Valentine’s Day, Sweet Time Baking, Kids in the Kitchen. After all, they show such delight in the celebration like carefully writing out all of the little Valentines for each of their classmates, and the teacher, perhaps those they may share a little secret crush, and then, well, who doesn’t love special treats? In the case of my grandson, the J-Dude, at six, sure he likes girls well enough, but the love of his life and accordingly the most beautiful girl in the whole world is his Mommy, and this is true, so who can blame him?
This year the J-Dude’s Valentines to share with his classmates transform into paper airplanes, so we shall see how the excited the girls in the class are on that count. One sure way however, to extend the abiding joys in the hearts of the little sweethearts, both boys and girls, as part of the Valentine’s Day celebration is by baking Buttery Cutout Cookies together, heart shaped ones, the center of each filled with a small amount of raspberry jam.
The J-Dude and I, along with one of his best neighborhood buddies made these cookies, originally for their mommies, though it is also true, their eyes both widened with the thought that they too might also partake from among the two cookie sheet bounty.
Along with sharing quality time together, baking with children is a fine opportunity to teach children things such as how to measure ingredients, the correct names of kitchen equipment and their uses, and following directions to a recipe.
The boys had a grand time preparing cookies for their ‘Moms’ each jostling eagerly from who would get to measure which ingredient to who would get to put the next ingredient into the mixer while simultaneously negotiating on exactly how many of these cookies they would each get to eat once baked.
With homework and playtime, and, considering the attention span of 6-year-old boys, the Buttery Cutout Cookies took two days to prepare, one day to make the dough, and the next day to roll and cut the dough, topping the center of each with a touch of raspberry jam before they went into the oven. Today we have beautiful heart shaped cookies and Jason has a perfect gift to present to the most beautiful girl in the whole world, his Mommy. Happy Valentine’s Day, especially to all of the little sweeties in your life.
from the Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Library: Kids Cookies, Scrumptious Recipes for Bakers Ages 9 to 13
I used the Ingredients/Measurements for the cookie dough exactly as called for within the cookbook, where the Cookies are titled: Iced Buttery Cutout Cookies. We did not make the icing as called for, and instead used raspberry jam. I re-wrote the recipe from the detailed twelve-step list as printed in the book just to make it a bit easier to move along with children less than the age of 9, the minimum age range the book correctly calls for. Anyway you bake them, it sure is true on Valentine’s Day, A Sweet Time for Baking with Kids in the Kitchen.
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cookie sheets
- shortening for greasing cookie sheets (we used Silpat instead)
- 1/2 cup, or less raspberry jam
- Combine flour, salt, and baking powder into a mixing bowl. In an electric mixer cream together softened butter with the sugar until the ingredients are mixed together well and become fluffy. Add the egg into the mixture and continue beating, then add in the vanilla extract. Add about a third of the flour mixture into the sugar/butter mixture in the mixer and beat until all the ingredients are incorporated together before pouring in the second third of the flour mixture, beating until the flour is worked in to the mixture before adding in the last third of the flour mixture. When all of the ingredients are incorporated and somewhat form a ball remove the dough from the bowl shaping it into one large ball before cutting it in half and forming two round discs. Wrap the disks in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.
- When ready to prepare cookies pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly dust with flour a rolling pin and your work space. Remove the plastic wrap from the first disk and roll out the dough carefully. Using a heart shaped cookie cutter press onto the dough forming as many hearts as possible with the rolled out dough and transfer them to a greased cookie sheet, or onto the Silpat, if using. Collect remaining dough together and continue making more heart shaped cookies until all of the dough is used up before doing the same with the second disc of dough. Using a small spoon, place a small amount of raspberry jelly into the center of each heart shaped cookie. Bake about 10-12 minutes as the cookies begin to turn a light golden color around the edges.