Valentine’s Day. Sweet Time Baking. Kids in the Kitchen.
After all, children show such delight in the celebration carefully writing out all of the little Valentines for each of their classmates and the teacher, perhaps those they may share a secret little 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 a Silpat instead)
- 1/2 cup raspberry jam
- Combine flour, salt, and baking powder into a mixing bowl
- In an electric mixer cream together the softened butter with the sugar until well blended and fluffy
- Add the egg into the mixture and continue beating, then add in the vanilla extract
- Add in one- third of the flour mixture at a time, beat until all the ingredients are well incorporated before adding in the next two additions, turn off mixer
- Remove the dough and form an even ball then cut in half forming two round discs, wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
- Lightly dust a rolling pin and the work space, remove plastic wrap, and one disk at a time roll out the dough to about an 1/8 inch thickness
- Using a heart shaped cookie cutter, press out dough forming hearts transferring to a greased cookie sheet or onto Silpat
- Collect together remaining dough cutting out more heart shaped cookies until dough is used up
- Using a small spoon, place a small amount of raspberry jam into the center of each heart
- Bake about 10-12 minutes, until cookies begin to turn a light golden color around the edges
Adapted from the Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Library: Kids Cookies, Scrumptious Recipes for Bakers Ages 9 to 13