At this time of year, you have plenty of options if your heart is in need of some warming, including Hallmark or Lifetime holiday-themed movies, multitudes of volunteering opportunities, or perhaps simply sharing some cookies with the ones you love.
But if your heart needs a little more warmth, worry not. Let me tell you all about how I taught a cookie baking class for kids last weekend.
It was a hands-on class, and these kids were very dedicated to baking.
The class was at the Santa Fe Culinary Academy (which also deserves credit for the cooking class photos featured in the post), right up the street from the historic Santa Fe Plaza. The title of the class was "Kid's Class: Holiday Cookies". Well, if you guessed that we spent the class baking up some of Santa's favorites, you are correct. The kids mainly ranged from 6 to 10 in age, but there was one little brother who was three who also (quite ably!) participated.
After introducing myself and asking if they knew where gingerbread men sleep (on cookie sheets!), we got to work.
We made snowballs...
and candy cane cookies...
and of course, cut out and decorated gingerbread men.
Then we went into no-bake territory and made some cornflake wreaths. Have you ever made those? The process is similar to making rice krispies treats, but you use cornflakes, tint the marshmallow mixture, and shape them into wreaths.
At the end of our 2 hours-and-change class, we had a wonderful variety of cookies, and each student had a little gift bag including a card, a bookmark, and a button.
During breaks or dough resting periods, I taught them how to draw a variety of my characters, including Cuppie the cupcake, as well as my unicorn and robots. They had crayons and craft paper on the tables--here are a few shots of their brilliant work.
I told them that I brought one of my little mascot Cuppie figurines and placed it on the edge of the baking space, because in case anything went wrong, then I could blame Cuppie. They *loved* the idea of that: BLAME CUPPIE!
In fact, one student was so inspired that she sent me this a few days later. Note the fine attention to cupcake detail, and the "blame cuppie" incorporation.
Another student gave me this:
flip side of the envelope:
and inside, this note:
Doesn't it just melt your heart?? As for me...my reaction is that I must have done my job well! I was so impressed by these creative little baker-elves, and felt a renewed sense of wonder and magic at the art of baking after spending time with them.
What is your favorite cookie that we made?