PASCALE'S KITCHEN: Summer baking fun with kids

These cookie recipes do not require any special ingredients or tools. Some kids will succeed in forming these shapes and will be overjoyed.

By
July 17, 2019 17:39
PASCALE'S KITCHEN: Summer baking fun with kids

CRISPY CHEESE PINWHEEL COOKIES WITH RED JAM. (photo credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)

As the mother of four boys, I know what it’s like to always be searching for activities for kids during the long, hot summer months. One of the best ways I found to keep my kids busy during school vacations was to bring them into the kitchen and involve them in whatever I was cooking or baking.

Baking cookies was always my go-to activity with my kids. We would clean the countertop and then sprinkle it with flour. Then we’d measure each ingredient, learning about numbers and fractions as we added each item. Then we’d knead the dough – I loved teaching my kids how not to overwork the dough. Next, we learned patience while letting the dough rest in the fridge for a while, and then finally it was time to roll out the cookie dough and form it into fun and interesting shapes.

A few weeks ago, my weekly column included recipes to prepare homemade jams. This week, I’m offering a few recipes for baking cookies that call for a dollop of delicious jam in the center. If you found the time to try out one of the jam recipes, then you can use it for these cookies. If not, any jam will do.

These cookie recipes do not require any special ingredients or tools. Some kids will succeed in forming these shapes and will be overjoyed. Others might find it difficult, and so they should be encouraged to create cookies in whatever form they want.
So don’t hesitate to roll up your sleeves and get started having a blast in the kitchen with your kids this summer. The cookies you prepare are wonderful when eaten together with a cup of hot tea or a glass of cold milk. You may have thought you need to get a jar ready to store all the extra cookies, but you can’t imagine how quickly they get snatched up and eaten. I bet you won’t even have any cookies left over to keep for the next day.

Tipascale
For working with cookie dough:
It’s extremely important not to overwork cookie dough, since the warmth of your hands will heat the butter and make the dough feel like you need to add more flour. If you add more flour, the cookies will come out overly hard.
Knead the dough only until all the ingredients are well mixed and then let the dough sit in the fridge long enough for the butter to chill.
All cookie doughs can be frozen, as long as they are wrapped well in plastic wrap. To defrost, place dough in the fridge and let it thaw slowly until you’re ready to make the cookies.
If you’re using the dough as the base for a quiche or pie, it’s best to make holes in it with the tines of a fork, or alternatively to cover it with foil and then add a layer of dry beans, which will prevent it from puffing up during baking. After the crust is ready, remove the foil and beans, add the filling and continue baking.

CRISPY CHEESE PINWHEEL COOKIES WITH RED JAM

Children who have a hard time forming the shape of a pinwheel can make balls, press down in the center with their thumb, and then add a dab of jam in the indentation. This is a great recipe for kids between the ages of four and seven.
Makes 25 cookies.

170 gr. cream cheese 25%-30%
1 egg
2 tsp. lemon zest
120 gr. butter
3 Tbsp. powdered sugar
2¾ cups flour, sifted
¼ tsp. salt
1 cup raspberry or other red jam

Topping:
1 cup powdered sugar

In the bowl of an electric mixer, add the cheese and egg and mix on medium speed. Add the lemon zest, butter, powdered sugar, flour and salt. Mix until smooth and dough begins to fall away from edges of bowl. Place bowl in the fridge for at least 60 minutes.
Separate the dough into two sections. Roll out first section on a floured work surface until dough is ½ cm. thick. Keep second section in the fridge until you’re ready to roll it out.
Cut dough into 8-cm. squares using a pizza cutter. Arrange the squares on a baking tray. Make a 2-cm. incision from each corner in toward the center. Take a half spoonful of jam and place it in the center of the square. Lift up one corner of each of the four triangles you’ve created and press it down in the center of the square, so that it forms a pinwheel shape.
Bake for 10-12 minutes in an oven that has been preheated to 170°-175° or until they turn golden brown. Let cool completely and then sprinkle with powdered sugar.

JAM HEART COOKIES (Credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)

JAM HEART COOKIES

Baking with your kids during summer vacation is the perfect opportunity to teach them how to measure, count and keep track of numbers. You can show them how to knead the dough, wait patiently and also be super-creative. Each child can make cookies to the best of his or her abilities. The main goal is to have fun and gain experience.
Makes 25-30 cookies.

200 gr. butter, at room temperature, cubed
½ cup (100 gr.) sugar
2¼ cups (300 gr.) flour, sifted
1 egg
1 cup jam, any flavor

Topping:
½ cup powdered sugar

Using a mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment, add the butter cubes, sugar and flour. Mix until crumbly.
Add the egg and mix until dough falls away from side of bowl.
Sprinkle some flour on your work surface and roll out dough until it’s ½ cm. thick. Use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out an even number of hearts (or whatever shape cookie cutter you want).
Place cookies on a tray lined with baking paper. In the middle of half of the cookies, cut out a small heart shape. Leave the other half of the cookies whole.
Bake for 22 minutes in an oven that has been preheated to 180°. Let cookies cool.
Place a dab of jam in the middle of each whole cookie. Place all the cookies with a hole in them on a tray and sprinkle them generously with powdered sugar. Place the powdered cookies with the holes on top of the whole cookies with the jam and gently press down so that the jam peeks out the window.
Alternatively, if these steps are too difficult for your children, they can cut the dough into squares and place a bit of jam in the center. Next, they should lift up one corner and press it down on top of the opposite corner to close the jam inside an envelope. The jam will peek out a little from both sides after it’s been baked.

CRISPY CHEESE PINWHEEL COOKIES WITH RED JAM (Credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)

ORANGE COOKIES

If you’d like to make your pinwheels parve, you can use this dough recipe.
Makes 50 cookies.

1 kg. flour, sifted
2 cups sugar
2 packets baking powder
2 packets vanilla sugar
1 Tbsp. orange zest
1 tsp. lemon zest
2 cups oil
2 cups water

Toppings:
Almond slivers, crushed peanuts or sesame seeds
½ cup powdered sugar

ORANGE COOKIES (Credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)

Add all the dry ingredients to a large bowl. While kneading, gradually add the oil and water. Knead until mixed well. Separate into 6 sections.
Flour your work surface and roll out each section until it’s ½ cm. thick. Cut into 5-cm. squares, use a glass to cut out circles, or any cookie cutter you choose. Place the cookies on a tray covered with baking paper, and leave 2 cm. between each cookie. Sprinkle with nuts or seeds.
Bake in an oven that has been preheated to 180° for 20 minutes or until cookies turn golden brown. Let the cookies cool and then sprinkle with powdered sugar. Store in an airtight container.

Translated by Hannah Hochner.

Text and styling: Pascale Perez-Rubin


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