and she was pretty into gingerbread men thanks to those PJs, so I thought making gingerbread men would be a perfect holiday activity. (Well, she was into gingerbread men, until we did the Gingerbread Man Dash in St. Augustine and she decided she was scared of the gingerbread man, but this plan was already hatched by then, so tough luck, kid.)
So, I gathered all the ingredients, we apron-ed up and went to work making gingerbread dough - Ellie's first baking experience! She was very into helping me pour stuff into the bowls, and she wanted to help stir. She did not care for the electric mixer (she doesn't like loud noises these days), so when I told her it was going to get noisy, she would just get down from her chair and go to her room until I told her it was over. Overall she loved the experience, especially the flour, and for days afterwards, every time we went into the kitchen she would say, "that's where we made flour!"
Ingredient-dumping action shot!
Unfortunately, I turned out to not be quite the domestic goddess/Mother of the Year that I fancied myself, because the dough didn't quite turn out. It was far too sticky to be able to do anything with it, so into the trash it went. Alas! I'm not sure if it was a bad recipe or my poor baking skills or what, but there was no saving it.
I had been looking forward to the cookie decorating portion of the program, so I decided we would just make sugar cookie cutouts and decorate those. I briefly considered making my Nana's homemade sugar cookie recipe, but the gingerbread debacle left me a little gun-shy so I went with a package mix. Hey, I added an egg! We'll call that baking.
When the dough was prepared, Ellie helped me make the cutouts.
She's a natural.
We baked them, then left them be until later that evening when E.J. was in bed (he currently lacks the dexterity for cookie-decorating) and Eric was around to help us decorate. Then we went to town with icing and sprinkles. Ellie seemed to feel pretty strongly that moderation is NOT key when it comes to sprinkles, so many of her cookies were so decked out that you could get a sugar high just from being in the same room as them. But, she had a great time (we all did!) and the cookies turned out great!
Careful sprinkle application
A totally reasonable amount of sprinkles for one cookie
Sprinkle fingers: a delicacy!
Showing off some of our decorated cookies
Ellie and Eric's masterpieces! Also, Eric's tie and Ellie's most natural "smile" face.
It was so fun to make Christmas cookies with my daughter for the first time. This holiday season has been amazing so far!