Activity of the Day – Christmas Baking

We are enjoying the festive season this year. Having a toddler motivates me to bake so that we have lots of little edible presents to give to family and friends and to put out for Father Christmas as well. When looking for toddler recipes I look for recipes that require minimal intervention by me that Joshua can do himself as he follows instructions really well. Joshua gets to do just about all of it except put it in the oven and take it out. Depending on the age of your child they may be able to do more things like measure out ingredients, use electric beaters or chop up more things independently. At the moment I prepare all the utensils and measurements for the ingredients and tell Joshua what we need to do to complete the recipe. He loves cooking – particularly being able to do the entire process himself – and this morning came to me with his red mixing bowl in hand to request a baking session.

The following recipes tick all the boxes as great recipes for toddler hands and developing skills.

Kids Cookie Stars

In my search for toddler friendly recipes I stumbled across this fantastic recipe from Lesson Learnt Journal for Kids Cookie Stars.

Kids Cookies Dough Ingredients:

  • 100g softened butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence (or more/less as per taste preference)

For Decorating the Star Kids Cookies:

  • Silver cake decorating balls

Method:

  1. Turn on oven to 150°C to heat. Line a tray with baking paper.
  2. Combine all the Kids Cookies Dough ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix until the dough is ready. (I found you might need to use hands to rub the butter into the mixture if required).
  3. Roll out the dough onto a lightly floured surface using a rolling pin; or pat down the dough with the palms of your hands.
  4. Cut out star shapes with star shaped cookie cutters. Place the biscuits onto the tray and decorate with silver cake decorating balls.
  5. Bake at 150°C for 15 minutes.
  6. Let the biscuits cool on the tray.

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These are easy to make, toddler gets to do all of the work (after having the activity set up) and these are all ingredients that we had on hand in the pantry. Best of all the cookies are tasty! This recipe is going onto our list of kid friendly recipes. The original recipe called for 1 tablespoon of water and vanilla paste. I substituted the water for an egg which is more binding and great for a cookie dough (just need to use a bit of flour to dry the dough a bit when rolling it out) and used vanilla essence instead of vanilla paste (either is fine, vanilla paste is more concentrated so you would not use as much in the recipe.)

4 ingredient shortbread cookies

This recipe I came across a little while ago from Sixtine et Victoire’s Deb who made these lovely cookies with her daughters. I didn’t have the cookie stamps but we made the shortbread anyway and it was delicious. On my wish list are the cookie stamps!

You will need four ingredients (or five depending on the type of butter you use):

Ingredients

  • Butter: 1 cup (226 grams) the recipe called for unsalted butter but If you do use unsalted, then add 1/4 tsp of salt (2g)
  • Flour: 2 cups (260g)
  • Sugar: 1/2 cup (60g)
  • Pure Vanilla Extract: 1tsp (4g)

Method:

  • Beat butter until smooth, add sugar, beat until smooth and then add the vanilla extract.
  • Gently stir in flour until incorporated. Flatten the dough into a disk shape, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill the dough for at least an hour or until firm.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177°C, we put it on 180°C) with the rack in the middle of the oven.
  • Line two baking sheets with baking paper.
  • Flatten the dough into a disk shape, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill the dough for at least an hour or until firm. On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough into a 1/4 inch (0.6cm) thick circle. Cut into rounds or other shapes using lightly floured cookie cutter.
  • Place on the prepared baking sheets and place in refrigerator for about 15 minutes (do this step if using cookie stamps).
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until very lightly browned. (We put it on for 10 minutes)
  • Cool on a wire rack.

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We had a little help from Daddy for the shortbread recipe. I think Joshua enjoyed it a lot, especially as Daddy has just returned from a stint of work travel. The J cookie is Daddy’s handy work.

The recipes are remarkably similar however the shortbread ends up being a bit lighter, more buttery and crumbly than the Kids Cookie Stars cookies. Both are delicious though. I’d be happy to do either of these again with Joshua, they are both on my list of toddler recipes. Joshua really enjoyed our stars theme, his favourite song at the moment is “Twinkle, Twinkle little star”.

We shared these cookies with friends today, they were gobbled down. Delicious!

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9 thoughts on “Activity of the Day – Christmas Baking

  1. Thank you for sharing!!!! I’m planning a baking session with my 16-month old this saturday! Our first one and these recipes are great!

      • Round about this time last year I was preparing for Christmas and looking forward to baking with my then 16 month old boy. I forgot to post a reply on the outcome of the cookies. THEY WERE GREAT! we put them in cellophane bags and gave as gifts at his small daycare center and the kids love them. (so did I ! 😉
        The recipe has not left my recipe stand since last year and I intend to do the same this year! Thank you so much for easy, child friendly baking activities that our kids love to do. Merry Christmas to all!

  2. Pingback: Toddler toys and activities at 29 months – and a surprise giveaway! | Montessori Life As We Know It

  3. Pingback: 20 Kid Friendly Christmas Recipes & Cash Giveaway - Christian Montessori Network

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