For a great majority of my life, I have hated decorating Christmas cookies. I already have a short attention span (which makes the fact that I’ve done over 80 blog posts a miracle) and my mom always seems to take things farther than my attention span and patience could imagine. Before I knew it, I’d be looking down the counter at 4 dozen cookies that it would be “fun” for me to decorate.
As an adult, I’ve done what I could to avoid decorating cookies. One year, I was charged with making my mother-in-law’s cookie recipe. I made the fewest possible, with the biggest cutters possible, and just bought gel to outline them. Another year, I convinced my aunt in law to do the decorating. But I guess I’ve had this dream that cookie decorating could be as picturesque as the magazines make it out to be. I achieved it this year, or at least the best I ever expect to.
It started with our playgroup. The mini-ions and I made cookies to bring to our playgroup for that week’s activity. I won’t say the making of the cookies was that harmonious, but I have hopes for next year.
I made royal icing from this website (which seems to be one of the most informative sources on royal icing). I colored the icing and thinned it out so it could be squirted out of these containers, like paint. That worked perfectly with the children. I squirted a big blob of red, green and yellow on a small plate, gave them a paintbrush and a cookie, and invited them to create, as few or as many as they wanted. I also used some empty spice containers with some homemade sprinkles for them to dust (or pour) on. There were enough cookies that they could eat while they created. The children then were responsible for cleaning up their area and materials when they were finished. It all worked quite beautifully.
Afterwards, at home, I still had about 20 or so cookies undecorated and a ton of icing. I was tired, knew I needed to use the icing today or throw it out and hoped I could sneak away and just quickly decorate them and mark, make/decorate sugar cookies, off my Christmas to-do list. I waited until both mini-ions were occupied by something and snuck into my dining room to finish up the cookies.
Before I got very far, Mini-ion #1 found me. I tried to divert him into another room and away, but he was too interested, and picked up one of the squirt bottles and started decorating next to me. The two of us, companionablely, squeezed icing onto the cookies, finishing the decorating. It was fantastic. Besides being hidden away in a dark room, it was exactly what I could have hoped to do with my mini-ions. The cookies look great, like they should, like a child had a great time decorating them.
The credit to this beautiful Christmas memory goes to Mini-ion #1, and those squirt bottles. If you ever see them at the dollar store, here is proof they will be worth ever penny.
- What your favorite Christmas cookie says about you (minnesotatransplant.wordpress.com)
- Easy to Make Delicious Sugar Cookies Made Simple for Children and Adults (slewriter.wordpress.com)