kids in the kitchen
Let's Make Cookies!
The easiest way for kids to make cookies is to use a package mix. Each one comes with complete directions on the package. You can also make some very special cookies using the package mix and adding other ingredients.

Before you start making a batch of cookies, there are several things you should know. Of course, you already know about washing your hands, wearing an apron, and reading the recipe carefully before you begin.

After you have made your cookie dough, in most cases you should chill it in the refrigerator for about an hour before rolling it out flat with a rolling pin. This makes the dough easier to handle.

After it is chilled, take a small chunk of the dough and place it on a floured board or pastry cloth. Keep the rest of the dough in the refrigerator until you need it.

Make a smooth ball out of the chunk of dough. Then dust your rolling pin with flour and roll your dough out flat, rolling from the center to the edges. Use a light touch and keep the edges the same thickness as the center.

Use as little flour as possible on your rolling pin and board. If you are using cookie cutters, dip them in flour often to keep them from sticking to the dough. If you are using your own cardboard pattern, place the pattern on the dough and cut around it with a sharp knife. Dip the knife in flour to make it cut easier. Cut out the cookies as close together as possible. Save all the scraps, roll them into a ball, and reroll them later.

Lift the cookies from the board with a spatula or pancake turner. Place them on a greased or ungreased cookie sheet, according to the recipe. keep them about 1 inch apart and bake at the temperature given in the recipe. As soon as the cookies are out of the oven, remove them from the cookie sheet to a plate. Otherwise, they may stick to the sheet.
Vanilla Cookies If you want to make your own dough, here is a recipe for vanilla cookies that can be rolled out, cut out, and decorated. To make them you'll need the following ingredients:

*3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon baking powder
*2/3 cup shortening
*2/3 cup sugar
*2 eggs
*1/2 teaspoon vanilla
*3 tablespoons milk
Stir flour, salt, and baking powder together in a bowl. In another, large bowl, stir shortening until creamy. Add sugar and mix well. Stir in unbeaten eggs, vanilla, and flour mixture until smooth. Add milk and press dough into a firm roll. This dough gets very stiff and may be hard for you to mix. If you run into trouble, ask an adult to help you. Chill dough in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

When the dough is firm, roll it out flat on a lightly floured board until it is 1/4 inch thick. Cut our your cookies, using cookie cutters or your own cardboard patterns. Place cookies on a greased cookie sheet and bake them in a moderately hot oven - 375 degrees - for 7 or 8 minutes. Then with your pot holders, remove the cookie sheet from the oven and immediately put the cookies on a cool platter.

On the next page, we'll talk about ideas for decorating your cookies.

Sour Cream Drop Cookies - You can make old-fashioned sour cream drop cookies with a package mix. You'll need:

*1 package vanilla cookie mix
*1/4 cup sour cream
*semi-sweet chocolate bits

Put the cookie mix in a large bowl and add sour cream. Mix until well blended. Chill dough for about an hour. Then drop by teaspoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with the chocolate bits. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in a moderately hot oven - 400 degrees - and remove from oven when they're golden brown.

Orange Nut Ginger Bars For these delicious bars you'll need

1 package gingerbread mix
3/4 cup lukewarm water
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
1 cup chopped nuts

Before you mix all the ingredients, heat the oven to 350 degrees and grease two 9-inch square cake pans. Put gingerbread mix in a large bowl. Gradually add all of the water. Then add orange rind and walnuts, and mix well. Pour dough into pans and bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
Cool slightly and then cut into bars with a flat tableknife.
Chocolate-Peppermint Balls - The minty flavor in these cookies makes them extra special. To make them you'll need:

1 package devil's food cake mix
1/2 cup shortening
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
sifted confectioners' sugar

First heat the oven to 375 degrees. Then cream shortening with egg yolk and peppermint flavoring until mixture is light and fluffy. Add cake mix. Work mixture with your fingers until it's like pastry dough. Form into small balls, using about a teaspoon of dough for each ball. Place the balls about 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven, and while still warm, roll them in confectioners' sugar.

                                                                                                  frosting and decorating