Monday, February 21, 2011

How are you feeling today?



This was hands down the funnest activity I ever did with my kids on a vacation day. My kids spent close to three hours creating animals, muppets and Picasso styled people. For anyone who knows my Three Little Monkeys, you will know that this is nothing short of a miracle.  
This is a great activity for a snow day or vacation day- all you need is a batch of sugar cookies, royal icing, lollipop sticks (optional) and lots of candies. (Because if all else fails you can just eat the candy!) Food markers are fun if you have them, but not necessary. You can really use your imagination here, and its fun to see the things that the kids come up with. 

Rolled Sugar Cookies
  • 1 1/2 cups butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond or lemon extract (optional)

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour or overnight. Or if you are like me, and decide last minute to make cookies, you can flatten the dough, wrap in plastic wrap, and freeze for about a half hour.
Preheat oven to 400° F (200° C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter or large glass. Gently insert a lollipop stick into the side of each cookie. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.



For sugar cookies that keep their sharp shape, it helps to freeze the cookies after you shape them. When I make sugar cookies, I have a cycle of cookie sheets going from the table > to the freezer > to the oven. The first pan should freeze for about 15 minutes before baking, and then you can start the cycle from there.  If you freeze the cookies, they need to bake for 8 minutes, not 6.


Royal Icing

  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 egg whites, beaten

  • In a bowl, sift together confectioners' sugar and cream of tartar. Using electric mixer, beat in 2 beaten egg whites for about 5 minutes or until mixture is thick enough to hold its shape.

To Decorate:
We divided the recipe for royal icing into 4 colors. ( I iced the cookies the night before so that they would be dry for the kids to decorate on top of the icing.) Place a sandwich size ziploc bag inside a large glass, and fold the sides of the bag over the top of the glass. Fill each bag with desired amount of icing, and food coloring. Zip close and hand it over to the nearest Monkey to squish (carefully) until the color is even. Twist the top of the bag to force the icing down to the corner. Snip off a really small corner, and start decorating!
We used leftover white and black fondant for the eyes, but you can really use anything- sprinkles, laffy taffy, candy buttons etc. 


8 comments:

  1. You make normal mothers look bad... you are amazing!

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  2. LOL, this is called saving my sanity so the kids don't burn the house down :)

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  3. Is possible to be all those in one long day

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  4. these are awesome!! I love that you did them with your kids thats always when its most fun:)

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  5. Such a fun project. It may be for kids; but, I know one adult in Maryland who could spend hours making cookie faces too...

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  6. these are just too cute!! love your blog!

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  7. Adorable. I made cookies with my kids and they didn't look like this!

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  8. Oh no, my kids didnt make the actual cookies pictured here. The kid at heart in me made them :) My kids' cookies had more of a distinct Picasso style to them...

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