Fall is my favorite time of year. It’s the beginning of the holiday season which includes lots of F words: fun, festivities, family and food. (C’mon guys, what other F words would there be during the holidays!?)
This time of year involves all the best things in life.
I love seeing all the pictures of moms baking cookies and other sweet treats with their kids. I’m not a big baker, mostly because I don’t want the temptation of devouring the creations after they’re made. But, I decided it’s time to bake some festive cookies with my kiddos.
Pinterest doesn’t show you the reality behind all those tasty treats they encourage you to bake. But the boys and my experience was so beautiful, not to mention the masterpiece that was our Halloween cookies; so of course, I had to share it with you.
Every one knows in order to be a good mom during this time of year, you have to create picture perfect moments and exquisitely decorated treats with your children.
Allow me to show you how.
Before you do anything, be sure to promise your kids you’ll bake cookies with them after their nap prior to being sure you have all the necessary ingredients. Once you’ve made such a promise, get your super mom @$$ into the kitchen and check for at least the basics. You can improvise on the details as long as you have an egg, some type of flour and sugar somewhere.
Once you’ve established you do in fact have most of what you need, go ahead and put your brain somewhere else so that you don’t lose it in the baking and bonding process. Baking cookies with your kids is a sweet experience; but its not logical or clean or organized. If these are things you need in order to stay sane while baking cookies, this is your exit point. Just put the kids to bed, bake the cookies yourself in your very organized, clean, Martha Stewart fashion, then get the awesome mom points in the morning when they wake up to fresh baked cookies.
If you’re up for some nerve testing quality time with your babies, however, go ahead and proceed to the next steps.
If you have a baby who can’t exactly participate in the cookie baking and would likely only end up wearing a bag of flour, strap him onto your body for the safety of everyone involved.
Now Google, “easy sugar cookies.” If you want to be a fancy pants, head over to Pinterest, but if you really want to get it right, just Google the easiest recipe you can find.
Next it’s time to get out your ingredients. I suggest laying them all out on the counter so you can grab what you need fast. The attention span of 2 year olds is limited folks.
Now, plop your kids up on the counter top so they can be the stars of the show. This is a crucial step. After all, the whole experience is fun for the kids and memories for yourself. Remember, if your goal was to make pinnable cookies, you’d do this alone. Or hire someone else to do it. Better, yet, head to the store and buy the pre made stuff.
Next, take a selfie to document the event. Obviously.
Then, allow your kids to eat as many sprinkles as their tiny hands can hold. This keeps their motivation up.
The next steps are a breeze. Simply follow the easy steps laid out by Google. Pretend like you’re going to let the kids do the work, but in reality, you do most of it while allowing them to gorge on sprinkles. When feasible, let the kids pour things into the bowl and help you stir in between redirecting them away from trying to crack the egg, lest you scream and ruin the baking adventure for everyone. Be sure to manage the rabid koala bear you have strapped to your back who keeps jumping, screaming, and clawing his way out of your baby wearing device as you hum your way through this sweet event.
Now, let the kids lick the beaters. This is absolutely essential. It helps the cleaning process along and is a crucial memory for your kids.
Once you have added all the proper ingredients in the proper order (never mind the fact that you put in 1/2 tablespoon of baking powder rather than 1/2 teaspoon), add in your food coloring to make the cookies orange. After all, we are being festive and these are Halloween cookies. Negotiate with your children over what color to put in because while this experience is all about them, Halloween cookies must be orange, not mauve from adding in all the colors. (Your inner Martha Stewart has to make an appearance somewhere along the way.)
Then, take a look at your cookie dough and wonder why it has separated into tiny balls of dough. Hope it’s alright and squeeze it together with your hands to be sure.
Give it a taste test. It’s good. Proceed on.
Now let your kids in on squeezing the dough and have them help you stick it back together. They will think it’s play dough but that’s ok. They’re doing some great kneading. Then, encourage them to take a bite of it and see how yummy their creation is going to be.
Now it’s time to ball the dough onto the pan into perfectly round cookie sized mounds. Be sure you measure the scoops appropriately so that your cookies will look just like the ones on Pinterest.
Then, let your kids help you put sprinkles on the cookies because let’s face it, sprinkles is the best you can do for decorations. (You considered making icing but when you looked up the ingredients and discovered it requires a pan, confectioners sugar and corn syrup, you decided you’re already about as awesome as it gets and enough is enough for one baking episode.)
Assist the children in the sprinkling but put your controlling, obsessive compulsive nature aside for the sake of good times. Remember how we discussed putting your mind somewhere else ahead of time so you don’t lose it? This is when you’ll be glad you did that.
Ooh and Aah with your babies about what you have just created and slap that masterpiece in the oven.
After 8 minutes and 45 seconds, and lots of yummy smells, take the cookies out. Remind your inner fat girl to not eat them all and present them to your sons. Beam with them in pride over what you have created together.
Let them cool for 32 seconds and then let each child choose the cookie they want to devour.
Congratulations! You’re a boss! Pinterest ain’t got nothing on you and you are the Halloween cookie baking queen. Plus, you’ve just won mom of the day and your precious kids are happy. Mission accomplished! Enjoy!