Saturday, September 3, 2011

Mommy's Little Helper

My oldest daughter is at the age where she wants to help me do everything. My son, who will be 2 in a month, has no interest in anything I do. He only wants to play with his cars or read BMW magazines with his daddy. My daughter though, loves to ask me if she can help me. Since I've been cooking a lot more lately, she is constantly asking if she can help. I think that when a child is asking over and over to help you with something, that they just want to be included in what you're doing. They just want your attention and to spend time with you. I'm more than ok with my little girl wanting to spend time with me. Its hard sometimes to give the kids individual attention when they're all at such demanding ages. Today, I decided that we'd bake cookies just to give her something to help me with.

My husband bought me a cookie press over a year ago and I'd never used it so I thought today would be a good day to pull it out. I decided to make some vanilla cookies since they're pretty much the only kind of cookie my husband and son will eat. And I sure as heck don't need to be eating a whole bunch of cookies all by myself.

I put my daughter in her dress up apron, sat her up on the counter and let her pour the ingredients into the mixing bowl. I let her turn the switch to get the mixer going. Then I let her lick the beater. That was one of my favorite parts of helping my mom cook when I was a kid. When my mom used the hand mixer, my sister and I would each get a beater. Then, I let my daughter pick which shape cookies we were going to make and I loaded the "gun" and went to town. I have to say that the cookie press is my new favorite toy. Now that I know how easy it is to use it, I'll probably be making cookies all the time. My daughter had a blast helping me, gave me a big hug and kiss and ran away happy. The cookies were a success. Anything that brings a child genuine joy is worth it.

Vanilla Cookies:

1 cup room temp unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Combine butter and sugar in the electric mixer and beat until fluffy.
Beat in egg, vanilla, brown sugar, and salt.
Slowly mix in flour.
Pack the cookie press and press away onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for about 7 minutes or until golden.
Cool on wire racks.


For the holidays, I'll decorate the cookies with sprinkles, put in tins (dollar stores sell cute holiday themed ones), and ship to people for gifts. They're great for that. My press kit came with shapes like dinosaurs, Christmas trees, bats and pumpkins, snowmen and candy canes as well as the flowers, butterflies and stars that I made today. I'm pretty sure that my husband bought it at TJ Max for me. Cheap and fun!

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