Monday, December 16, 2013

One Great . . . kids' baking activity

Decorating cookies with the kids is fun, for sure. It's also messy, chaotic and sometimes a little frustrating. Most little kids just want to get straight to the frosting part and skip the mixing, cutting and baking part.

When Betty Crocker did a Google Hangout recently on holiday entertaining ideas, this project caught my eye. Cute as it can be, and just the thing for holiday parties with lots of kids. You can go the cookie mix route if you just want a fun, fast activity, or you could adapt it to your favorite homemade ingredients.

Put out the baked trees, a bunch of green frosting and a bowls of colorful candy and let the kids go to town. Even the big kids - the ones a few decades beyond 21 - will like this one.

DIY Cookie Tree

From Betty Crocker.

1 pouch sugar cookie mix
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 egg
Green food coloring
1 container white icing, such as Betty Crocker Fluffy White Icing
Candies and sprinkles for decorating

HEAT oven to 375 degrees. Line a 15-by-10-by-1-inch pan with foil.

STIR together the cookie mix, butter and egg to form a soft dough. With moistened fingers, press the dough into the lined baking pan. Bake 10 to 14 minutes, or until light golden brown. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Use a sharp knife to cut out a tree shape. (Use extra baked cookie to cut out a star for the top of the tree and presents to put around the bottom, if you like.)

STIR food coloring into the frosting to create the color you like. Frost the tree, then use candies to decorate it.