Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Cookie Decorating Day

Cookie decorating day at Ewen's kindy

Teacher gets in on the action

Christmas is a time I look forward to. As a child, Christmas was extremely enjoyable. Then again, isn't it for every kid? I now realise that Christmas for adults is a whole different ball game. Yes, it's enjoyable. Yes, it's festive. But it does take a lot of effort on the part of the adult to make Christmas enjoyable for the kids – buy and decorate the tree, buy the presents, make the food.... Since Christmas is usually very low key for us, we do try to keep the spirit alive by doing stuff with the kids. I realised a long time ago that Christmas is what you make of it, and I want to create traditions, sights, sounds and memories for them to remember what Christmas is, and hopefully pass on to their own kids.

For Ewen, this was a great opportunity for me to get involved with his school. Ewen's kindy teachers were very supportive when I asked if they'd like me to conduct a Christmas activity for the class. We decided on a Christmas story and cookie decorating. The kids were enthralled with the Nativity Story but really got excited when it came to the decorating. All sorts of colours and designs, some neat, some messy. For some, the lure of the cookies was too great and was promptly bitten into. Others decided to save it for mom.

I used this simple recipe from Betty Yew's Kitchen Secrets.

225g self raising flour
1 ½ tsp mixed spice
1 tsp baking powder
125g butter
125g brown sugar
1 small egg, lightly beaten

Sift dry ingredients into a bowl, Rub in butter until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in sugar. Add egg and a little milk to make a stiff dough. Knead till smooth. Wrap in plastic and chill for an hour. Roll out the dough a little at a time and stamp out with cookie cutter. Place on greased baking trays and bake in preheated 190C oven for 10-12 minutes (depending on thickness and size of cookie). Allow to cool slightly on tray and transfer to a rack to cool completely. Decorate with your favourite buttercream, glaze icing or royal icing recipes.

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