Snow Day ~ Giant Cookies

Like most of those on the NE Corridor, we are  in the midst of  snownami 2010, which equates to very excited little boys bouncing off the walls at 6 o’clock in the morning.  Good thing I’m a morning person!Anyway, in addition to the digging out and snow play that will be happening, one of my favorite things to do on a cold, blustery, wet, or otherwise nasty day outside is to bake.  It’s something that the kids enjoy doing with me, and, * BONUS *, you’re left with something yummy when all’s said & done.  Since I volunteered to bring something in for Wyatt’s pre-school Valentine’s party tomorrow, I was already prepared for some time in the kitchen. 

When  Jackson turned one last month, his birthday fell on a Wednesday.  To make it easier on everyone, we decided to have a brunch on the Sunday before to celebrate, complete with cake, ice cream, singing, etc.  That left us with the question of what to do on his actual birthday.  I didn’t want to do a whole other cake, but I also wanted to celebrate in some small way, too.  At some point I thought it would be fun to try making one of those giant cookies that you get at the mall.  It couldn’t be that difficult, right?  And my favorite go-to website for all things recipe-related, All Recipes, just happened to deliver on my search request of “giant cookie”

So, check out the link for the recipe, I won’t bother to re-post it here.  Be sure to check out the reviews for alternate ideas/tips.  I did take one person’s suggestion of baking it in a cake pan to achieve perfect roundness and even baking, but this does make it turn out more like a bar cookie than, well, a cookie-cookie.  Today, we are going to try out a heart-shaped variation, with my cool new heart-shaped silicon bake pan alá Targét.  I’ll try to post pictures when we’re done.  For now, here’s the Jackson version:

I have to say, it was super easy, and SO delicious!  I used a recipe I had on hand to make the icing, and pulled out my Wilton pastry tips, but honestly, store-bought frosting works just as well, if not better.  I tinted mine with some food coloring & piped it through a freezer bag with the pastry tip on the end. 

One more thing: you don’t need the icing, or an event for that matter, to enjoy these cookies!  If anyone tries them, I’d love to hear how they turn out.

******** Updated 2/14/10 *******  Here is our Valentine’s cookie:

We used candy hearts and “glued” them on with icing globs.  Too bad Wyatt’s party was cancelled due to the snow storm…. it totally sucked that we had to eat it ourselves…

Preparing for Easter

One of the many treats we’re having for the Easter holiday this year is birds’ nests– these are so fun & easy to make with the kidlets, and I think they look great.

Basically, you just melt chocolate chips in the microwave, then stir in a package of chow mein noodles until they are totally coated.  Then, you scoop & form little “nests” onto waxed paper & wait for them to harden completely.  Once they’re dry & hard (that’s what she said), you “glue” the eggs in with peanut butter.

I personally like to use the Cadbury Mini-Eggs, because they’re sooo delicious, and they look most like the real thing, but I’ve seen people use jelly beans, jordan almonds, malted milk eggs, or even yogurt raisins.  The only think I might change about the process is the peanut butter- it’s ok, but it sometimes shows around the edges, & doesn’t always stick as well as you need it to…. I think using a little bit of melted chocolate as glue instead could resolve this problem- you’d just have to melt it in small batches so it doesn’t cool too fast.

What holiday treats are you making this year?