Sunday, September 30, 2012

After School Play date

I had a sous chef the other day when we made pumpkin cookies...

Actually, I had two sous chefs. Wait, let me back up-- Thursday is my carpool day. LMC and I drive to Chinatown/Downtown to pick up our best bud, An-Ew, before driving down Constitution to Maryland to school.

Two backpacks. Two lunch boxes. Two car seats. Two smiles. Two bobbling blonde heads running, holding hands, and ready to start their day.

This past Thursday, we invited An-Ew to come home with us and play. And play. And play. And play some more. Until we decided to make yummy cookies. Since An-Ew has recently been released from the peanut jail, we decided to take this anti-allergy for a spin and make cookies that involved almond extract.

So, like I said-- I had two sous chefs in the kitchen to help me measure, pour, and prepare these cookies.

Rolling out, cutting up, and decorating cookies takes a lot of patience for a three year old. I mean, a lot. First, we have to figure out the ingredients, then measure (not to mention take turns measuring), mix, cool the dough, split the dough, roll the dough, cut the dough, re-chill the dough- now cookie shaped, and then... finally... the sugar gets to be sprinkled.... before cooking. The two were so very patient. And before long, we got a third Sous Chef. (and technically, a fourth- though at five months... she did more milk drinking than cookie eating.)

After discovering one set of sugar was not enough for the three sous chefs, we opted for overindulging their tiny fingers with three sets of colored sugar. Some of us were more talented at eating the cookie dough (mine), tossing the pixie dust (mine again), while others were better at mashing the dough in their fingers (sous chef #3).

All being said, even this chaperone had a great time cycling out prepared cookies for cookies waiting to be accessorized.  Hands washed, all three sous chefs made their way to LMC's room, before devouring the almond extract cookies and moving on to jumping on the couch and off the couch. And not a hive was found!

Yeah for being sprung from the peanut jail!

So, try 'em out-- they're pretty yummy and have an excellent consistency for roll-out cookies.

Jail Break Cookies 
(cut to the shape of pumpkins-- or half-eaten pumpkins if my daughter is helping)

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 egg (yes, I know you are thinking two eggs-- so was I, but I trusted the recipe and was pleased with the results)
1 tbsp vanilla extract (since you've totally already made your homemade vanilla extract, you should use that)
1 tsp almond extract (I have no idea how to make this- vodka and almonds, maybe?)
2 3/4 cup AP flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt (make it a little shy if you are using salted butter. I am not saying to use unsalted butter, but if you are-- use the whole tsp)

Cream together butter and sugar until yummy, light and fluffy. Fend off the three year old fingers. Beat in egg and extracts. Mix flour, baking powder and salt; add to butter mixture 1 cup at a time, mixing after each addition. Do not chill dough. Divide dough into 2 (or 3- depending on your number of sous chefs) balls. On a floured surface, role act ball into a circle about 1/8 inch thick. Dip cookie cutter into flour before each use.

As they cut cookies, I placed them in the fridge to keep them from falling apart before decorating.

Bake cookies on parchment paper 8 minutes or until lightly browned.

Hide from small fingers and stalking husbands.

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