When my mother passed away I inherited many books, one of which was her old cookbook. You may be familiar with this sort of cookbook. It is not the kind you can buy at a bookstore. This cookbook started it’s life as a spiral bound notebook. Over the years my mother clipped out and taped inside various recipes that she tried. Some of the recipes were from magazines and newspapers. A few were hand written – by my grandmother, my aunt and my mother. Each splotch and spill on every page transformed that simple notebook into a precious book of memories. What better way to connect our past to our present than through sharing stories and sharing food.
I have always found that spending time baking is a beautiful (and delicious) way to slow down and connect with my children. Let’s face it, our lives are busy. It can seem like there are demands on every moment of our time and our children’s time. There is something about being confined to the kitchen, unplugged from our devices and working with our hands that sparks many silly conversations. Using an old family recipe leads to stories and sharing memories – a wonderful way to reminisce. Allowing children to read the recipe, measure the ingredients and mix up the recipe gives them a sense of ownership. There is a special kind of pride that comes from pulling together a recipe – from beginning to end.
Nanny’s Sugar Cookies Recipe
You will need:
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup vegetable shortening
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- less than 1/2 tsp baking soda
1. Begin by creaming together the butter and the sugars in a medium sized bowl. Once the butter and sugars are creamy, stir in the egg and the vanilla.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda. Add the flour mixture into the butter mixture and stir until combined.
3. Roll out the dough to 1/4″ thickness, on a lightly floured surface. Use a flour-dusted glass, or a round cookie cutter, to cut the cookies.
4. Bake the cookies on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, in a 350°F oven for 8-10 minutes…until lightly golden. Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
What is the best part about baking with kids? Well, while the mixing and chatting are pretty awesome let’s face it, eating the cookies with a cup of tea at the end of all that hard work, is pretty fantastic too. With every baking experience we create more memorable moments. If you have a family favourite recipe, perhaps it’s grandma’s famous buttermilk biscuits or auntie’s amazing almond cookies, take the time to pass the recipe along to your child. Not only will you be passing along the recipe, you will be sharing the memories and creating new ones that will last a lifetime.
About Jen: Jen Farr is a writer and stay-at-home mom with 2 adventurous tween aged daughters. Jen shares everything that lands on their kitchen counter on her blog, Kitchen Counter Chronicles. While there you’ll discover how Jen is navigating her way through parenting tweens in our hectic, digital times. Jen also tweets at @kcchronicles and can be found on Facebook and Instagram.