Christmas Cookies — Make it a family affair

I love to cook. I hate to bake. Baking is such a precise endeavor, it always feels like work … except, when I’m baking with the kids. It is like skiing. I have no interest in hitting the slopes on my own anymore, but when the kids are with me, I can ski all day. When it comes to cooking, all five of them want to get involved, which I love. But, it is really hard to include the little ones in making a meal. Small hands are not meant for chopping and frying. They are great, though, at measuring, pouring and mixing. Baking cookies together is great for family bonding and is sure to put everyone in the holiday spirit.

Here are some tips to make family baking, the best it can be:

  • Set aside a few hours in your busy month and get your family excited by choosing recipes together.
  • Choose recipes kids of all ages can help make.
  • It is cold and flu season. Hand washing is a must.
  • Print out recipes so your laptop isn’t covered in oil, egg and flour.
  • Play holiday music, or sing some family favorites.
  • Make sure the kids are wearing old clothes, so spills don’t turn into tears.
  • Take out everything you need before hand, so you can give your kids your full attention.
  • Use small, easy to grab, plastic measuring cups.
  • Make sure everyone is within arms reach of the mixing bowl.
  • Let kids crack the eggs, but do it in a separate bowl, so you can pick out the shells.
  • Have treats on the table to minimize the temptation to taste raw cookie dough. Salmonella poisoning does not go well with holiday cheer.
  • Take your time. Let each child take turns reading the recipe and doing the measuring.
  • Put bigger kids in charge and take a step back. The more involved the kids are, the prouder they will be of the product.
  • Don’t worry about the mess. Cleaning up during the event distracts from the fun.
  • Have your camera battery charged and your memory card empty. I promise there will be moments you will want to hold on to.
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