En español | When my daughters were growing up, they loved baking holiday cookies, but the fantasy of this family affair often collided with kid reality. They would start eating candy and get distracted, or one would apply icing to her sister's hair, or they would get bored and wander off.
Over the years I improved the experience and nearly perfected it — just as they outgrew it. But I have a grandchild on the way who may join me for cookie making someday, and I'll employ these lessons:
Don't start on an empty stomach. Fill up on a nutritious meal or snack before laying out all the sugary temptations.
Work with the kids, but let them feel in control. Resist the temptation to "help" make their cookies perfect.
Give them a special tin or box for packaging. The cookies may go quickly, but the container will remind them of your special time.
I love making these red velvet crinkle cookies. You don't end up with the kind of mess you get from decorating sugar cookies, and you can let the little ones add the peppermint kisses after baking.
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Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies With Peppermint Kisses
Makes 4 dozen
- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon red food coloring (natural if possible)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 48 Hershey's Candy Cane Peppermint Kisses, unwrapped and frozen
Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Cream oil and sugar in a large bowl. Beat in eggs, one at a time, followed by the cocoa powder, food coloring and vanilla. Beat in flour mixture to form soft, sticky dough. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Divide dough into generous tablespoon portions; roll each in the confectioners' sugar and arrange 12 on each large parchment- or Silpat-lined baking sheet.
Bake cookies until puffed and cracked, 12 to 14 minutes (do not overbake). Remove from oven, and top each with a peppermint kiss. Let stand on baking sheet to set a little. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Can be stored in an airtight container for several weeks.