Saturday, April 7, 2012

Almost Homemade Easter Cookies

Cookie Backing Equipment - www.mamajo.caI love to bake- and I bake as often as possible, but sometimes, with two little ones, there just is not enough time. So here is a great recipe which doubles as a craft to keep the kids busy on a rainy day. I have made these for Christmas (my own ginger snap recipe though), Valentine's day, and now Easter. These are quick to make and would be a great addition to any bake sale.
First, buy cookie cutters of your choice for the theme needed (Dollar stores are great for these)- no need to buy metal ones- plastics work very well (especially if little hands will try to help with this part)

At the grocery store you will need
  • parchment paper
  • wax paper
  • butter or margarine
  • Betty Crocker's sugar cookie Mix( buy two bags)- at 2 dollars a piece
  • sprinkles (optional- i tend to avoid this messy and high sugar bit)
  • Cake Mate Cookie Decorating Icing - colours to go with your theme-about 2 dollars each  
Once home, just empty both bags of powder. Add the melted butter (i like to microwave my butter on defrost to let it melt but not boil).  Add a little water ( 1 tsp at a time)  until you get the right consistency (like playdough).  If you made a mistake and added too  much water, you can rectify by adding a little flour.

Divide the batter in half, wrapping each in wax paper, flattening it like a disk.  They should go in the fridge at least 15 minutes. When working with the dough, only take one out at a time, as when it gets hot its gets even harder to work with.
Now I like my cookies thin- and these puff up like crazy, so you want to really have it rolled really thin.  Open up your pack of dough and by putting another wax paper sheet on top, use a rolling pin and smooth it out until it is very thin.

Next, just cut your shapes.  Put down your cookie cutter and wiggle it to make nice edges.  Now I have tried for years to lift the dough and put it on the cookie sheets and it was always an epic failure. So here is the trick.  Have your cookie sheets ready, lined with parchment paper. Now you take your wax paper, and cut out your shapes, not right on the edges but like in big square blocks. Take your more manageable wax paper sheet, and turn it and plop it on the parchment covered baking sheet. Now you can gently press and the cookie shape will come off. If a little bit of extra dough stays on the sheet, just lift it up with your finger to easily remove it. Now you will waste a lot of wax paper this way- so please reuse the parchment paper.
Cook in the oven at 375 degrees Farenheit.  The bag says 7-9 minutes, but i had to cook mine 12 minutes as I like them a little brown.  While you are waiting- prepare more cookies on the cookie sheets (this is when it is nice to have 3-4 sheets to work with).  When you take them out of the oven, let them sit on the sheet for another 2 minutes as they will continue cooking.Next, just take your parchment and slide the cookies on a cookie rack (and reuse the parchment for another batch).
You can easily make 35-40 cookies in one hour.  Let them really really cool down before using them as a craft for the little hands to decorate.

 The Betty Crocker Cookie Icing is hands down, the best I have ever used (better than any I can make at home). It pipes really well (my 6 year old can do it) and hardens quickly so you can stack them quickly.

That is it. You are done. You have made Homemade cookies, and the kids have had a blast. Clean up is super easy as you just thrown out the parchment and wash the one bowl you used with the cookie cutters- that is it. Now it is time for MaMaJo to have a latte. Happy Easter Everyone.

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