Tuesday, November 22, 2011

You Turkey!

My friend Dawn and I both LOVE crafts.  We have been talking for months about introducing our boys to the fantastic world of glue, paint, scissors, construction paper... We recently decided that it was time, that the boys were old enough (they are 2 1/2), and that we could incorporate something artisty into our playdates every now and again.

This week's playdate was being held at my house, and a fantastic idea occurred to me. 

Remember making these for Thanksgiving in elementary school?

Image from http://raisingdelia.blogspot.com/

Well, why not make them into a food craft?

I had seen an adorable Turkey Hands blog entry at Lila Loa (one of my favorite cookie blogs), and knew that it would be perfect for our little boys with a few tweaks.

I am going to make this a tutorial because I have many friends with toddlers and I really think that they would enjoy making these together.  It was fun, didn't make a huge mess (bonus!), and of course, was yummy.

Thanksgiving Hand Turkey Cookies (that's a mouthful!)

Start the night before you would like to do the Turkey Hands cookie with your little ones.  Whip up a batch of your favorite sugar cookies.  If you don't have one, here is mine:

Rolled Sugar Cookies
3/4 c softened butter
1 c sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c whole wheat flour (I like to add this to get something a little healthy in there, but you can use all all-purpose, too.)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Cream together butter and sugar until smooth in a big bowl.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.  Stir in flour(s), baking powder, and salt.  Make into a large ball and then cover in fridge for 1 hour- overnight. 

*I put mine in the fridge for about an hour, then set it out on the counter while the oven pre-heated.  Putting it in the fridge is essential so the dough doesn't spread too much while baking, but I personally don't like keeping it refrigerated too long, because then it is serious work to roll out.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

Roll out the dough on a floured surface and then cut shapes, in this case hands, and place about an inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet (I used a silicone pad over my cookie sheet, you can also use parchment paper- it makes getting cookies off much easier, it is harder to burn the cookies, AND is faster to clean up.  I recommend it.)

Douse flour over your work space.
I covered part of my counter with parchment paper.

This is a side note.  I hate rolling pins.  I never use them. 
I just flatten it with the palm of my hand. 
Just keep flattening and spreading gently.

Bake cookies 6-10 minutes. 

Here is the silicone pad. 
Cookies come right off, no mess.
It's great, I must say.
(Notice, I am doing a lot of unpaid advertising today:
Jello, Target, and Crate & Barrel, I'm waiting for my check in the mail- HA!  That'll be the day)

Let them cool a little before taking them off the cookie sheet, then pop them onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Next step is the pudding paint.  My little man is allergic to egg whites, so a traditional royal icing won't work for him, and besides, our boys are 2 and I can imagine drippy, runny icing all over my kitchen so I thought, pudding with its thick consistency would be perfect.  And it was.  Here are the directions for the pudding paint:

I used one big box of vanilla pudding,
it made more than enough to paint 6 little turkey hand cookies (2 for each boy),
and got the dye ready for afterwards.

Follow the directions on your pudding box carefully.
You need to constantly stir the milk and mix or it will burn.
And no one wants little brown bits floating around in their pudding paint.

When it starts bubbling, then it has come to a full boil and it is ready.
Remove from heat.

I divided it up into 4 bowls so I could make red, orange, yellow, and green "paint"

Colors came out nicely, although, yes, it is more pink than red.
Don't over-color anything you make because it makes the food taste very bitter if you do.

Now, wrap up your pudding paints and put then in the fridge for the next morning.

Here is our little work table ready for our little men. 
Beautiful paint, a cookie and a paint brush each.

Hard at work. 
Have you ever seen two year old boys this focused on something?

This is serious business. 
Requires lots of concentration.

Helping each other.
(Notice those chipmunk cheeks!)


Yummy goop

Still eating and lots of smiles.

Now, you might be wondering, where are the adorable finished projects?  The little hand turkeys, just like 2nd grade...

Well, they didn't last long enough to take a picture, which is a great thing!  

And thank you, Lila Loa for the inspiration :-)

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