By Beverly Barbour
Kiddie Christmas cookies
Kids of all ages love cookies and most of us even enjoy the mixing and baking...most of all the decorating. These recipes are almost kid-proof but it depends upon the kid, of course. I cooked with a six year old this weekend, who handled a knife like a sixteen year old, so age doesn't equate with experience. I suspect the gathering of cooks on television these days has helped educate the young as well as the audience they think they're catering to.
"Surprise Cookies" is what Flo Burtnett of Gage, OK relays as the name her grandchildren used to call these bonbons. They look a bit like candies and they have a surprise in the middle.
Each cookie has a surprise in the center and the icing can be decorated with colored sprinkles, coconut, silver balls, red hots or whatever the kiddies choose.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Thoroughly combine butter, sugar, vanilla and food coloring. By hand or with pastry blender, mix in combined flour and salt. If dough is dry add 1 to 2 tablespoons milk. Wrap a tablespoon of dough around candied cherries, pitted dates, gumdrops or chocolate chips. Bake about 12 minutes on ungreased cookie sheets. Cool on rack and ice. Decorate as desired but leave on rack until the frosting becomes firm. Makes about 4 dozen. Mix together well the icing ingredients and spread on cookies. Decorate with coconut, chopped nuts, chocolate bits, etc.
STAINED GLASS WINDOWS
Easy, easy, easy for even tiny tots.
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate bits
Melt together chocolate and butter in microwave or on range top. Stir in marshmallows and nuts. Spread out on waxed paper; let harden a bit before rolling into a log. Chill until firm (the hardest part for junior chefs) and slice.
Dorothy Hofbauer of Ravenna, NB shared this versatile recipe a number of years ago. You can omit the nuts if desired.
CHRISTMAS WREATH AND/OR CANDY CANE COOKIES
If you wish you can add green food coloring to the recipe for the wreath cookies. To make candy canes make half of the dough dark pink. Or, shape half into wreaths and half into canes.
3 cups all-purpose flour
Sift flour, 3/4 cup sugar and salt together. Cut in butter or margarine until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add ice water and flavorings; mix until dough is smooth. Form into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill well or overnight. Divide dough in half (return remaining half to refrigerator). On a lightly floured surface, divide remaining half into 36 pieces. Roll each piece into a rope 6-inches long. Twist 2 ropes of same color together to shape wreaths. Or, twist one pink and one plain rope together and shape into canes. Brush cookies with beaten egg white and dip brushed sides into a mixture of the remaining l/4 cup sugar and almonds. Bake sugar side up, about 2-inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets, in 400 F. oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool and decorate each wreath with 3 red maraschino cherry bits or red hots to resemble holy berries. You can cut green gumdrops or maraschino cherries to resemble holly leaves. With red or pink icing you can make bows on the canes, if you have a young artist. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.
Linda Marchand works with children in Community Health Services in Rapid City, South Dakota. And she has two little girl grandchildren, one of whom has already been raised to junior cooks' helper status.
NO BAKE CHRISTMAS WREATH
You, or any six year old, can make this wreath in any ring mold or in any cake pan with a tube in the center, such as an angel food or a bundt pan.
1 stick (6 tablespoons ) butter or margarine.
Spray pan a little. On range top or in microwave melt together butter and marshmallows. Stir in vanilla and food coloring and then pour over the cereal, stirring constantly. Shape into wreath in the pan. Decorate with red hots if you wish.
GETTING READY FOR CHRISTMAS IS AS MUCH FUN AS THE BIG DAY ITSELF.