Summer Fun with the Grands
Pulling out the cookie cutters is generally done during the Holiday season when we’re thinking of Christmas goodies. We enjoy our gingerbread men and our Santa-shaped sugar cookies. But, you and the grandkids can have a ton of cooking fun during the summer months using cookie cutters plus your imaginations. Here are some fun recipes and ideas to make summer cooking with the grandkids more fun than ever.
Cookies: The simplest sugar cookie dough has only five ingredients: 1 cup flour, ½ cup butter, ¼ cup powdered sugar, ½ t. vanilla and a dash of salt. Blend dry with wet ingredients, roll out and cut into any shape you want, then refrigerate the cut out dough for ten minutes while your oven heats. Bake at 350 degrees 8-10 minutes. Don’t overbake, the cookies will crisp up as they cool.
Fruit: Slices of apple, pear, banana or any kind of melon make for fun summer shapes. Grandma or Grandpa can cut the slices and the grandkids can use the cookie cutters to make the shapes. How about a fruit zoo using animal shapes?
Pancakes: Fry up some mini-pancakes and let the grandkids use cookie cutters to create their own masterpieces. Their breakfast plates will boast all manner of shapes and every star, heart and diamond pancake will disappear. (Grandparents often have to eat the leftover odd bits.)
Candies: Try this fun candy recipe. Melt ¼ cup vanilla or white chocolate chips plus 2T. creamy peanut butter in the microwave. Pour evenly into a sprayed metal or glass baking pan. Melt 2 T. milk chocolate chips separately and use to make stripes across the top of the candy. Freeze in a freezer for ten minutes and cut into shapes. Voila! You’ve made Tiger Peanut Butter Candy.
Sandwiches: Find your largest cookie cutters. They may be gingerbread men or animals. Use them to cut shapes out of bread slices. Fill the sandwiches with simple ingredients such as cheese or turkey slices, or that all-time favorite: peanut butter and jelly. Use condiments to create faces and other details.
Jello Shapes: Use this recipe for finger jellos. When the jello is set, take out and use cookie cutters to make jiggly fun snacks. Finger Jello: Mix four packages of gelatin with three small packages of Jello. Grandma needs to add the four cups of boiling water and stir. This is enough to fill a large cookie sheet with high sides. Refrigerate until set and let the fun begin.
Cheese: Buy pre-sliced cheddar, jack or another favorite, or carefully slice your own pieces. Use cookie cutters to create a delightful and healthy snack. Serve with crackers or fruit.
Veggies: Make slices of crisp vegetables such as raw beets, jicama or kohlrabi. These make yummy and healthy snacks.
Where to Buy Cookie Cutters
You probably have a supply of holiday cookie cutters and maybe a few others. But there are some fantastic cookie cutter choices out there. Take a look.
www.thecookiecuttershop.com: This site has interesting and varied cutters in snowflake, leaf, musical instrument shapes. There’s even a kit to make your own cookie cutter shape.
www.cheapcookiecutters.com: You’ll find everything here from superheroes to sea creatures.
www.fancyflours.com: Hundreds of themed cookie cutters from flowers to birds to dinosaurs.
And don’t forget that shopping for cookie cutters in thrift shops or antique stores can be a great pastime when planning some summer cooking fun with the grandkids.