Next weekend, our old playgroup friends are coming over for our annual holiday cookie decorating party. To make it easy, I made cookies in advance, and I'll gather an array of frosting, sprinkles, and candies for the big day. The crazy part is, we've been friends long enough that there are now eight kids of cookie decorating age, and another four who are too little!
The interweb (and my Facebook friends) know I really don't do sugar cookies, but they're traditional. I tried these Best Cut-Out Sugar Cookies, and the addition of lemon zest, vanilla extract, and almond extract made them pretty palatable. The dough was easy to work with, and 1/3 of the recipe made about 4 dozen cookies.
I wanted to have a second kind of cookie, and the kids have become picky enough that I wasn't sure how they'd take to gingerbread, so I tried these Brownie Roll-Out Cookies again. I rolled them thinner than last time, and they tasted pretty good. A little unexciting - like a cocoa-flavored sugar cookie - which is exactly what they are. There was a similar recipe by Dorie Greenspan on epicurious.com, but all 14 reviewers said how difficult the dough was to work with, and frankly, I don't have that kind of time. Bug-Bug helped me make the dough this afternoon, and I was able to roll, cut, and bake 4 dozen (maybe 4 1/2 dozen?) tonight in an hour. So now I've got about a dozen cookies for each kid to take home.
Note to self: for more successful baking-with-kids experiences, try baking only with the big kid while the little one naps! She is more deft and more careful than her brother, and the ratio of obssessive parent to prone-to-spillage kids is much more favorable.