One of my favorite memories growing up was decorating sugar cookies with my siblings and taking them to friends and neighbors. It's something that I've been looking forward to doing with my kids for as long as I can remember. Until now, I haven't even been able to find time or energy to make cookies every December like I've wanted to, for various reasons. I decided this past December that I was going to use Valentine's day as an excuse to make cookies and heart attack a few neighbors with them.
Last Saturday morning, Bensen and I mixed up the sugar cookie dough. I'd forgotten how simple this recipe is and how little time it takes to put together. This is the recipe that my mom always uses and it's something that everybody looks forward to eating at holiday parties. We spent some extra time running to our food storage room to fill my flour and sugar canisters but we were still able to get the cookies mixed and in the fridge while Emmy was taking her morning nap. This kitchen adventure went a lot smoother than Bensen's first time helping me bake and I'm looking forward to many more in the future.
On Sunday morning, while Joe was spending time with the kids, I spent some time by myself in the kitchen. I turned on my favorite Sunday music, rolled out the sugar cookie dough and cut it into various sized hearts. I'd forgotten how little time it takes to bake the cookies and I had the entire project finished in under an hour. After the cookies had cooled, I put them in a tupperware to store until later in the week when we had the opportunity to frost them. You can also freeze the cookies if needed, they thaw really well when left out on the counter in their container.
On Wednesday morning, I made frosting while Bensen was playing after breakfast. The frosting is my least favorite part of making sugar cookies because it is so messy! I put the bowl in my deep sink but the hand mixer still flings stuff everywhere. (Does anyone have a good trick for making this not happen??) Even dumping the powdered sugar in bits at a time, the counters that were near the sink were covered in a white film after I was done, as was my black shirt (bad wardrobe choice for the day).
Bensen isn't quite old enough to help frost all of the cookies, but I gave him his own bowl with a little bit of frosting, a small plastic spatula and his own cookie to frost. He sat in his chair at the table putting frosting on his cookie, licking the spatula and eating his cookie while I frosted and decorated the cookies at the kitchen island. He had a great time even if most of the frosting never made it to the cookie before going in his mouth. These are the little things that make childhood great!
A couple of years ago, I bought some really cute gift bags that say, 'Made with Love' on them. I had planned to pull them out and package the cookies in them before delivering them. Unfortunately, I cannot figure out where in my house I put them. The next time I clean and organize every room, hopefully I'll find them. Instead, I put them in sealed bags and packaged them in a plain brown gift bag with a pink ribbon tied on top.
When it's warmer outside and the air quality is better, I want to load the kids into the stroller and take a family walk to deliver cookies to our neighbors. You could deliver your cookies anonymously, leave the package on the doorstep with a note on it, or personally hand the cookies to each neighbor. Whichever you feel like doing, your neighbors will appreciate the thought and love!
This activity was so fun, a great way to serve those around us and provided us with a few days worth of activities! I have a goal to make a batch every month and share the love with a few different neighbors each time. Mixing, baking, frosting and delivering are all done at separate times so I can do something with Bensen, something on my own, something with Joe and something as a family or multiple things with Bensen, Joe or as a family. Maybe I'll be ambitious enough this coming December to make multiple batches and deliver them to all of our friends, neighbors and loved ones.
What are you up to for date night this weekend?