With Week 1 cookie leftovers still in the fridge, we soldiered on to Week 2 of my demented, self-imposed baking ritual. (As a mom who works crazy hours, yes I’m over-compensating. #sorrynotsorry)
And, because I have an absolutely crazy schedule, I’ve procrastinated posting the cookie challenge updates. But we did make the cookies each weekend. So, I have my priorities straight, right? After all, the goal was some quality time with my kids. The blog posts? A happy bonus.
So in Week 2, we did Cinnamon Roll Cookies. And in Week 3, we made cereal cookies. I adapted that recipe a bit so instead of Fruity Pebbles we used Captain Crunch Berries.
Week 1 excitement
My son absolutely loves cinnamon. Cinnamon raisin bread, cinnamon raisin bagels, cinnamon toast crunch, cinnamon buns – you get the idea. (And, yes, maybe what he really likes is cinnamon-flavored sugar, I get it.)
When he saw the photo of a colossal cinnamon roll cookie, he freaked out. But he was confused. He thought we were making IKEA-style cinnamon buns. He was a little upset about the whole “cookie” part.
Something I’m learning about my kids is that they’re actually not into dessert as much as I thought they would be. But they really love to eat the ingredients. For example, a lot of the cookies in this book are stuffed with marshmallows. They really enjoy eating the marshmallows as we bake.
But I guess that’s good, right? The bad part is, these cookies are mostly going to waste. In fact, they don’t even seem interested in tasting more than a bite after all is said and done.
The practical part of me would like to suspend this baking adventure because it feels really wasteful. But another part of me feels that it is educational, and my children do enjoy being part of the baking process. I hesitate to get them involved with cooking because of the sharp objects and hot stove / oven. Baking is definitely easier. Because they can do almost everything aside from putting the cookies in the oven.
Back to the baking: giant cinnamon roll cookies
Although Wendy Kou provides excellent step-by-step instructions in her book, I could not get our cinnamon roll cookie to look like this. Full disclosure: I didn’t even try. Why? Because it involved a lot of rolling, cutting, and assembling. And my kids were losing attention in the process, fast.
Also, I’m not a perfectionist when it comes to baking with my kids. I think part of the learning process for them is making a few mistakes. They’re not master chefs. And that’s 100% ok. I don’t need to snowplow their way through baking. Anyway, we’re #bakingmemories not masterpieces.
Cinnamon roll cookie results
Aside from cutting the strips of dough (I will not allow them to handle sharp knives, at all), the kids assembled these cookies on their own. I think it’s a really great first try! Even if these cookies are neither colossal nor Pinterest-worthy, these cookies are real. I’m not going to pretend my kids are experts, yet. They’re little. But they’re learning. And that’s what counts.
Week 3: Fruity Pebble Cookies go rouge
Confession: We did not have any fruity pebbles, and I was not going to the store to buy any. We also didn’t have the instant pudding the recipe called for, so I improvised with some baking powder and greek yogurt. The result? Some seriously tasty Captain Crunch Berries cookies.
Stuffed-cookie dough lessons
As you can see, the cookie above is more commercially “photo-worthy” than the cinnamon roll. But the kids did assemble these themselves, too. I think the stuffed cookies are easier and prettier. So, I would consider making something like this, but not in the colossal size, for a school bake sale. They’re attractive and impressive, but the effort really isn’t that huge.
Now, I say that as I confess something else: I have no other photos of making the Captain Crunch Berries Cookies because my kids were wilding the whole time. Eating marshmallows, climbing on the counter, dancing with the dog – you name it, they were doing it. They did come back to reality when it was time to put the ingredients in each bowl, stir things up, and (of course) lick the bowl.
Will the cookie challenge continue?
You bet! As challenging as the challenge has been, I’m committed to #bakingmemories with my kids every weekend. The kids are growing up so fast. And aside from our annual pilgrimage to Walt Disney World, summer birthdays down the shore, and a Christmas Eve party, we don’t have many “family traditions.”
I think weekend baking might be one to add to the books. When my kids are all grown up, I want them to look back on their childhood and remember little things we did together. Like when I look back on my childhood and I remember things like trips to the zoo, Disney, the beach, and my mom making chocolate covered pretzels and cookies for the holidays. I have so many happy memories with my family that I want to continue and recreate with my own children.
What family traditions do you have? If you don’t have any, do you want to start some?