Monday, February 8, 2010
Made With 50% More Love
A week or two ago I pulled out our Valentine's decorations. Owen was instantly excited and began telling me that we needed to have a Valentine's party.
"Yeah, maybe--We'll see." I responded for a week straight before deciding, yeah. . . maybe we could have a Valentine's party.
It's been about the last six months or so (I know--we're slow) that we started realizing we should maybe actually plan some of our social events with Owen's needs in mind, instead of always just dragging him along to the things we want to do, where Owen inevitably asks "will there be friends to play with?"
Beyond that there's the whole principle of trying to say "yes" as a parent instead of always saying "no." No, I hadn't been planning on having a Valentine's party, but yeah, sure-- we could maybe do something and invite some friends that Owen would really enjoy.
I decided it might be fun for Owen and some friends to have a Valentine's cookie-decorating party. So that's what we planned for last Saturday morning.
I spread out the work- shopping for some supplies on Thursday, making cookies on Friday, and making the frosting and setting up Saturday morning.
We had about a billion heart-shaped cookies (and a nice selection of rocket ships and rabbits and other random shapes Owen wanted) white, pink, and purple frosting, lots of toppings and sprinkles.
We also set out our new metal folding chairs. (A few weeks ago in church they announced that they had some older-style chairs they were going to get rid of, so if families felt that was something they could use then they could take up to six. Our dining set has four chairs and since we now have four members of our family using full-sized chairs it makes it tricky when company comes over. So we took some chairs. I'm feeling pretty good about it right about now since we really can't afford to buy these for our family, and we've already used them three times!)
Friends arrived and sticky, sprinkled chaos ensued.
Shake, shake shake--who needs some sprinkles?
The cookies were eaten as fast as they were decorated.
I kept asking Owen the rest of the day if he had fun at his party. He would just kind of give me this pleasant little smile, but didn't really say anything. I told him at the end of the day that whether or not it was "super" fun for him, the whole reason we did it is because we love him, and I hope he can feel and remember that.
"Bulk" Sugar Cookies-
Makes: a billion
2 C (1 lb) butter
2 C sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon or almond extract
1 t. baking soda
6-7 C flour
Cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs and extracts until light and fluffy. Add the baking soda in with a few cups of the flour into the egg mixture. Gradually stir remaining flour. The recipe called for 6 cups flour, I used at least 6 and a half. There just can be more variation with large recipes. The dough will be really soft still, but should hold together (it hardens when you chill it).
Divide dough into four portions. Wrap in plastic. If you are going to roll the dough for shaped cookies mush it into a disk-shape on the plastic wrap, that way the rolling is already started. You can also shape this into logs and do slice and bake cookies with it. Chill dough at least an hour. Or wrap again in foil and freeze up to three months. (We froze one of the four portions.)
Double Batch of Buttercream Frosting-
Makes: enough to frost the billion cookies
1 cup (1/2 lb) butter
1 cup vegetable shortening
2 Tbl milk
2 tsp vanilla
2 lb bag of powdered sugar
Cream the butter and shortening together. Add milk and vanilla. Slowly add powdered sugar. (I draped a kitchen towel over my mixer as a hood and still got sugar everywhere!) Add colorings-use less milk if you are going to use liquid food color.