Sunday, July 6, 2008

Making Memories - Cookies

Today is the last day of the summer holidays for my daughter and most of her friends. My respect for my parents has gone up a notch or two - they managed to keep us occupied in an age when there was no TV, no Barney DVDs and not many options outside of home.

Of course, they weren't helicopter parents either and didn't believe that their children had to be kept "meaningfully" occupied every minute of the day and their intellectual capabilities honed to the best from age two!

But I did manage (with some other VERY resourceful mothers) to get through the vacation without enrolling her in a "summer camp". I did, however, spend 2 weeks with my brother and best friend, so maybe that helped a bit.
For the rest of the time, she was either at her friends' house upstairs or down the road or they were over here - finger painting, block painting, doing puzzles, having doll parties, building Lego towers, crayon colouring books, dancing to music, dressing up in costumes and having pretend plays, eating competitions at lunch,running around in the park every evening and generally enjoying herself. AND she hardly had time to watch any TV!

When it was just the two of us on a hot afternoon, we cuddled up and I read to her in bed - I even found some original A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh books - remember those? - the ones with those amazing line drawings by E Shepard - not the Disneyfied versions which is all that is available today!

One of those days 2 weeks back, my dear friend A (and Regular Reader Number 1 of my blog!) came downstairs with her kids and we set to work baking cookies. The little ones stood on stools to reach the kitchen platform and were most excited about choosing and cutting out the shapes from the dough and then decorating "their" cookies with sprinkles and icing.

It was quite hot that day and we both were bushed by the end of it BUT the kids could hardly wait for the cookies to come out of the oven....AND then cool was so precious to watch them crowding around the table, just standing there and waiting for the cookies to cool down! LOL!
(It was a bit gruesome though to watch the Gingerbread Man being devoured head first with a wicked smile!) ;)

I hope we all made some wonderful memories for the children that day and these summer days we are leaving behind!

Sugar Cookies

Refined Flour - 1 cup
Wheat flour - 1/2 cup
1 egg white
Butter - 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp
Castor sugar - 1/2 cup
Milk - as needed
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/4 tsp baking powder

1. Beat the butter and sugar till light and creamy in a large bowl.
2. Beat the egg separately and add the vanilla essence to it.
3. Sieve the refined flour, wheat flour, baking powder and salt together.
4. Add the beaten egg to the butter sugar mixture.
5. Fold in the flours into this and combine with a clean hand to make a smooth cookie dough.
6. If it is a bit dry, you can add milk a tablespoon at a time till it comes together.
7. Cover with cling wrap and chill in refrigerator for about 10 minutes.
8. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 190C.
9. Grease a baking tray and keep aside.
10. Roll out the chilled dough on the counter which has been sprinkled with a bit of flour - about 1/4th of an inch thickness.
11. Cut out cookie shapes with the cookie cutters (easily found in most utensil shops today or even the ubiquitous Dollar store)
12. Roll out the remaining dough and then cut out shapes again, repeat till all the dough is used up.
13. Decorate the shapes with sprinkles, icing and even chocolate drizzles - use your imagination or better still let your child take the lead!
14. Bake in the preheated oven for about 13 minutes till it just turns brown. Let it stay for about 2 minutes in the oven and it will become a bit crisper.


Asha said...

I stayed the whole Summer days away in somebody else's house playing and climbing trees, went home for lunch and dinner and to sleep!:D
My kids play video games and walk the dog, that's it! :P
Since they work hard during school, I guess it's okay.
Cookies look yum, great way to end Summer holidays. We just started the holidays, school is on August 25th!:)

indosungod said...

I know exactly what you are talking about. We are going through the same thing but having my mother around helps.

"The cookies look really good" DD was was watching over my shoulders and that is her compliment :)

Miri said...

I know Asha, we were downstairs or in someone's house the whole time and came back only for meals...if at all.
And the word "bored" was not allowed - when we did use it we were made to help in some chores so we quickly learnt not to use it!

Miri said...

Thanks Indo and your daughter :)

TheCooker said...

The classic Pooh sketches are the best!
The kids seemed to have enjoyed themselves. I'm having a cupcake afternoon next week with my daughter and her friends; much like your cookie session.

Meera said...

Loved your post. I agree with you completely.
Cookies look delicious.

Raaga said...

hey... lovely cookies... where did you buy the sprinkles from?

Miri said...

The sprinkles are "phoren" supplied by my nrighbour's SIL who lives abroad. But I did get some from Crawford market when I was there in June (Mumbai)and in Delhi its available in Morning Store - GKI M block market, INA market etc