Post Edit: I'm taking a day of rest-so I'll be back Monday. See you then. Welcome back to Cookie Bookie, the week long celebration of the sweet and the spooky. Follow along today and everyday by clicking the link in the upper left hand corner. Scroll down if you've missed Christie and chocolate, Austen and maple, or Noyes and candy corn. But why should grown-ups have all the fun? Today's Cookie Bookie is dedicated to the wee little ones. Today I'm sharing some of my favorite Halloween picture books and an adorable, easy to make cookie. Let's get started with The Little Red Hen-oops, I mean The Little Green Witch by Barbieri McGrath. What should a pint-sized witch do when her lazy companions refuse to help her make pumpkin pie? She'll take a cue from the little red hen, eat it all up herself and cast a suprise spell of revenge on her feckless friends. The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything, by Linda Williams, is the tale of a lone woman pursued on a path in the dark of night . Gather up some random articles of clothing and turn this book into a reader's theatre. When you're done reading, you'll have a dandy scarecrow and only the mildest case of the shivers. The darling illustrations in Ghosts in the House by Kazuno Kohara make it an inviting read, but it's the clever use for unwanted ghosts that make the book worth reading again and again. A new book, Matthew McElligott's Even Monsters Need Haircuts will delight the whole family with a clever peek into the minutia of Monster Life. Even ghouls have to wait in long lines (yawn!) to get their locks trimmed. One of my favorite spooky reads comes from Dr. Seuss. What Was I scared of? tells the story of two dissimilar beings scaring the daylights out of each other. One of them just happens to be a spooky pair of pale green pants with nobody inside them. I followed the lead of my college buddy, Johanna Wagner, who memorized the entire book to recite to her siblings. I shared it with my little sisters Mary Kate and Catherine and then with my baby-faced nephews Jacob and Jordan. They're all grown-ups now (waah!), every last one of them, so I tell it to my charges and they're starting to memorize it too.
AND-I hope to be reading a Halloween book sometime soon from my supremely talented niece, Kit Chase. She just signed a lucrative book deal with Penguin Books, so maybe next year, I'll be able to feature one of her stories on Cookie Bookie. For now, if you want a shot at winning this oh-so-cute print, head over to her blog and leave a comment.
Let's get started with our cookie today. These are an answer to a busy mother's prayer. I love making frosted sugar cookies with the charges, but let's face it: they take forever! The kids love it and want to make them for every holiday, right down to Arbor Day and Grandparent's Day. But I get tired of the mixing, the rolling, the cutting, the baking, the frosting, and don't even get me started on the dishes. Ay, mamacita. I spotted a tinted dough snowman recipe in a Taste of Home cookbook, and I doubted it would really work. It was worth a try, but I had my reservations. To my suprise, the cookies were fantastic. The dough has only five ingredients and mixes up in minutes. There are no eggs in the dough, so the tots can nibble as they go. Tinting the dough was simple enough with standard liquid food coloring. The charges had a blast shaping the dough into pumpkin shapes and beyond. Sailor made sweet little well-behaved pumpkins and West made feisty rabble rousers. Hey-I was having fun, too with a minimal amount of work. I was still nervous that the cookies would spread too much in the oven, or lose their bright colors with baking, but no! They were still bright, compact, and firm. And buttery-yummy, too. I have a feeling we'll be making these often. They're so fast that you'll have plenty of time to do the things you love, like read another spooky Halloween story with your little ones.
Pumpkin Butter Cookies
adapted from Taste of Home
Estimated Cost: $3.00 for about 3 dozen
1 cup butter, softened (not melted!)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 and 1/4 cups all purpose four
orange and green food coloring
sprinkles of miniature chocolate chips
In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add milk and vanilla and mix well. Add flour. Separate dough into desired portions and tint with food coloring. Shape into balls and flatten for pumpkins, or use your imagination to create other shapes and figures. Bake at 325 for 13-16 minutes on ungreased cookie sheets, or until cookies are set. Let cool for two minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Tip: Use toothpicks to etch lines in the raw dough. Retrace the lines immediately when the cookies come out of the oven.
Be Back Tomorrow (um, make that Monday) with More Cookie Bookie