What's Going on Today: Visiting a friend in upstate New York, major arts and crafts projects with kids!
Naptime Goals: Relaxing with good friends while the kids nap, making cookie dough to prepare for decorating Linzer cookies.
Tonight's Menu: Baked Chicken, Creamy Polenta, Carrot Souffle, Easter Linzer cookies.
Parenting Lesson of the Day: Sleepovers are so much fun, no matter how old you get!
This year we won't have a big Easter celebration since we'll just have returned from traveling, but that hasn't deterred us from undertaking a few holiday related projects this month. When we were visiting our friends in upstate New York last week the other Mom and I decided it would be fun to bake some cookies with the girls. Ever the fans of baking projects - any chance to eat cookie dough (!) - the girls completely agreed.
Since they both still nap in the afternoon it was easy for us to set up the project. We simply prepared the dough in mid-afternoon and cut out the shapes with the cookie cutters. Then, we set out some fun sprinkles and let them go to town decorating when they woke up. You should have seen the mess on the kitchen floor! After the cookies had baked and cooled they finishing them by spreading the jam on - rather sloppily - and placing the cut-out cookie on top.
To play up the Easter theme we used a mini bunny cookie cutter instead of the usual smaller circle. It was a cute way to give our favorite jam cookies a holiday twist. Needless to say, holding the girls back from eating more than one before dinner was quite tough. However, in typical kid fashion, the cookies were the perfect incentive to get them to clean their plates!
Best wishes to everyone for a fun, family holiday this weekend!
Linzer Cookies for Easter
adapted from Barefoot Contessa
3/4 lb. unsalted butter, room temperature
1 c. granulated sugar
1 t. good quality vanilla extract
3 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 t. lemon zest (use Meyer if possible)
1/2 t. Kosher salt
3/4 c. Raspberry preserves or any homemade jam
Confectioners' sugar or Sprinkles, for dusting
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat.
2. Sift together flour and salt in a bowl and set aside.
3. In a mix cream the butter and sugar until totally combined. Then, add the vanilla and lemon zest, mix again. With the mixer on low, add in the flour/salt mixture until the dough comes together. Do not overbeat. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
4. Place the dough on a floured surface and roll out until 1/4 inch thick. Cut out rounds in a 3 inch round cookie cutter. With 1/2 of the rounds, cut out a smaller shape - like an easter bunny or similar. Use extra dough to form a few more cookies. Place all cookies on the cookies sheets and bake for 20-25 minutes.
5. Allow cookies to cool to room temperature. Then, spread raspberry preserves on the bottom cookie and place the cut-out cookie on top. Dust the top of cookies with confectioners' sugar.
Naptime Recipe Ideas: Instead of confectioners' sugar the kids love decorating with sprinkles, feel free to do the same. Also, instead of lemon zest you could use orange zest, and feel free to use another flavored jam if you prefer.
Naptime Stopwatch: Making the dough takes about 10 minutes, then baking and assembling the cookies takes around 30 minutes (or longer with kids!)
Naptime Reviews: Jam sandwich cookies are fantastic for families or serving at more formal teas. I think I might try my homemade Apricot Jam in these this summer.