Monday, December 22, 2008

Cookie Kits

One of the biggest indicators of me being 'off my mark' lately is the lack of activity on this blog. Ask me how much Christmas baking I've done this year. It's right about at the same level of how much shopping and Christmas card making/sending I've done.

next to nothing.

oh well.

there's still a few days til Christmas, so I may still get a fire under me and crank some stuff out. I DID, however, put some time aside to make some cookie kits for my daughter's preschool class.

I was lucky to be one of the volunteer moms for her Christmas party last week. Highlights of the party were to include pizza making, a story, and cookie decorating. The other mom said she would take care of the pizza supplies, so I happily said I'd take care of the cookie decorating.

The cookies themselves were no great shakes... I used a simple butter cookie recipe, and made enough so that each child would get one candy-cane shaped and one tree-shaped cookie to decorate. Because these kids are 4 years old, I kept the cookies on the thin side, versus my normal thick style I use for decorating with royal icing.

Inspiration hit to create the 'kits' when my daughter and son were working on a project together. arms flailing, tempers rising, and too much whining while two kids fought over who gets to use what materials are not a good combination when trying to stay on Santa's good list... and I pictured what it would be like with TEN boys and girls trying to reach for the same sprinkles at once.

Hence.. the cookie kits were born.

I hit up my local super-everything-store and purchased some inexpensive plastic containers. At a price of $2-something for a 4 pack... I'd say I got a good deal while staying on point for a budget.

Each kits also received three types of sprinkles, which were put in little plastic condiment cups. Let me tell you.. those cups are FANTASTIC. for storing sprinkles to putting ranch dressing for my daughter's carrot-stick snacks, to individual servings of jello-shots back in the day when my husband and I had more of an industrious social life.... anyways... LOVE them. and the lids... don't forget the lids! seriously.. they are so perfect and useful for SO many things... I always have them in my pantry.

so each kit got the sprinkles, two cookies, a plastic spoon, and some vanilla frosting that I put in the disposable pastry bags, then tied in a knot. no mess, no fuss, no fighting or reaching or germs spreading from one set of sticky fingers to the communal sprinkles. Well.. maybe not so much on the 'no mess' part. they are FOUR, after all.

I rounded out each kit with a splash of color on the top, then individual labels for each child.

really.. this was such an easy thing to prepare.. and so inexpensive... and each child felt special cause it was made especially for them.

So while this project didn't involve a LOT of baking.. I think it deserves to be on here in my baking journal because it accompanies the experience of EATING the baked goods. I will totally do these kits again for one of my children's future birthday parties. From what I could tell, it was a hit with the kids and teachers alike.... so for sure this will be on my list of things to do again. After all.. happy, non-fighting kids equals happy, non-yelling mom.

Lessons Learned: If I were to ever market this, I would definitely include a 'decorating mat' of some sorts, and perhaps a little explanatory note card. Something cutesy and fun like a check-list or decorating ideas... whatever was age or theme appropriate. Best part is that this can be made to suit any theme, and as said previously... was fairly inexpensive to create.