cookies

Why You Shouldn't Buy Cookie Dough.

We've all at one time or another bought those premade cookie dough packages. There are so many different brands and combinations of cookie dough, it's tempting to just grab one on your way past the yogurt section. 

By the way, how convenient for the cookie dough to be right next to the yogurt. They know we'll buy yogurt for our kids. They know the psychology behind justifying a cookie dough purchase because we have yogurt in our cart. 

 

I think we should stop buying the cookie dough.  

No, not because it's insanely unhealthy and fatty and not on the Trim Healthy Mama plan.  

Not because it's the lazy way to make a batch of cookies either. I mean, who doesn't love to just "tear and bake" cookies?! It's a lovely invention, really. 

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The truth is, when we constantly cut corners in our kitchens, we aren't giving our families the best.  

I won't even expound on the truth behind prepackaged items and frozen meals. But, consider the cut corners and how we are missing out on giving our families meals prepared with love. Meals that were well thought out; the precious time that was taken to make that pot pie, that casserole, or that incredible batch of gooey chocolate chip cookies.

 

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One of my most prized possessions is that recipe card. It's my late grandmothers recipe for chocolate chip cookies. I've made these cookies probably over 200 times since we married ten years ago. I used to make it exactly as written. I've burned several batches, especially in the early days. I've dug countless rogue eggshells out of the batter. One time I misread and put too much baking soda and not enough sugar. (Talk about disgusting). I've since modified the recipe to what I feel is a level of cookie perfection. 

 

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The point is, we need to get back to what a kitchen used to be. A kitchen full of fresh smells (not artificial Yankee Candle smells), flour-covered countertops, and a sink full of dirty pot and pans. We need to enjoy our children in our kitchens. We need to show them how to cook, bake, measure, crack an egg, boil water, clean up, and do it all over again several hours later. We need to share recipes with them, teach them how to follow directions, and to always be mindful of hot burners and ovens.  

We can't always be the perfect homemakers. Thank goodness for shortcut meals and packaged cookie dough during these times. But, we can be mindful to do what we can to make homemade goodness with love for our families.  

Besides, tear and bake cookies can't even compete with the taste of the ones that make your kitchen a mess.  

Love, Alicia  

{Almost} Mess-free, kid-friendly [Easter] cookie decorating!

There are a few times a year where I mix up some quick sugar cookie dough and let my kids go nuts with holiday themed cookie cutters. The mess that ensues in these moments is mind-boggling [I swept this morning for almost a half hour total]. But my kids and I have so much fun and they love decorating the cookies once they cool.

I've tried making my own cookie icing, using cake icing in a tub and various food coloring to get the desired various rainbow of colors needed. I've also put icing in bowls and given them spreaders or toothpicks or anything that would aid in cookie decorating and it always ended up being a gigantic mess and a bunch of smeared cookies...although, they were still delicious.:)

I've also let them use Pampered Chef icing dispensers and they always squeezed too hard and the icing explosion that immediately occurred was frustrating.

This time, I brainstormed and came up with a very budget friendly, kid-friendly, and virtually mess-free way to decorate cookies. Here's what you will need:

Wilton's cookie icing (a bottle or two) several zip-loc sandwich bags food coloring (I used Wilton's gel coloring knife scissors

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First, I poured some of the cookie icing into each zip-loc bag. (it's faster to dispense if you take the lid off).

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Next, I took a butter knife and scooped out a small amount of food coloring to deposit inside the bag.

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Then, I pressed my fingers around the knife while it was still inside the bag to remove all of the food coloring. Love this, because I am not ending up with food-coloring stained hands and fingers.

Simply remove air from the bag and seal it. Use your fingers to "mix" the coloring into the icing.

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When it's fully mixed, take the tiniest, and I mean tiny, of snips at the bottom corner of the bag with your scissors. The point is to keep the kids as mess free as possible too, so the tinier the hole, the better.

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And, as you can see, it comes out in thin little lines. It's not runny or clumpy, so the kids can really be deliberate about their decorating.

In addition, I put their cookies in small plastic containers to contain the mess even more. It saved my tablecloth and my sanity. :)

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Here are some pics of them enjoying the cookie decorating...

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Oh, and Miss O just enjoyed the consumption of the cookies. Decorating wasn't her cup 'o tea.:)