The holidays are done, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still enjoy the baking! It’s still cold outside so why not make use of that frozen left over pumpkin from our Halloween Jack-O-Lantern? Start by running water over it to thaw it out while it’s still in the bag or container you froze it in. This can take a while and waste water, so another idea is to heat some water (not boil or it will cook the pumpkin) and set the container in it. Leave it over night or during morning activities. Now, surprise the kids by announcing you’re baking Pumpkin Cookies!!!!!!
· 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
· 1 teaspoon baking powder
· 1 teaspoon baking soda
· 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
· 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
· 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
· 1/2 teaspoon salt
· 1/2 cup butter, softened
· 1 1/2 cups white sugar
· 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
· 1 egg
· 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
· ½ cup grated carrot
Start by pre-heating the oven to 350F
Now, measure each ingredient and have the kids pour in the bowl, designate a between pour stirrer or take turns. This will keep the kids focused and excited on their creation! Note with them the changes your mix goes through as you add each item! Have they smelled each ingredient and state if they like the smell or not. You can mix the “wet” items and “dry” items separately, then mix them together if you would like and you’re kids are old enough to handle these concepts. It makes no difference, however, if you don’t.
Once mixed, go ahead and have the kids use spoons to scoop dough onto the cookie sheet. Set your timer for 15 minutes (but note it can take up to 20 depending on your oven). Put the cookies in the oven to bake. Now, it’s time to make the glazy frosting!!!!
· 2 cups confectioners' sugar
· 3 tablespoons milk
· 1 tablespoon melted butter
· 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (you can sub with almond extract for a different, sweetly nutty flavor)
Again, measure each item and have the kids pour in with a designated stirrer. Have them smell it all, but be careful with the sugar as it can go up the nose. Add milk to make it runnier if needed. You will notice that as the icing sits it looks like it’s thickened, but when you pour over a cookie it suddenly becomes oozy and glazes down so put a dab on the cookie at a time or you’ll end up with a cookie in a pool of icing! Point this out to the kids, maybe experiment with it a little. Make sure to allow the cookies to cool before putting any icing on due to the already drizzly nature of the icing.
Now, eat up! Be happy for the memories you just created. Savor the heat from the oven. Enjoy the smells floating in your kitchen from baking. Don’t forget to have a little smile cross your face at the awareness that you just got your kids to eat pumpkin (a squash and therefore a vegetable) and a carrot! Two veggies with no realization from the kids! Always a proud mommy moment!
Be it this recipe or another savor the memories, messes, and excitement that cooking with your kids can bring on a cold winter day!