recommend placing the cut out shapes that are parchment into freezer for 2-3min- once more this is just to help the transfer process.
-Place on Cook ‘n Spray lined baking sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes.
-Let it sit 2-3 minutes on the sheet, then just gently lifting the parchment, cookies will magically come loose. Like this:
-Transfer to a cooling rack.
Once cool, u can start the decorating process. (It is recommended to bake these cookies well before the time you ask you ask your tot to come “join in on this baking fun decorating bit”. This so your tot, who has the attention span of a puppy, won’t get distracted by Dora the explorer, abandon ship ‘n leave you to do your own damn decorating.)
This is point where u can go wild (or as conservative as you want), and do your own thing really. Fondant is pretty damn easy to work with. In fact, unless you failed the play doughclass 101 back in creche, you cannot mess this up. So, actually your tot should be a pro at this really. You’ll be done no time, just leave it to her! (If she could just maybe stop helping Dora stop Swiper from swiping!)
Ensure you have a clean working surface once more, for rolling your fondant out. Dust the area lightly with your cornstarch or flour to ensure fondant doesnt stick to surface.
Starting with you lightest colors first, use the same cookie cutter you did for the cookie dough, on your fondant.
Go ahead and experiment with different designs, or better yet, let your tot lead the way – thats if shes still with you at this point. These were mine. Errrr, I mean our’s 🙂
(Not exactly my finest work- but, eh, was busy getting supper sorted and trying to convince my little Dora fan that it was safe to return to the kitchen for her supper, as I was not going to
enslave enlist her with anynore baking tasks.)
By the by,in case your thinking this is way too much effort to corral your sticky tot into the kitchen and bake with you, did you know that baking with your child is a great way to stimulate his/her language development? Yip!For more tips on how to develop your kids language, go to this lovely little site here.
Getting up to anything crafty with ur kids for valentines this year? Please share! Would love to know!