One of the best things I learned in my mom’s kitchen was not a recipe for food, but a recipe for fun.
The kitchen was the hub of family life and in addition to cooking and eating, the kitchen was for hanging out, touching bases, and being together.
Being the youngest of four children, I was blessed to have many nieces and nephews around to enjoy and there was no greater time than Christmas to have fun in the kitchen!
One of my favorite activities to do with children is to decorate sugar cookies. Everyone has their own canvas to paint, you can paint more than one and then you can save the best and eat the rest, how great is that?
Our favorite sugar cookie recipe is adapted from the “Joy of Cooking”
Rich Roll Cookies
1 cup butter
2/3 cup granulated sugar
Add and beat in
1 teaspoon vanilla
Combine together and then add:
2 1/2 cup sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind (this really adds to the flavor of the cookies)
Chill dough 2 hours or more before rolling. Roll out on floured board cut out 1/8-1/4 inch thick shapes and bake at 350 on a greased cookie sheet about 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned on bottom. Do not overcook. Cool completely and then paint with frosting.
Sugar cookie frosting
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup soft butter
Add and continue beating 1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of vanilla
3-4 tablespoons of milk (use enough milk to make a consistency that you can use a small children’s paint brush to easily paint the cookie, but not to thin that it will not harden or set up on the cookie).
Separate the frosting in small bowls and then add food coloring to each individual bowl. Give each child a sheet of waxed paper to set their cookies on before painting.
About the Author
Debbie Williams is the author of Recipes that Remember, a recipe blog dedicated to her mother who passed away from Alzheimer's disease in 2010. Learn more »