Saturday, December 4, 2010

Christmas Cookies to Make With The Kids: "Play Dough Cookies"

 My mom is a SERIOUS baker when Christmas rolls around.  I'm talking over a dozen different varieties of cookies...baked in double and triple batches, starting in the fall and filling the freezer.  Mom's Christmas cookies have been the source of many great holiday memories for myself and my siblings, so naturally, I was excited to share the traditions to my own kids.

Even if your kids are very little, you can involve them in various ways.  Sammy is almost 3 and he just LOVES to stand on a chair next to me and help pour ingredients into the bowl, help stir, and of course, do some quality control taste testing. With each year he is able to get a little bit more involved in the process.
I wanted to share this recipe that I remember making as a kid with my mom, brother and sister.  I always called them "play dough cookies" because for a kid, it's just like making stuff with play dough, then baking it and eating it! It's actually the same recipe we use to make candy cane cookies...we just make more different colors of dough...

1/2 C Butter, soft
1/2 C Shortening
1 C Conf. Sugar
1 Egg
1-1/2 tsp Almond Extract
1 tsp Vanilla extract
2-1/2 C Flour
1 tsp Salt
1/2 C Sugar
Food coloring

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Mix butter, shortening, conf. sugar, egg, and flavorings.  Blend in flour, sugar and salt.  Divide dough and color as desired. 

I like to do about half green, then a little less red, a little bit of yellow and blue, and leave a little ball of white.  You can mix the colors later to get other colors too like orange, brown, etc.  Mine are wrapped in plastic wrap because I mixed them up while the kids were napping and stuck them in the frig, so I could pull them out to make before bedtime.

 Make your creations on a cookie sheet.  Give your kids some tools to "sculpt" with...We always have at least a fork and butter knife.  I found that a mini whisk worked great for making a pine-branch-y pattern on the wreaths and Christmas trees!  And heck, why not get out some of your kids' Play Doh accessories...just wash them well before and after.  Sprinkles are fun too for extra decoration!

 Here's Sammy with his full tray of cookies!  I made him one green triangle to decorate as a tree and a couple wreath shapes that he added colors to.  The rest were his own "blob" creations.  About 1/4" or so is fine for the thickness.

 Now carefully carry your pan over to the oven! (Mommy of course puts it in since it's hot!)

Bake 8 minutes until set but not brown. Watch through the window with extreme anticipation!!

 And they're done!  Of course, I made some more of my own (see first photo above).  But, I'm more excited to put Sammy's creations out on my cookie platter and get people's reactions to HIS works of edible art!!


  1. What a fantastic mommy you are! I make tons of Christmas cookies each year as well and always make Candy Canes. Will definitely have to try this one out w/ Bella and Lyla. Thanks!

  2. This is heartwarming to see and read. I'm so happy you are passing on this tradition. How cute Sam looks with the cookie sheet!!! so serious! I'm glad you have happy memories. —mom

  3. why does it say 1/2 cup sugar (under the salt)in the ingredient list??? it already calls for 1 cup powdered sugar. does it need both? and when would you even add it? after the salt? im confused

  4. Yes, add the sugar too! Sorry, I copied that word for word from my mom's recipe card and it looks like she forgot to add it in the directions too! But, yes, you use both and it doesn't matter what order it's added in.

  5. oh cool o almost made these without the added sugar but it just didnt sound like it'd be sugary enough so i waited for you to respond 1st. thanks for responding

  6. Absolutely!! Thanks so much for catching the mistake!



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