baking with grandchildren -- help, please!

roxanna7

In three days, I will have my three youngest grands here for our annual Christmas cookie decorating session. I bought some cookie stamps to try, but want a really tasty recipe that will make the impressions crisp and clear. So I assume the recipe ought to be one that doesn't "spread" much.


Anyone have a tried-and-true cookie recipe for rolled-out cookies, any flavor, that would work?

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Zalco/bring back Sophie!

How about shortbread? I use Ina Garten's recipe from Zabar's. They are easy to cut into shapes and hold up well to clumsy little hands. I also like decorating gingerbread. I use Martha Stewart's gingerbread recipe.


Ina Garten/ Eli Zabar shortbread:

https://www.starchefs.com/features/new_year_lunch/html/shortbread_cookies_i_garten.shtml

Martha Stewart Gingerbread Cookies:

https://smittenkitchen.com/2010/12/spicy-gingerbread-cookies/

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plllog

Another vote for shortbread.

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Elizabeth

My grandchildren like a simple sugar cookie cut out and lots of decorations. Sprinkles and icing on them all. Oh what a lovely mess they make!

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Yayagal

I'd do the sugar cookies. Kids love them.

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chloebud

Shortbread, for sure. For one thing, no leavening in the dough helps hold shapes/impressions better. For shortbread (or sugar cookies), I always chill the cut out cookies on the baking sheets so they're cold when they go in the oven.

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Solsthumper

Sugar cookies or shortbread will both work. Although, for taste and decorating, I prefer sugar cookies. I’ll include my favorite recipe when I get home.

Sol

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jerzeegirl (FL zone 9B)

I used the cookie recipe from the back of the Trader Joe's Old Fashioned Rolled Oats bag when my grand kids were here. I like the recipe because 1) the cookies are delicious; 2) no flour is involved.

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patriciae_gw

Depends on the age of the kids. Young kids are hard on dough so sometimes their creations aren't really edible. It wont matter what recipe you use. Older kids can be really creative with sugar cookie dough but I agree for definition you cant beat shortbread.

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bragu_DSM 5

you could also do thumbprints

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annie1992

I like shortbread, the kids like sugar cookies. They win, and I use this recipe, it keeps shapes well, although I haven't tried cookie stamps because we frost and sprinkle ours, but I think they'd keep the designs, as they keep the shapes we cut.

Rolled Sugar Cookies

1 1/2 cups butter, softened

2 cups white sugar

4 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

5 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

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).

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.

Have fun!

Annie


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Texas_Gem

Just wanted to add, the recipe I linked earlier is the one that my mom has used since I was a small child that I now use with my own kids.

We would paint them with paints made using this recipe

Egg yolk paint

1 egg yolk

1/4 tsp water

Food colors


or we would put sprinkles on them. We never decorated them after baking, though I'm sure you could.

I have countless memories with me, my friends, my cousins, my kids, their friends, nieces and nephews, etc.

When any child in our circle thinks of baking and decorating cookies, this is what we think of.

Good luck and have fun with the grands!

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Solsthumper

Roxanna, to reiterate, either recipe will be fine for decorating. The sugar cookie recipe below makes a tender cookie, sans leavening agents, so cookies will hold their shape (Houzz reduces photos, so they appear blurry, but you should be able to see some detail).


The following are just a couple photos of my sugar cookies from Christmas past. The angel boots were outlined, then flooded with thinned royal icing.

Whereas the pears were not outlined, but simply iced with an offset spatula. Ditto for the flowers.




Below, I pressed Shortbread into vintage molds.

I usually dust them with confectioner's sugar, but I've also decorated them with a simple confectioner's glaze, or thinned royal icing for more detailed work.

The last one pictured is Gruyère Shortbread; you can see, whether sweet or savory shortbread, the cookies always maintain their shape.



I would post more pictures, but I feel I have reached the level of Hog Wild☺


Sugar Cookies

2¼ cups AP flour
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup granulated sugar
12 tablespoons (6 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla paste, or extract

Cream together the sugar and butter until fluffy. Add the egg, lemon zest,
and vanilla paste, or extract and beat until blended. In another bowl, combine the
remaining dry ingredients (flour and salt).

On low speed, gradually add them to butter mixture, until incorporated. Press dough into a
flat disc, wrap well, and refrigerate for 2 hours. Roll out to 1/8" thick on a lightly-floured surface. Cut out and bake in a 350°F oven,for 8-12 minutes.

For even baking, rotate the cookie sheets from top tobottom and front to back halfway through baking.


Sol

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cleo07

Sol-

Your cookies are stunning! And you are a skilled photographer as well. I will try that recipe this weekend...thank you. I am liking the lemon zest addition and need a change from vanilla.

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Solsthumper

Thank you Cleo --you're very kind ♥♥


The lemon zest could be halved or subbed with the zest of other citrus fruits in this recipe. Don't mean to start anything, but to me, lemon elevates it to super yummy status.


Forgot to give credit where it's due; I originally got the recipe from Rose L. Beranbaum's book 'Rose's Christmas Cookies.'


Sol

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annie1992

Sol, as always, those are just lovely. I just can't imagine frosting those pears with a spatula, those are amazing.

I have a bunch of those little molds too, I never thought of using them for shortbread, but now I will.

Yes, I do see a project with the grandkids coming on.....

Annie

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Solsthumper

Sorry AnnieBanani, I’ve been busy all weekend...watching raccoon videos.


Yes please, get your cute partners-in-crime involved.


Sol

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annie1992

Well, I've been watching "Christmas Chronicles" and making fudge, as well as attending two birthday parties. All that sugar, it's just practice for Christmas baking, LOL.

Happy, happy, happy holidays, all of them. As Dishesdone used to say "happy everything to everyone" and to your family too.

Annie

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Solsthumper

Happy Holidays, to you and yours, sweets, and to Carol, wherever she may be!

Sol

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

Cheese shaped shortbread? genius. love shortbread and cheese/savory sweets.

Will be making/baking that for sure.

I make pocky with kids and have for years. My favorite 'stick' is the glutino. Crispy and gluten-free. And Italian thin bread sticks cut in half. Dipped in chocolate, then an array of nuts and sprinkles...endless choices. Smashed peppermint cane dust, matcha green tea and red pepper flake...adult flavors and sweet kid choices.

We have new neighbors that are so friendly with young kids, after years of surly types...good neighbors across and opposite side. We get together at some point here or another home over the holiday break. I might just take the fixings to dip and dip in the toppings.


LINK HERE

I don't make the pretzel or bread sticks. Just melt the chocolate for dipping.

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roxanna7

Update: Many thanks to all of you who gave me advice! I ended up doing my usual sugar cookie recipe but left out the leavening which controlled the 'spreading' quite well. Did put the cutouts into the freezer to keep the butter cold, which also helped (a new to me technique). Also made shortbread-type chocolate cookies that turned out great! Kids had a great time and so did I.

Thanks, all, again!

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