Baking Christmas cookies is one of those things kids seem to want to do year after year, and of course, even though it's chaotic, it can be a ton of fun. I read a great article today at parentingsquad about tips for baking with kids that's got some good ideas, especially filling the sink with warm water before you start!
Here are my two cents on how to bake with kids without losing your mind:
- Make up most of the dough beforehand. Mixing dough is pretty boring for little ones, and pre-refrigerated cookie dough is easier to roll and cut.
- Get all the decorations out ahead of time, and, if you can, consider moving to the dining table to do the work. Multiple stepstools in the kitchen can be hazardous (at least in mine), so working at the table, where everyone gets a chair, can be much more fun.
- Consider letting the little ones pick out a cookie cutter in advance. We've got a great little cake shop next to one of our favorite Mexican restaurants, and the girls enjoyed picking out cookie cutters from there a couple of years ago. I think we'll go in and pick out a couple for this year too.
- Consider something besides cookies. One of our favorites to make is homemade caramel corn. There was a little candy store we used to go in when I was growing up that made homemade caramel corn, and the smell is just heavenly. I think that's what I love best about making this treat - it smells wonderful! I'll try to post the recipe soon - it's very simple, and the girls really enjoy helping to make the popcorn and coat it with the caramel sauce.
Hope your baking is wonderful this year, and you make some great memories with your grandkids this Christmas season.