Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Cookie Baking Day – This Year with Zach

Yesterday was the annual Christmas Cookie Baking Day at our house and it was the first time that my grandson has participated. I really don’t bake much, but once a year I do bake cookies for Christmas. I make toll house cookies with a secret ingredient – maraschino cherries and its juice. This is  a recipe from my father’s family and I think of him and his family whenever I make these cookies. When my kids were small I also made sugar cut out cookies that we decorated and of, course, they were on the baking plan this year.  I had bought Christmas tree and star cookie cutters because I thought Zach would like both of them.  Fran dug out our old angel and snowman cookie cutters because they were her favorites.

Cookie baking day was always something that my kids loved and participated in. I still have the aprons I bought for them and Zach wore one of them when he helped yesterday. He is so cute that I can’t hold myself back from gushing about him.  Zach is 2 ½ and you can never be really sure if a 2 ½ year old will be as interested in something as you are, but he loved baking and in fact, he wanted to do all the jobs.

We have been talking about baking cookies for a month. When he got Elmo’s Merry Christmas book - it has a flap with cookie monster and cookies (duh) and I told him that he would bake cookies with me for Christmas. Since then, if you asked him what he and Grandma would do for Christmas he would tell you “Bake Cookies.”

My husband was the official recorder of the event, and except for this one that he is in, he took most of the pictures. Here is Zach hard at work in a variety of jobs.

One of Zach’s favorite activities is playing with play doh and cutting it with a plastic knife. When he arrived on Wednesday morning, the preparation work was already underway and he got to choose what he wanted to help with. First up – helping Pop chop cherries. I posted this picture on facebook yesterday and got some comments about the knife. Rest assured that my husband is super safety conscious and watched attentively during this task.

Next Zach was ready to help Grandma.  And I was more than ready to have his help.  He already knew how to break an egg like an expert because he does this when he helps Mommy make blueberry pancakes:

Zach wasn’t content to watch Grandma with the mixer, so first we held it together and then he mixed on his own.

Zach got to empty the bag of chocolate chips into the cookie mix:

Zach and Mommy (Fran) enjoyed putting the cookie dough on the baking trays together:

No pictures but Zach also helped Grandma cut out the sugar cookies and hand them over to Mommy to put on the baking tray.  He liked all four of the choices but I think the star was his favorite.  At this point he wanted to see Bob the Builder and the adults finished up the baking at an accelerated pace.

Cooking and baking are wonderful activities to do with a grandchild. And even very young ones will enjoy and learn from it. You learn about measuring and counting, using knives and an electric mixer carefully and safely. And you get to sample the cookies just minutes after they come out of the oven. Nothing beats that.

More than gifts, I really enjoy our holiday traditions. We have lots of them. As my children are adults and I have to share them with other families some of our traditions are being modified. I am glad that cookie baking with a child is a tradition being revived rather than modified.

Do you bake or cook with children? Please leave a comment and tell us about it.


1 comment:

Susan Adcox said...

You're right that baking can be a real learning experience. Kids learn how to measure and how to follow directions. Fractions have a lot more meaning when they are needed to assemble the ingredients for a delicious cookie!