|Our jam stars and chocolate roll out cookies. The beautiful madeleines were from Pauline's mum. I've got to buy a mold learn how to make those!|
Maria's little friend Pauline came over for one session. Baking with two three-year-olds is neither neat nor easy! But still lots of fun, as you can see. There was plenty of tasting going on, and I spent a significant portion of my mental energy praying that I would not be responsible for giving our little neighbor salmonella poisoning. By time the sprinkles and compacted bits of dough were vacuumed from the carpet, I felt like I deserved a medal! But it was well worth the trouble!
During our baking, I found that not having the right equipment was liberating. There was no regret when our cookies didn't turn out perfectly. For our first session, we didn't have cutters so we made some out of a disposable foil container. We didn't have cookie sheets, so we made due with flipping the broiler pan upside down and baking the cookies five at a time on pieces of aluminum foil. I became quite adept at manipulating the cookie-laden foil, using a pot lid like a pizza peel to get them on and off of the upturned broiler pan.
Here are the recipes we used:
The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies
Best Ever Chocolate Cutout Cookies
Raspberry Star Cookies
It appears that I'm a sucker for recipes with the word "best" in the title. The jam stars were certainly the highlight of our Christmas spread. They disappeared so quickly and sent Donnie into such rhapsodies that we made three batches. For variety, we swapped in a quince jelly that we picked up at the Church Christmas market, as well as berry, fig and apricot jams. These cookies are so rich and pretty--I think they could be given away individually as party favors.