Making Christmas cookies is one of my ultimate favorite winter traditions. But making Christmas cookies with a toddler is an entirely new experience.
A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand.
I love sweets. All sweets. I love decorating sweets. Cookies. Cakes. Cupcakes. YES. I’m so glad that Penny has finally reached an age where she’s starting to be able to participate in more complicated (and messy) things like baking cookies. We don’t make a lot of messes, so even spreading the flour around the table was a blast. Without much further ado here it is: how to make cookies with a toddler.
Step One: Gather all necessary supplies.
Of course toy cars count, why would you ask such a silly question?
For these cookies we used:
- Betty Crocker Cookie Mix Pouch Sugar Cookie, 17.5 oz
- Betty Crocker Cookie Icing
- Various Cookie Cutters, including this Ninja Bread Men set
- Egg Nog – a necessity. Don’t even attempt holiday cookies without nog. Just don’t do it.
- oh… yeah… Sprinkles
Step Two: Prep the workspace.
Liberally spread flour. This might be your toddler’s favorite part. Let them enjoy it. GET MESSY. Afterall, it’s sensory play, right? It’s literally good for their brain to make this mess. Just don’t think about having to clean it up later. Roll Dough onto work surface.
Step Three: EGG NOG BREAK!
This was Penny’s first nog experience and it did not disappoint. See? I told you not to skip the nog. You doubted me. Now you feel silly, don’t you?
Step Four: Carefully select (and inspect) cookie cutters.
Play the “I see you” game. This is one of P’s favorite games right now. Even if she cannot PHYSICALLY see you, she will hide behind something and be sure to call out, “I seeeeeee youuuuuuuu!” Don’t worry. Sing-song children’s voices are never terrifying… especially not in the middle of the night in the dark…
Step Five: Place Cookie Cutters!
Help the Toddler lay them down. Watch her pick them up. Re-roll dough, replace cookie cutters. Patience is the key here. Remember, your kid is LEARNING, right? THIS IS FUN. WE’RE HAVING FUN. WE ARE MAKING CHRISTMAS COOKIES WITH TODDLERS; THIS IS FUN.
Step Six: Remove excess dough.
Enlist Toddler to put dough in mixing bowl so she doesn’t pull up cut cookies. Distraction is key.
Step Seven: BAKE COOKIES.
Follow the directions on the package. These cookies cook quickly, so they’re perfect for making Christmas cookies with toddlers. Let them cool. Take second nog break. Toddler knows what’s coming. Toddler will hog the nog.
Step Eight: Tempt toddler by photographing naked cookies in front of her.
I feel like this step is pretty self explanatory and one of those things that we as parents get to do.
Step Nine: Ice Cookies.
Start with the outline then fill in details and middle. Remember: Less is more…. don’t do what I do and try to fill in the whole cookie. Just trust me. Don’t. You didn’t believe me with the nog and I was right, so just listen to me for once. Don’t make me use my mom voice.
Step Ten: Enlist Dad to help decorate because you DIDN’T take my advice and your hand is cramping from filling in the cookies all the way.
I’ll bet you feel extra foolish now, don’t you? …. I told you so.
Step Eleven: Convince Toddler and Dad NOT to eat *just* sprinkles. Actually get down to decorating.
Step Twelve: Mug for the Camera
You made it this far. Might as well take some Christmas card worthy family photos, right? Also… please ignore my sprinkles that are very obviously Halloween leftovers. Have you ever known someone who actually uses the entire canister of sprinkles in one season? I didn’t think so.
Step Thirteen: EAT THE COOKIES. TAKE ALL THE PHOTOS.
Don’t forget to share with Dad!
Presenting the eight reasons I DON’T own a bakery. I said I liked decorating cookies; I didn’t say I was any good at it. 😉
Although, I suppose I omitted a reason I don’t own a bakery: I can’t be trusted around cookies. At all. Don’t leave unguarded cookies around me if you want to see them again. I’m like Liam Neeson; I have a particular set of skills. Skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for cookies. Especially when they’re shaped like dinosaurs. I will look for them. I will find them, and I will INHALE THEM.
…Eating my kid’s Christmas cookies while she’s asleep doesn’t make me a bad person, does it?