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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Decorating Cookies

So the facebook page is now over 200 "likes!" I've purchased an awesome prize pack giveaway to do once the blog gets to 300 followers! If you haven't yet followed me...scroll down the right hand side of the blog and under "blog love" hit "join this site" :) I'm excited!!!

Christmas time means lots of BAKING. We attend many different events and all of them require us to bring along food!!! Originally I had planned to make our Christmas cookies as a family prior to the holiday events so we could take our cookies along with us to them. Well...it didn't work out. We ended up having to wait on our Christmas cookie making until Dec 23rd! Oops! So I decided to go with another traditional holiday treat: the hershey kiss cookie. Who doesn't love those?!?! Seriously...I ate enough of them myself to account for the 4 lbs I gained over the holiday season!!!

Kye LOVES to help and I love spending quality time together! I decided to devote a day to my baking. We made the hershey kiss cookies and I went ahead and made the dough for our Christmas cookies. It was my first time EVER making Christmas cookies. I was soooooooo nervous about it. I have my mom's recipe but I'd tried making it before and they didn't turn out great so I hunted around online and had another recipe as back up. I made both (from scratch) and put them in the fridge. I have NEVER in my LIFE had luck using cookie cutters. Anytime I do it the cookies end up just being big blobs. I asked my go-to chef, Katie, for tips and she told me that the dough being COLD is critical. So I kept it in the fridge for an entire day!!!

Making all the dough!
If you're looking for something to do with a preschooler...hershey kiss cookies are a great thing! The dough is SIMPLE to make and they can have the job of unwrapping all the kisses! Kye took it very seriously and I was proud of him for not eating a single one (of course I told him after we got done making them that he could eat a couple of the left over kisses...I'm not that mean...)



Serious baking going on!
He said he made a "chocolate castle"
Christmas cookie decorating has always been my absolute favorite Christmas tradition. I loved it growing up and it's something so important to me to continue on with my own children!!! I love how my brother is chowing down on a cookie in this picture. He was always SO messy with his decorating ;) Michelle was my bff and next door neighbor growing up...she's on the bench seat and I'm rocking the side pony next to Brandon :)
We decided to decorate our cookies Sunday afternoon on Dec 23rd. I baked the cookies during their naps. Katie told me to have the dough cold then roll it out, cut out the cookies, and put them on the cookie sheet in the freezer for a bit to help them hold their shape. Since my mom's recipe has been the one I've used my entire life I really wanted it to work. I did that recipe first and was SO PUMPED that they all turned out!!! I didn't break but like one of them and NONE of them turned into big blobs ;) Zach said they were seriously the best tasting Christmas cookies ever. I know it may sound like a dumb thing but, for me, I was BEYOND proud of myself. It was a huge moment for me!!!


Ready to get our decorating on!

I also made the frosting from scratch. All in all it WAS a lot of work and I can see why my mom always complained about it. But I loved EVERY second of the entire process and am buying up every Christmas cookie cutter I see on clearance so we'll have a great stock for next year ;) 

I assumed Kye would be like my brother was when we were growing up and that it would get messy pretty fast. But I was wrong. He was SO careful and took so much time in his decorating. Like I had to sneak and add extra decorations on his cookies as he finished them haha
Britt enjoyed some cheese and watched!

He's a minimalist
Zach gets really into it and was super creative with his designs ;)
My boys!
I took over frosting duties
And made sure to decorate a few myself too :)
I figured it'd be a quick little activity and didn't even watch the time as I assumed Britt would get bored and Kye would be over it. Well that didn't happen! We were all having such a great time that before I realized it, it had been over an hour and I had to get dinner going!!! 

I'm really SO SO proud of how AWESOME our cookies turned out :)


When I made the cookies I found a few tiny cookie cutters so I made some super small stars and left them unfrosted. When it was time for each of us to pick out a cookie to eat, I let Britt have one of the star ones. She LOVED it!
Kye took a bite of his cookie then realized that MORE toppings made it MORE yummy so he started overly decorating it haha



Proud of our finished products!


Carrying on Christmas traditions!
Another must-do on our Christmas list is a letter to Santa. I mean how can Santa be expected to remember the list we told him in person, right? I know I can't remember stuff my own kids tell me let alone ALL the kids from all over the world! Even though we sent him a letter in the mail we wanted to leave a letter out for him on Christmas Eve with our special Santa cookies we decorated!

Kye also got a special letter in the mail from Santa so we opened that when we wrote him our note!
Here is our letter this year (I wrote down what Kye told me to say)! It reads: Dear Santa - We hope you come back and bring us some presents! Our family has been doing good and we decorated our Christmas tree, went to Disney World and have been eating a lot. This year Kye would like a big fire truck, a big Lightning McQueen, and a green jumping thing like G-Mama has. Britt would like a shirt, a new toy and a big car. Enjoy the cookies we made just for you!
Kye also wanted to write his own letter
Since we spend Christmas Eve and Christmas morning at Mrs. Charlotte's I wanted to end the night with something fun. I asked Zach if he'd mind if Kye and I had some special time. Usually we put Britt to bed at 7 then we play a game with Kye until his bedtime at 7:35. Instead of playing a game Kye and I went on a hunt for more Christmas lights! I did some googling and we visited another house that has a light show as well as a neighborhood that is very decked out in the decorations!

Kye was SO excited to go with me and wanted to be Lightning McQueened to the max...he also brought along Mickey for the ride and my FSU snuggie. He has this new obsession with all things football...
It worked out GREAT! Both the light show house and the decked out neighborhood were only a couple streets over from each other. There was a HUGE line of slow moving cars in front of the house with the light show but we lucked out and just happened to be driving the opposite way. So instead of the house being out my passenger side window it was out my window. There was NO traffic on my side of the road so I just put it in park in front of the house and we watched the show until some cars came behind me and we left. It WAS really cool but I prefer the other house because there is a parking lot across the street where you can easily see the entire show without having to worry about traffic. We still had a BLAST together singing Christmas songs and talking about all the fun decorations. Perfect way to end our little family together time and begin the busy Christmas fun!

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