Cookie Time!

Best-Sugar-Cookie-Cut-out-Recipe-finalIt is that time of year everyone! Time to make outrageous amounts of sugary sweet things and then eat them all saying you are only celebrating the season. Thursday the kids and I are going to be partaking in this glorious tradition. We will be making sugar cookies. Now as a warning sugar cookies are the one dessert item that I have consistently had trouble with; they always seem to come out a little different than I hope, usually more burnt.  So this activity could go south fast… But I’m not talking about that yet! I found a bunch of recipes that claim to be simple and the best. So this week since all the recipes are basically the same I am going to use three of them because of the varying advice that is attached to the recipes. I will be using Make Bake Celebrate’s  Rolled Cookies 101, Love Grows Wild’s Perfect Sugar Cookie Cut-Outs, and In Katrina’s Kitchen’ Best Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER. With the help of these three recipes I hope to make beautiful sugar cookies with Penny and Jude that they can both bring home to their parents and I can bring to go see The Hobbit with my friends later that night.

So what could go wrong with this recipe? Well as I said before sugar cookies and I have never been on the best of terms, when I’m baking them at least, hand them to me finished on a platter and we are CLOSE! I could burn the cookies meaning the kids will be upset and I will have no cookies to bring into the movie. The kids could get the baking ingredients all over the kitchen, which they have done in the past. I could burn them. I could roll them too thin and they tear. I could burn them. They could spread strangely and not look like pretty snowflakes when they come out. I could burn them. I could forget an ingredient ruining the batter. And did I mention I could burn them?

However many times I have burnt sugar cookies in the past I am trying to push all fears about burning them again aside and go into this activity with a clear and determined mind. My hope is that the kids are obedient which they should be when I threaten them with no cookies, and that I will have a nice little stash of cookies to enjoy during the movie. Friday I’ll tell you all the sweet or burnt details!

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Burnt Spooky Bones

Happy Halloween everyone! First I have to say I simply loved Dan from Weekly Waves guest post earlier this week if you haven’t read it you should. It really inspired me to try to make this weeks activity extra fun. As today is Halloween I really wanted to do a fun seasonal themed activity with the kids. The spooky bones seemed like the perfect simple activity…

Dan predicted one thing right, I burnt the white chocolate… TWICE! I am very used to working with regular chocolate but white chocolate is a completely different thing. It doesn’t melt like regular chocolate melts, it goes from being a little mushy to being lumpy and burnt in a matter of moments. But I am getting ahead of myself, let me start at the beginning.wpid-20141030_094742.jpg

As always Disney Pandora was playing, Penny and Jude were running up and down the hall, while I set out the ingredients we were going to need to make our spooky bones. It was one of the easier set ups, I put the mini marshmallows and the pretzel sticks in two bowls and put them on the table. I then went to melt the white chocolate, this is where I started having problems. I didn’t want to make a huge mess so I opted to melt the chocolate in the microwave. Usually if you put a little chocolate in the microwave melt it a little and then add more you won’t have problems and the chocolate comes out a nice glossy liquid, this is not the case with white chocolate. I played it safe only putting it in for about half a minute at a time to ensure that the chocolate wouldn’t burn. It burnt. I tried again, this time with a makeshift double boiler on the stove. Once again I played it safe and used all my former knowledge of melting chocolate, which I have a good bit of, to melt this batch of white chocolate. I swear I was looking at the pot the whole time and the chocolate went from a solid to a burn lump with no inbetween stage!

Second batch of burnt chocolate.
Second batch of burnt chocolate.

At this point I was frustrated naturally but I knew the show must go on, the kids were expecting to make spooky bones with of without white chocolate. I called the kids to the table and but on the song Dan suggested, Rather Be, and we started attaching mini marshmallows to the ends of the pretzels. After helping the kids figure out how to do it I pulled out my phone and went to google. I was determined to find a way to salvage the chocolate. I found one site that said if you add oil such as olive or canola to the burnt chocolate you can resurrect it. Guess what it worked! With a lot of stirring, oil, and a little heat I was able to bring the chocolate back from the dead.  Before something else happened I quickly got the naked spooky bones that the kids had made and started covering then in the chocolate. Sadly because I had already thrown out half of the burnt chocolate I wasn’t able to cover very many of our bones but gosh darn it I covered as many as I could! Word from the wise when needing to melt white chocolate go get white chocolate that is actually meant to be melted down don’t buy the stuff in the baking aisle, unless you relish the idea of having to fight oil into it. Anyway the project is done, and I don’t think I will be touching white chocolate for a long time. Have a great Halloween!

Our small batch of covered spooky bones.
Our small batch of covered spooky bones.

Spooky Bones Guest Post!

The Pinning Nanny’s special guest! Weekly Waves very own DAN PARK!!! *applause *clapping *laughter. Thank you thank you, you guys are all too kind. So this week, Rebecca told me her kids are going to be doing a very SPOOOKY project. This week Rebecca and the children will be making “Spooky Bones”. Now I have been given the opportunity to imagine this scenario and paint a picture of how I would imagine it to go. However, to remain faithful to my own blog I’m going to paint a picture with the song I think will accurately depict this scene.

The song I’m going to choose is Rather Be. I originally wanted to paint this picture in a way that was wild and hectic, but I am going to give Rebecca the benefit of the doubt and say that this project will be a success becoming a blissful and spooky memory that these children will hold forever. It overall seems like a fairly easy project. However, usually anything that involves food and sticky material, there will be a mess to follow, but I am going to say that it will be a cheerful memory.

But let’s see how it’ll turn out in my head, and I suggest the reader to turn on this song while we are going on this little adventure. Rebecca will come in and the kids will greet her with a warm hug telling her about all the candy they want to eat on the upcoming holiday. Rebecca will then ask if they want the best treat of all: SPOOKY BONES! Obviously the kids will rejoice and scream for the spooky bones. Being the caretaker she is, Rebecca will have all the ingredients and get out the melting pot. Melting the chocolate she and the kids will prepare the marshmallows and pretzels. However, Jude think’s that these are Q-tips and sticks one in his ear. Quickly reacting Rebecca pulls it out, but the marshmallow gets stuck. Even though she pulls out most of it, there is still marsh residue. During this time the white chocolate is burning up!

Calm and collected Rebecca switches off the melting pot, as she swiftly washes Jude up. Penny is also being extremely helpful, helping Rebecca retrieve all the necessary equipment. All the while the children are laughing. Making a new batch of chocolate…10 minutes pass, they’re finally ready to cover the “bones”. They get through a ribcage worth of bones when Penny accidentally knocks over her bowl of chocolate onto Jude’s face. Instead of crying Jude says… “Look I’m a ghost now”. Penny dabs a spooky bone on Jude’s face and eats it. Then Jude, Penny, and Rebecca begin to laugh. They continue laughing while eating the rest of the bones, while Jude and Penny are getting cleaned up, and while they clean the premises. Looking back twenty, thirty years from now they’ll both know what a great Nanny they had, and that there was no place else that they would rather be. The end.