Happy Halloween! This a funny statement. We wish happiness for a day that is supposed to scare us. But, after all these years of being a bit skittish about Halloween, I am now embracing it. Maybe because there are little boys in my life. Maybe, because I now understand that it’s just fun and probably something in our nature that makes us want to dance with the dark side, with death, with graveyards. Or maybe because my blogger friend, Lorraine, of Not Quite Nigella goes so over the top with her Halloween party post (that I would, of course be invited to if I lived in Sydney, Australia) that she has convinced me to embrace it.
These ghost and bat sugar cookies are not really scary or gross, but they are fun. And, they are deliciously made with my favorite sugar cookie recipe and they were made (mostly) by three year old twin boys.
A Few Tips on Baking with Toddlers
1. Embrace the process; be patient.
2. Study the recipe ahead. Set EVERYTHING out in place, but not on the table you are going to work on.
3. If you are working with more than one child (well, first off bravo), know in advance who is going to do what and at the same time. While one is measuring out sugar in one bowl, another can be measuring out flour in another bowl.
4. Never take your eyes off of your little cooks because they will pour flour on their heads, followed by sugar.
5. The PROCESS of cooking is an unending learning experience for kids, in math, science, and in culinary skill. It’s not time wasted. Don’t attack this as a job to get DONE. Make this about a learning experience. This is a place kids can learn to count, measure, add, and subtract. They learn about volume, weights, and gravity. They learn team work. They learn competency.
6. Use very fresh farm eggs (or pasteurized) because kids will eat cookie dough.
7. Allow for extra time for clean up.
8. For this recipe, plan the baking over two days.
- Day 1: Dough.
- Day 2: Rolling, Baking.
- 1½ cups sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup sour cream
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- Confectioner’s sugar (or sprinkles)
- (raisins for eyes for ghosts)
- Cream butter, gradually add sugar. Once mixed add sour cream.
- Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes
- Add eggs one at a time. Add Vanilla. Sift dry ingredients together including nutmeg and salt. Add in a little at a time.
- Chill thoroughly.
- Divide the dough by four, and wrap each individually.
- Work with one piece of dough at a time, leaving the rest in refrigerator.
- Flour surface and when using cooking cutter, pull dough away from cutter, as this is soft dough.
- Roll out, cut into desired shapes. Sprinkle with sugar, or decorate accordingly.