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What Valentine’s Day Means to Kids

Not everyone is in love with Valentine’s Day, but you can safely say that most kids are. That’s because what Valentine’s Day means to kids may be a little different to us adults… I’m pretty sure it’s not all fancy date nights, or feeling depressed about their single status on Facebook. As soon as the buzz of Christmas had passed, Elsie – aged six and three quarters – was pumped about the next holiday on the calendar. For her, Valentine’s starts Feb 1st, so yesterday she insisted we get on with it and make heart cookies. “It’s February 1st today Mommy, we need to hurry, there is so much to do!” I’m not entirely sure what she has planned for the rest of the month but apparently we’d better get started.

What valentine's day means to kids FB

Apart from wanting to buy everything pink in the vicinity of the store, while proudly wearing her heart jumper dress, Elsie seems genuinely excited. But why? It is the brain-washing of shameful consumerism? I thought I’d better find out by asking her what Valentine’s Day was all about:

“You get to make new friends. Because Valentine’s Day is all about love and friendship.” 

 
When I asked what people do on Valentine’s Day she briefly talked of Cupid shooting at people with arrows to make them fall in love (why aren’t kids more scared of Cupid? It sounds terrifying). But she then went on to talk about making things to give to friends and making new friendships in the process. She’s a wise girl that Elsie.

So before you go boycotting it, think about what Valentine’s Day means to kids, and how we can all learn from it. It shouldn’t be about couples, sex and Instagraming the expensive gift your boyfriend gave you; it should be about love and friendship. Take your friends out, ring someone you’ve lost touch with, leave a little something on the doorstep of someone you care about. We all need a little more kindness in the World of today.

And in case you’re wondering what cookie delight’s we came up with last night, here’s the recipe…

Strawberry Swirl Heart Cookies
Yields 40
Traditional sugar cookies with a hint of natural strawberry flavor and a pink hue for Valentine's Day.
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Prep Time
1 hr 15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Prep Time
1 hr 15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. 8oz (2 sticks) butter
  2. 1 cup sugar
  3. 3 cups all purpose flour
  4. 1 pinch of salt
  5. 1 tsp baking powder
  6. 1 egg
  7. 1 tsp vanilla essence
  8. 6 strawberries
  9. 1 cup confectioners sugar for frosting
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy (2-3mins).
  2. Beat in the egg and vanilla until smooth.
  3. Mix 2½ cups of flour (keep ½ cup aside), salt and baking powder in a separate bowl and then add to the batter. Once a ball of dough is created, remove half of it from the mixer.
  4. On parchment paper, roll the dough into a flat disc around 1 inch thick.
  5. Blend the strawberries into a puree and add to the mixer along with the remaining half of the dough and the extra ½ cup of flour. Mix into a light pink dough.
  6. On parchment paper, roll the pink dough into a flat disc around 1 inch thick.
  7. Sandwich the two doughs together and fold over a couple of times. Knead the dough a little, just enough to get a swirled effect. Split into two balls, flatten to make two marbled discs and refrigerate for around an hour.
  8. Roll out the dough to around ⅛ inch and cut out your heart cookies. Place on a lined baking tray.
  9. Bake at 325°F for 12-15mins, until edges just start to get color.
  10. Once cooled, decorate as you wish. We just whipped up some confectioners sugar with water and dotted the perimeter. For frosting larger areas of the cookie you'll want to make proper royal icing, I've added a link below this recipe card.
Notes
  1. Refrigerating the dough hardens it a little and therefore helps the cut out shapes stay crisp. It is not necessary if you're in a hurry (as kids always are).
  2. Giving you exact measurements for flour is tough because it will depend on the size of your egg and strawberries. Use your judgement to create a dough that is easy to work with.
Twin Pickle http://twinpickle.com/
If your kiddo is wanting to decorate a masterpiece on their cookies, you’ll want some royal icing. Here a recipe and even a video on how to decorate cookies!
 
