Yesterday Harper and her friend, Dana, had their final play date of the year. These two three-year-olds are like oil and water in some ways. They get so excited about seeing each other, but, if left to their own devices, they tend to fight over everything. Now I am not going to plan three hours of directed activities for the two of them, but I do try to provide at least one or two "projects" during their time together and I find it makes things a little easier on all of us. After they spend time together I realize how spoiled I am that Harper entertains herself so well. I have to keep an eye on her because her version of entertainment is often not on the list of parental-approved-activities, but still. . .she plays contentedly on her own much of the time.
One of the project we did to keep busy yesterday was decorate reindeer cookies. I can't take any credit for the idea, because it came straight from Pillsbury, but I will take credit for doing this project with the two of them. The only change I made was to use cinnamon candies for Rudolph noses, instead of the gum drops Pillsbury suggested. It's actually hard to find gum drops without a peanut warning on them (I know!) and I already had safe red candies here.
I decided to do the frosting, since it was important for the decorations to adhere to the cookie. I gave each girl a baking tray and a container each for pretzels, chocolate chips, and cinnamon candies. They each had the number of items needed to decorate their cookies and I told them no eating while they decorated. I was pleasantly surprised at how well they followed that direction, they even used napkins to wipe their fingers instead of licking the frosting.
I made one cookie ahead of time, so they had a sample to work from:
Overall both girls did a wonderful job with the cookies; many of them were recognizable as reindeer.
There was one that even turned out looking a bit like a reindeer themed Rockette:
And then there were a couple that looked like they played a little too close to a nuclear waste facility:
If we haven't learned by now that reindeer don't have to be perfect, then Rudolph taught us nothing. And, trust me, the mutated reindeer are just as tasty as the regular looking ones.