In our house love means cookies. Bad day? I’ll make you some oatmeal cookies. Going on a trip? You’ll find some chocolate chip cookies in your carry on. Crisp fall day? Let’s make some gingersnaps!
Things to keep in mind when baking cookies with little ones:
- I usually try to find a recipe that uses oil or melted butter rather than having to cream butter with sugar with an electric mixer. It goes faster, it’s easy for the kids to stir, and I don’t have the danger of a whirling beater around little fingers.
- I have great affection for my cookie scoop. It’s basically a small (about 1 Tbsp) ice cream scoop, but it makes shaping cookies so much quicker and easy enough for about a three year old to help with. It also handily makes evenly sized pancakes and kid-sized scoops of ice cream.
- Kids are capable of cracking eggs at around four years old. Have them crack them into a separate bowl (so you can fish out the errant bits of shell) and wash their hands afterward.
- Don’t let the kids (or yourself!) taste the batter once you’ve added eggs. Eggs sometimes carry salmonella and that could really ruin a day of cookie-baking!
Big, Soft, Chewy Gingersnap Cookies
1/2 cup melted butter
scant 1 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, but makes them extra-snappy!)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Sugar, for rolling
- Stir butter and sugar together; add egg. Beat well. Stir in molasses. Add dry ingredients and stir until combined.
- Shape 1-inch balls and roll in sugar. Place on a lightly greased or non-stick cookie sheet.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until done.
For a spicier cookie feel free to double the spices (it’s not that snappy to begin with). I let the children scoop the dough into the sugar, roll the balls, and place them on the cookie sheet (for even redistribution by me). It’s a great recipe to get your family into the kitchen for a bit of fun!