It's so hard to find tasty baked good recipes for everyone. It's just too much work to make two sets of cookies dairy-free and regular dairy-based cookies.
I found a really good recipe for cut out gingerbread cookies that do not have milk, butter or egg in them. Yes, you can taste what's missing. But once you add the frosting, it balances out really well. What I most liked about this recipe is that the dough was really easy to work with and that my 2-year-old could help me with no worries. Hooray! I also liked that this recipe didn't have any odd ingredients that I would have to purchase.
Cutout Gingerbread Cookies
(original recipe found here)
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 cup shortening (I use Crisco)
3/4 cup brown sugar
6 Tbsp hot water (I just have a measuring cup full of hot water and scooped out Tablespoons as needed)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1. In large bowl, mix flour, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Mix with fork or whisk. Set aside.
2. In mixing bowl add shortening, brown sugar and 3 Tbsp hot water. Mix in mixer on medium.
3. In a cup mix 3 Tbsp hot water and baking soda. Add to shortening mixture.
4. Add flour slowly to shortening mixture.
5. You may need to add more hot water if dough is crumbly. I added about 3 Tbsp more.
6. Split dough in half and make two thick patties. Wrap in plastic wrap for 1/2 hour to 1 day. (I made my dough after making dinner one night and we rolled it out the next morning -- worked out really well.)
7. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface. Use cookie cutters to make shapes.
8. Place cookies on parchment lined paper.
7. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes or until done.
**For frosting these I just bought a Betty Crocker frosting tube and used Enjoy Life chocolate chips for the eyes and buttons.**
Cooking with a Toddler Tips:
- Be prepared. Have a game plan in mind.
- Do as much prep work ahead of time before telling your toddler you're ready for them. Have everything ready -- line cookie sheets, clean cookie cutters, clear work space.
- Plan for it to take longer than you anticipate (and it should if your toddler or child is actually helping).
- Give them a job right away. As I dusted the counter I had her move the flour around. As I was moving the cookies to the cookie sheet, I gave her dough to manipulate. Keep finding little jobs so they don't get bored.
- Don't get upset as you watch them brush flour on the floor. It can get cleaned up.
- Have a wet paper towel or washcloth nearby. You'll need it.
- Let them have a little freedom and independence. Give them the rolling pin and let them try. Let them put a cookie cutter wherever they want. Don't rush them, let them experience it.
- Reinforce good listening by commenting on how they are following directions or working well with you.
- I filled all four cookie sheets with cookies as we worked and put them in the oven after I cleaned her up. It would be too hard to watch the oven and a messy, curious 2-year-old. I found we both focused well doing this.
- Have fun and take pictures. Precious memories.
Check out our surprise box filled with other gingerbread boy activities.