My sister has five girls and I adore my nieces. My 3 year old niece, Lauren, has two little twin sisters who since turning a year and half and learning to walk have been promoted to official twisters. Scott and I made a goal of trying to watch Lauren once a week to let her have some “Lauren” time and actually spend some time playing with toys without having four smaller hands snatch them away. When you babysit, you always feel that urge to have to entertain them. So my sister gave us some leftover Christmas crafts and this visit we attempted to bake and decorate our own home-made gingerbread cookies.
The party included:
Lauren’s friend, HB, stopped by for some playground and coloring book fun but left before the culinary lesson began. Here’s Master Baker Scott showing a preview of our final creations. I may have to explain Scott’s cookie a little. That’s actually supposed to be a gummy heart in the middle and the “A” is for me…his nickname for me. Well, by nickname, I mean, my real first name. And, no, I will never divulge it.
The kit came with a really cute little booklet of instructions. We were a little waylaid by the fact that you had to add a few ingredients to the kit of your own. Honey. I didn’t own honey, I actually don’t like honey. So, just be forewarned to check the back of these cute kits before attempting at home. We mixed the ingredients together and let it sit in the fridge for half an hour. I followed the directions but the dough was a little crumbly and weird looking at first. It began to take a more doughy texture after we had worked on it a bit. Here’s Lauren who learned to to knead it herself.
Now, you may notice above a spray can of Pam nonstick cooking spray rolling around. I couldn’t for the life of me find a rolling pin (hmmm, seems the roommate left it at someone’s house)…so I had to improvise. Washed the outside of the Pam can and sprinkled it with flour. Hey, it worked pretty decently.
3 year olds are a great age. Lauren caught on and was able to roll up the dough, roll it out, and then cut out a shape with the cookie cutters all by herself. Her favorite was the heart shaped cookies. After we had assembled most of the cookies, I left her with a little bit of dough to play with like play-do (Hey, I just got the name….hah, it makes sense now) and went to put the cookies in the oven. But she kept running to the kitchen with more heart cookies that she was just milling out by the second.
After fifteen minutes in the oven, out came beautiful gingerbread cookies, all shapes and sizes.
We kind of forgot to explain to the 3 year old that these cookies were for the joy of decorating. Because after we down all the gels and sprinkles in front of her and then brought the cookies to the table, she reached out and started to grind on the freshly baked cookies. I think Scott and I startled her when we snatched them out of her hands and said “No.” Ooops. We then showed her that you could decorate them first and then she went to town and had a blast. But after that, she refused to take a bite of any cookies, even after we had decorated them all. My sister arrived and we all tried to show Lauren that you could eat the cookies. I think I ate like three. But, nope…she wouldn’t touch them. She just carried them around with pride.
The gingerbread cookie kit came with little eyes to put on your gingerbread men. I love that Lauren made an all-seeing Christmas tree. Magical.
Hey, I have some amazing pictures from a children session on the Big Island. Look forward to that post and pictures coming sometime next week.