Things to keep in mind when baking cookies with little ones:
- I usually try to find a recipe that uses oil or melted butter rather than having to cream butter with sugar with an electric mixer. It goes faster, it's easy for the kids to stir, and I don't have the danger of a whirling beater around little fingers (especially Jasper, since I don't quite trust him around our big Kitchen-Aid mixer when there's a lot going on).
- Daddio will laugh at this, but I could barely get by without our cookie scoop. It's basically a small (about 1 Tbsp) ice cream scoop, but it makes shaping cookies so much quicker and easy enough for about a four year old to help with. It also makes evenly sized pancakes and kid-sized scoops of ice cream.
- Kids are capable of cracking eggs at around four years old. Have them crack them into a separate bowl (so you can fish out the errant bits of shell) and wash their hands afterward.
- Don't let them taste the batter once you've added eggs. I know it never made me sick, but you just never know!
1/2 cup melted butter
scant 1 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, but makes them extra-snappy!)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Sugar, for rolling
1. Stir butter and sugar together; add egg. Beat well. Stir in molasses. Add dry ingredients and stir until combined.
2. Shape 1-inch balls and roll in sugar. Place on a lightly greased or non-stick cookie sheet.
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until done.
With this recipe you can use up to double the spices for a spicier cookie (it's not that snappy to begin with). I let the children scoop the dough into the sugar, roll the balls, and place them on teh cookie sheet (for even redistribution by me). We really had a great time, and I hope you do too!
more from the collective: