The most powerful glue to any family is shared experiences. Or frosting. Frosting is a good glue too.
This week, we are bringing the kids into the kitchen for a dose of geometry, fractions, and cookies. Who doesn’t like good old fashioned cut-out cookies?
Kids in the Kitchen – Episode II
In my house there is a recipe box that belonged first to my grandmother, then my mother, and now me. Each handwritten index card is complete with small stains from recipes gone by. Every blotch brings back memories and stories from past delights, leading the past to the present. I cherish the memories I have as much as I cherish that little yellowed box.
Baking with kids can be a bit of a learning curve, but the keyword is learning. Try not to fret on perfection and center on the fun of the experience. Knowing that the results of your experience will last much, much longer than the cookies themselves.
The Math Behind the Cookie
Allowing children the opportunity to measure ingredients leads to pride and ownership in a project. Get your liquid measuring cup out and ask them if they can identify the one-quarter mark. Can you say fractions? We are learning now! Encourage your kids to be creative with shapes. Give the cookies names and faces or theme the batch (letters, nature shapes, numbers, etc.). The world is your cookie. After the dough is formed ask them to roll spheres in their hands. Hey, there’s a geometry vocab word for you.
No gadgets are needed for this simple, fail-proof cut-out cookie recipe. Just dig in with your hands. An added bonus – these cookies freeze perfectly. It is always nice to have half a batch stored away for later.
- High-Quality Flour – Ever had cookies come out too crumbly or too soft? There are two common culprits (1) the protein level of the flour was inconsistent (2) the measurement was off – remember, the most accurate way to measure flour is by weight.
- Butter and Salt – Use a quality unsalted butter, as you will be adding salt to the dough. Table salt is fine, but sea salt is recommended for the best flavor.
- Share the Creative Challenge – Give each child their own bowl, ingredients, and spatula. They’ll spend more time enjoying the experience than fighting over who gets to pour the next ingredient.
- Science of Baking – Follow the recipe as close as you can. The results will be much better than if you “eyeball” it.
- Fun is the word of the day.