Both of my kids really enjoy being in the kitchen, but I have to say I don’t bake or cook with them nearly as much as I would like. Kids in the kitchen can definitely make the whole process take a lot longer and it tends to get a lot messier, but when I’m feeling especially patient and have the time, I invite them to kitchen to help whip something up. It always ends up being rewarding and fun for all of us and I remind myself that I really should do it more often! My son especially loves to help, even if it’s just mixing in the cheesy powdery stuff for our Annie’s mac and cheese. So, I made these easy, sturdy, simple sugar cookies with him recently. The dough is hearty enough to stand up to little hands constantly touching it, and the recipe is easy enough that you won’t mess it up or lose track while
yelling suggesting that perhaps they refrain from eating all of the raw dough before you can even roll out one cookie! but I digress…
after all, who could resist cooking with this face?
So here’s the recipe…
The amount of cookies this makes obviously depends on what size cookie cutter you are using. We got about 24 large (1.5″- 2″) heart and star cookies from this batch.
3 cups of all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup sugar
2 sticks salted butter (this should be cold and cut into small pieces)
1 tsp of vanilla
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Combine the flour and baking powder. Next, beat the butter and sugar together in a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla until mixed well. Then add the flour and baking powder gradually, mixing until just combined and making sure to scrape the sides of the bowl to ensure there are no pockets of dry flour hanging around in the dough. Scoop the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it together a bit before rolling.
The fun part (obviously!) is choosing the shapes to cut the cookies into. We went with a classic… hearts and stars. Line your baking sheets with some parchment paper so they’re ready to go. then, on a floured surface, roll the dough out to about 1/4″ thick, cut your shapes, and lay them on your prepared pans. Sometimes, I throw the pans in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes just to firm the dough up a bit. Especially if those little fingers have been “over-handling” the dough making it all warm and mushy. You really need it to be firm to hold the shape well.
Before popping them in the oven, you can add some sprinkles, or sanding sugar, or both!
Bake for 10-12 minutes and then cool on a wire rack. If you’re feeling especially daring, you can whip up some royal icing and go all out with the decorating, but I usually just stick with some cute sprinkles and call it a day!
These are great to bring over somewhere and your little ones will be so proud that they helped make them. I can always use a good reminder to get into the kitchen with the kiddos more often!