Friday, March 22, 2013

I'm-So-Glad-It's-Finally-Spring Cookies

Since I'm out of the country, my lovely daughter-in-law and adorable granddaughter provided a recipe post for me today! Hope you enjoy the pictures, story, and the cookies with your favorite little baker!

There is sugar all over my floor.
There is milk soaking into my sock.
There is flour all over her dress.
And there is a huge, proud grin on her face.

When my daughter is a mess by the end of the day, I like to think that I have done my job well. I'm a big believer that kids learn best when they are given the room to make a little mess. And my daughter's current favorite mess-making project is baking!

I love baking with my daughter. My teacher side gets all excited as I see her learning to scoop and dump and be exposed to words like “half a teaspoon” and “3 cups”. She gets to use her senses to explore things like flour, water, and oil. (Speaking of which, I need to buy this kid an apron!) My mommy side loves this special time set aside for just us to work together on something we both enjoy. This may be naïve, but I have hopes that if I start doing this now, maybe 30 years from now will find us still enjoying time together in the kitchen.

Today, we are making Christmas cookies! Christmas cookies? Yes, Christmas cookies. I'll be honest: I don't have a lot of confidence in my cooking/baking skills. So, when I really need something to turn out well, I almost always fall back on my mom's sugar cookies. They are amazing and, even better, pretty hard to mess up.

Mom said: It is actually the recipe for candy cane cookies. (Betty Crocker) I got so frustrated with the dough because it wouldn't twist into pretty candy cookies, so I smashed it all together and cut it into cookies...and loved the taste.”

This is great because now they can be used for any time of year. Cut them into pumpkins, and they're Thanksgiving cookies. Cut them into hearts, and they're Valentines cookies. Cut them into flowers and bunnies, and they're “I'm So Glad It's Finally Spring” cookies!

So, here it is:

Cream together ½ cup of butter and ½ cup of shortening. Really, as long as there is a total of 1 cup of anything in the butter/oil/shortening family, it'll work. Lean towards more butter if you want them to taste amazing but not look as great, lean towards the shortening it's more important for them to look pretty.  

Hold on tight, Kitchen Aids apparently make scary noises!

Add ½ cup of sugar and ½ cup of confectioner sugar. Yes, she completely missed the bowl, and we've been finding sugar on the bottom of our feet ever since.

She was pretty thrilled to have piles of sugar all over. 

Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla and 1 ½ teaspoons of almond extract. And if your hand accidentally slips and more almond extract comes out than planned, you'll just have to suffer with extra delicious cookies. Its funny how mine always happens to do that...

Take this opportunity to taste the batter before adding one egg. (Tasty, eh?)
Mix thoroughly.

Next, dump in 2 ½ cups of flour. If you are doing this step with a toddler... I'm sorry about your kitchen.                                                              

Okay, now STOP. Pause. Take a deep breath, because this is the critical step coming up. This is the one ingredient that is easy to mess up. Are you ready? Here we go...

One Teaspoon of Salt.
Not one almost full teaspoon of salt... I've tried it. They just lack flavor.
Not one heaping teaspoon of salt. They end up salty, and who wants salty cookies?
No... exactly, precisely One Teaspoon of Salt.

After blending the flour and salt, preheat your oven to 375ºIf your kids haven't been helping you thus far, now is the time to call them in! 

 Roll out the dough and get our your cookie cutters. I like my cookies thick, so I usually roll my dough about a quarter inch. If you are like my in-laws and like your cookies crunchy, you can roll them out thinner.

Bake on ungreased cookie sheets for about 9 minutes or until set and very light brown.

You can frost them once they are cooled, but personally I like them unfrosted just as much.


Sugar Cookies
Recipe by Betty Crocker, Tweaked by Joyce Hardisty

1/2 cup butter, softened                       
1/2 cup shortening                              
1/2 cup sugar                                      
1/2 cup confectioner sugar                           
1 egg                                                    
1 1/2 tsp almond extract                            
1 tsp vanilla extract                              
2 1/2 cups flour                                                          
1 tsp salt (exactly!) 

Heat oven to 375.  Cream together butter, shortening, sugars, egg, and flavorings.  Blend in flour and salt.  Roll out and cut with favorite cookie cutters. Bake on ungreased cookie sheets about 9 minutes or until set and very light brown.  Cool and frost if desired.

For printable click here.


Abby Fleming graduated from Emmaus Bible College with a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education and Biblical Studies. Also at Emmaus, she met and married Daniel Fleming. They have been married almost 7 years now and have a beautiful 22 month old daughter, Anna, and a 4 month old son, Kenneth. After the birth of their daughter, Abby and Daniel decided she would quit her job in education and work instead as a full time Mommy. Currently, Abby and her husband are living in the Chicago area as he pursues further education.

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  1. LOVE this! Seeing the look on her face makes this type A person think twice about allowing the "future" kids help out often in the kitchen!
    Auntie Rae

    1. :) You are going to make such a good Mommy

    2. Type A or not, you are going to make such a great Mommy :)

  2. This looks like a lot of fun.
    I just stopped by from the "Inspiration Spotlight LinkUp" to spread some love. I'm glad I did.
    Following everywhere. :)

  3. Well, that's the youngest, prettiest cook I've ever seen, and boy she sure looks like she knows what she's doing. Too cute. Thanks for sharing and have a great weekend.

  4. These are amazing photos. You guys sure had a lot of fun making these. And good thing you had some help from your adorable assistants.

    1. Thanks! My husband, Daniel, loves photography :)

  5. Such a sweet post! Your children are so cute, and your Daughter looks so proud of her cookies! =)

  6. You had me giggling through the entire post! First time visitor here from the pin me linky party. =) Thank you so much for sharing your fun filled time with your kids {and the recipe too} =) - Tina

  7. I love how in the 3rd pic Anna totally missed the bowl =)

  8. How adorable .... she looks like a little baker in training!

    Thank you for linking to Raising Imperfection.
    Please come back Friday to see if you were featured. :)

    (¸¤ Lanaya | xoxo

  9. Great recipe! I loved the pictures even more! They are so sweet. Visiting with Grand Social Blog Hop. I am following now.

  10. What a wonderful adventure in the kitchen and such cute pictures! I am now lucky enough to be baking with my 8 year old granddaughter and it is just as much fun. I even have the same Kitchen Aid. Thanks for sharing with us.

  11. Aww, I love the pictures! What a lucky little girl to have a mommy who works with her and forgives and loves the messes as well! :)

  12. I love this, I love making messes with my baby girl. It is just fun!

    Thanks for sharing your favorite post at Raising Imperfection! We feature our favorites on Friday, make sure to come back and check.

  13. I love baking & teaching kids in the kitchen. What cute helpers!! Thanks for sharing the recipe & linking up @ Inspiration Spotlight!!

  14. the recipe sounds wonderful -- but I am sure the little helper makes the most special cookies of all. She's adorable! Thanks so much for sharing on Busy Monday!

  15. Sounds yummy! I have yet to fins sugar cookies I really like, so I may have to try this. Thanks for sharing at Mom's Library!

    1. Featuring you on Mom's Library this week!

    2. Thanks so much for the feature!



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