My Easy Snow Day Project with Kids: Painted Cookies

Kitchen Diary: Anne in South Carolina

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If you follow the weather, you may have heard that we here in South Carolina have experienced some very cold precipitation, some of it resembling snow, and it has thrown us a little off track (okay, a lot). Our kids have been at home, and we need projects, easy projects that don't require trips to the grocery store, because they are out of everything. I remembered an oldie but a goodie: painting cookies.

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Our first son, now 15 years old, got to paint a lot of cookies. Why? Because the project was cheap, and it kept him occupied while I nursed, changed and coddled our second child. It starts with the creamy, dairy-like product of your choice — half and half, coconut "creamer", whipping cream, whatever — and food coloring. Yes, I use totally chemical food coloring, because it's a lazy day project and I don't have time to look for healthy alternatives.

Step 1: Mix food coloring in bowls with your white, liquid product of choice. (You can also use egg yolks.)

Extra Credit: Mix colors to make more colors. I was too slack and went with the basics.

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Step 2: Make sugar cookies.

Oh my gosh, y'all, I have to interrupt this post for the best Lazy Mom Tip ever. Don't feel like making cookie dough? Buy the log of refrigerator dough at the store, make it into a ball, and roll it out on some flour. Use cookie cutters to make the shapes you want. Cook the cookies. When they come out like blobs, immediately use the cookie cutters again to cut off the sloppy edges. Then you get to eat the leftover edges! And your family won't bug you for cookies, because they can eat the scraps.

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Step 3: Set the kids up at a table with cookies, paint and paintbrushes, like the ones that come with drugstore watercolors. (Yes, those brushes can go in the dishwasher.)

The kids will get pretty intense (the seven year old modeled one of his cookies after our Storm Trooper spatula), but this is not a frustrating art project. If they mess up (whatever that means to the artist in question), they can just eat the ugly cookie and start another one. Make sure you have enough cookies, because older kids, and even other adults, will want to join in. I am the absolute worst at art, and even I like this one.

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Will the finished product be stunning? A plate of cookies worthy of the finest bake sale? No, definitely not. But could you send a very proud kid to school on Valentine's Day with a plate of them? Or do you need to occupy an hour or two with a relatively easy project? Yes, absolutely.

How do you make the kids leave you alone entertain the kids when you're stuck at home?

P.S. Yes, our youngest got glasses and they are adorable. And we only had to go to three stores to find a salesperson who managed to stop themselves from telling him he had chosen "girl glasses." We think he looks wonderful and that the frames are all boy, whatever that means.

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Kitchen Diary: Anne in South Carolina

(Image credits: Anne Wolfe Postic)

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