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Cookies for kids: To make and to give

Brenda Hyde is a writer, editor and founder of Old Fashioned Living, an online magazine that encourages families to keep the traditions, memories and keepsakes that have been passed down from generations past. She has a degree in Journal...

Kid-friendly cookies

If your little ones are underfoot in the kitchen, why not given them a spoon and let them join in the fun! It's a great way to say "Thank you" or "Happy Holidays." These fun-to-make recipes get kids involved with the creation of yummy treats.

Giving treats to our family and friends is always a nice touch for birthday, holidays or just to say thank you. We have some special recipes that can be made by children with just a little help if they are younger. Teaching children how to make and give gifts is something they will always remember and pass down to their own children in the future.

Making holiday or birthday cookies with kids

These recipes are a wonderful place to start.

Cocoa Butter Balls
  • 2/3 cup butter (softened)
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon milk or water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups oatmeal
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup powdered sugar for coating

Blend butter and sugar. Blend cocoa, water and vanilla. Add cocoa mixture to butter mixture and blend thoroughly. Add oatmeal and blend with hands. Form into ball, 3/4 inch in diameter. Chill mixture as necessary to make shaping easier. Place additional powdered sugar in bowl. Drop balls into sugar. Roll to coat. Place on plate; refrigerate until firm, about one hour.

Makes 36 balls.

Chocolate Sugarplums

  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 2-1/2 cups finely crushed vanilla wafer crumbs
  • 1 cup pecans, crushed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

Line cookie sheets or trays with waxed paper. Melt chips in microwave, starting with 25 seconds, stirring and going again for 10 seconds each time, then stirring again until melted. In a medium sized bowl, mix melted chips, confectioners sugar, corn syrup and water with extract with a wooden spoon. Stir in cookie crumbs and pecans until blended. Shape by rounded teaspoonfuls into balls. (if too crumbly add a tiny amount of water). Roll in granulated sugar. Place on cookie sheets. Store in airtight container.

S'more Mix

  • 2 cups honey graham cereal
  • 1 cup tiny marshmallows
  • 1 cup peanuts
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup raisins, or chocolate covered raisins

Mix all ingredients in a large plastic bag. Tightly close bag and shake well. To give as gifts divide the mix into small plastic or cellophane bags, and tie with a pretty ribbon and gift tag.

Maple Squares

  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups nonfat dry milk powder
  • about 2 tablespoons chopped peanuts

Mix the peanut butter and maple syrup until well blended. Add the milk powder, stir well. Spread the mixture into a loaf pan. Pat it down to make an even layer. Sprinkle the peanuts over the mixture and press gently. Chill 1 hour. Cut into 1 inch squares. Keep covered and chilled until you serve.

Makes about 32 squares.

Gift wrapping your treats
Once you have made your treats here are several ways you can package them to give away:

  • Decorated brown paper lunch sacks with fabric hearts or shapes. Place your treat in a plastic bag then into your gift bag. Staple shut and add a gift tag.
  • Place your treats in interesting tins that you can find at thrift stores. Be sure to wash the tins in hot soapy water first, dry and place waxed paper in the bottom of the tin before you put in the treats.
  • Small wicker baskets are great for holding treats. They can be found at craft stores, or thrift stores. Be sure to wash baskets with a stiff brush in warm, soapy water if they have been used.
  • Place your treats in a plastic or cellophane bag, tie with bow and place in your basket. You can also line the basket with tissue or fabric before placing in treats.
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