Monday, December 20, 2010

Baking Christmas Cookies with the Kids - Don't Do It!

Every Christmas holiday, you hear how wonderful it is to be baking cookies with your children.  Well, I've got news for you:  It's not all it's cracked up to be.  I would only advise doing this if you have the patience of Job and only as an exercise in futility.  Really.

Why the bitterness you ask?  Just let me vent a moment, will you?


My ever so cute little chef, seen above, begged to help me make cookies.  "Sure, why not?   It'll be fun!"  I said.   Uh-huh.

 First, he needed a chef's hat to match the elf's (which the elf made from a coffee filter at 11:45 pm last night.)  Since his head is a wee bit too big for a coffee filter to work, we had to come up with another solution.

To make the chef's hat:

1.  Take a sheet of paper and cut it in two pieces, lengthwise.  Tape those two pieces end to end, make sure it will fit the kid's head and then tape it closed in a full circle.
2.  I took three pieces of tissue paper (left together, not separated) and cut the squares into a giant circle.
3.  Taking the edges of the giant circle, carefully tape them to the inside of the hat, all the way around.
4.  Poof the center up slightly and you're done!

Moving on.

Incident #1:  This one was more annoying than critical, for that you'll have to wait til Incident #2.  I removed the bowl from my big Kitchen Aid Mixer and walked away to another counter.  While my back was turned, he poured about 4 tablespoons of flour into the little lipped part where the bowl sits.  Boy was it a pain to get all that flour from under that lip.   The child was banished for about 10 minutes before I took pity on him.

Incident #2:  The recipe called for separating the egg whites from the yolk.  I did this and had the yolk still in one of the egg shell halves, ready to be poured in the bowl.  The mixer was running full tilt at this time because I was creaming butter and sugar, the color of which was very, very pale yellow.  I told the little chef,  pour the yellow stuff into the bowl.  So what did he do?  Threw the whole thing, egg shell and all into the mixer that was running ninety to nothing.  I heard and awful crunching and raced to turn off the mixer, but the damage was done. 

Eggshell + creamed butter/sugar = an awful mess.  As I didn't have more ingredients with which to start over, I spent the next half hour picking tiny bits of shell out of the mixture while he spent the rest of his time in another room keeping out of my sight and hearing.   I've decided I'm going to add sprinkles on top of the cookies to disguise any mysterious crunching that these cookies may make once they enter one's mouth.  :)

All of this came though, after our Elf decided to make a huge mess in our kitchen last night.  Obviously, he was not happy that there has been no Christmas baking going on.  Just look what we woke up too:

My advice?  Don't stress yourself out this Christmas by baking cookies with the kids!  Of course, I'll probably forget this sage advice by the time next Christmas comes around.  
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