Hurry now… Elsie says there’s only twelve more days to go.

twin-pickle-signature

 


Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies: Elsie in the Kitchen

I’m still recovering from the holidays (I hope you are too), so Elsie has taken over for today’s blog post. She’s making chewy chocolate chip cookies… delicious. Do enjoy her video!

Well done Elsie, they are pretty yummy if I don’t say so myself. I would suggest taking more precaution than she does with health and hygeine though. I’m pretty sure every surface and every cookie was licked at some point in the making of this film. Still, we will certainly be making these again, and I must give a shout out to Hoast the Toast, as we adapted the recipe from Morgan’s great blog. If you can’t remember exactly what Elsie said, here’s the recipe card:

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yields 18
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Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
12 min
Total Time
52 min
Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
12 min
Total Time
52 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups all purpose flour
  2. 1 tsp baking soda
  3. 2 tsp cornstarch
  4. ½ tsp salt
  5. 6oz melted butter
  6. 1 cup dark brown sugar
  7. ½ white sugar
  8. 2 eggs
  9. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  10. 1½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Whisk together flour, baking soda, cornstarch and salt.
  2. Mix in the sugars and melted butter (make sure butter is cooled) using an electric mixer for around a minute.
  3. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and continue to mix for another minute.
  4. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Refrigerate the cookie dough for 30minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  7. Roll the cookie dough into balls and place on a lined baking sheet.
  8. Bake the cookies for around 12minutes. Keep an eye on them - you want a little color on the edges but still soft in the middle.
  9. Allow to cool on the baking sheet.
Twin Pickle http://twinpickle.com/
chewy chocolate chip cookies

For more video’s of Elsie in the kitchen, check out these on YouTube:

 
 


This post is linked up here:

Mummy in a Tutu

Night of the Living Pumpkin Gingerbread

pumpkin-gingerbreadI have a confession to make… I’m a bit of a zombie fanatic. You may remember last month  I posted on the zombie apocalypse, and with Halloween only a week away it’s the perfect excuse to get my zombie juices flowing again. My six-year old daughter was totally on board; she’s been pestering me to make gingerbread men for ages and was a little too excited about decorating with plenty of blood and goo – should I be concerned?

Zombie Pumpkin Gingerbread Men
Yields 24
A traditional gingerbread recipe with a hint of pumpkin and some zombie attitude for the holiday.
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Prep Time
50 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
50 min
Cook Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup butter, softened
  2. 1 cup dark brown sugar
  3. 1/4 cup molasses
  4. 1 large egg
  5. 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  6. 3 cups all-purpose flour
  7. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  8. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  9. 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  10. 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  11. 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  12. frosting to decorate
  13. pre-made eye balls (optional)
Instructions
  1. Cream butter and brown sugar in an electric mixer. When light and fluffy, add the molasses, a beaten egg and the pumpkin puree.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, salt and spices, then gradually beat into creamed mixture.
  3. Divide the dough and make two or three balls (this just speeds up the chilling process), then wrap in plastic and refrigerate to firm up, about 20 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°. On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion of dough to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut with a floured gingerbread man cookie cutter. If decapitating or removing a zombie limb, do this before cooking.
  5. Place 1-2 in. apart on a lined baking sheet and bake until edges are firm or just starting to brown, 8-10 minutes.
  6. Cool those zombies and frost as desired. We bought ready made eyeballs because my frosting skills have room for improvement, nice and easy for the kiddos too.
Notes
  1. You can buy pumpkin puree canned - we found ours in the baking isle around all the pumpkin pie stuff. Otherwise, make your own by cutting a pumpkin in half, scooping out seeds and placing face down in an inch of water. Bake at 350ºF for 60-90mins (depending on size of pumpkin). When soft, scoop out the flesh and blend.
Twin Pickle http://twinpickle.com/
The results aren’t going to win any beauty contests but they are delicious and we had so much fun making them. Here are some of my favourites:

zombie-bread-men

 

This post is linked up here:

Mummy in a Tutu
The Pramshed
Juggling Food
Diary of An Imperfect Mum
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