Yesterday was sort of a gloomy day and I was sort of in a gloomy mood so I thought I’d cheer things up with some baking action in the kitchen. I like Baby Bug to learn how to play by herself during the day but I also think it’s important for us to do at least one fun thing together too. Sometimes that one fun thing is me haphhazardly drawing on a piece of paper with her while my mind is a million miles away. But other times our one fun thing is a super duper mess in the kitchen!
First, I pulled out this little cookbook that I mailed away for years ago when I was the super duper babysitter. This book is the best. The kids I baby-sat still ask for it when I come to visit. It was a buck or two back then but you can order one here for $3.99. Still worth it, I think, for the illustrations alone.
The kids love looking at the pictures. Baby Bug and I sat down with it and talked about monkeys and splashing and blueberry banana bread for a good ten minutes. It was great. We were all set to make blueberry banana bread (which I was heavily influencing since I have some very overripe bananas) until I realized I only had two bananas and you need three or four. Bah humbug.
So I let her pick another recipe. Watermelon splashers it was. I think she might have picked it because of the green frog, knowing her. I thought it would be difficult but it was rather easy. Duh, it’s a kids’ cookbook, Brenda. Well, I guess I’m a little less confident in the kitchen than some people.
The best part for Baby Bug was making the green sugar that coats the outside. She LOVED that. All we did was put a half cup of sugar in a sealable bag and then added eight drops of green food coloring. Then Baby Bug got to squish the sugar around with the coloring until it was all green. Good times, I tell you. We could have made colored sugar all day. They had another recipe for making a jar full of rainbow-colored sugar. We might have to do that some other rainy day.
I wish I had some sugar-making photos but I was being anal about the dishes I had not done yet and didn’t pull out the camera. I’m lame, I know.
Then we made the red dough, formed it into a long “red snake” (according to Baby Bug) and rolled it in the green sugar. Baby Bug loved rolling the snake. Real dough is SO much more fun than play dough. Then we stuck it in the fridge for an hour to chill. After it was cool, we cut the poor snake into slices and stuck mini-chocolate chips into the slices for seeds. They turned out sooooo cute!
Don’t they look like little mini watermelons? I have such a weakness for mini things. They got me so in the mood for miniature food, I made Baby Bug a mini cheeseburger for dinner… but that’s another subject. I’m getting ahead of myself.
I’m thinking these would be great for a picnic-themed party. How cool would it be to serve these with some ants on a log? Or what if instead of watermelon slices we made little ladybug cookies?!! I could go on and on. And I will when I get my party site up, which is in the works by the way.
The only thing that bothered me about these adorable little cookies is that they didn’t taste like much. They are yummy and I catch myself wanting to eat nine or ten of them but they don’t have that much taste.
It could be because I was out of shortening and I had to use all butter (while taking out the appropriate amount of salt). I don’t even know what shortening is really. Is that LARD? Ew! Oh well, I’ll trust you bakers on what should have been used. It also could have been because the dough might have been a little over-worked. We might have had just a little too much fun playing with it. Or maybe it’s just a kids’ recipe and not meant to be enjoyed by adults.
But even Baby Bug didn’t really like them. She liked eating the dough and she made this swell face but she only ate the chocolate chips out of them and left the rest behind. Go figure.
So I challenge all you bakers out there to make these cookies and make them taste good. Maybe they could even taste like watermelon. Now that’s a stretch. I double dog dare you.
Recipe after the jump.
Watermelon Splashes Slice-and-Bake Cookies
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup shortening
1/3 cup margarine or butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon red food color
2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-3 tablespoons green sugar (separate recipe for green sugar below)
2 tablespoons miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Stir granulated sugar, shortening, margarine, vanilla, egg and food color in a large bowl until mixed. Stir in flour and salt.
2. Shape dough into a log, about 2 inches across. Put green sugar on a piece of plastic wrap. Roll log in green sugar until coated. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
3 Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut log into 1/4 inch slices. Cut each slice in half. Put about 1 inch apart on un-greased cookie sheet. Gently push a few chocolate chips into each slice to look like watermelon seeds.
4. Bake 7 to 8 minutes or until cookies just begin to brown. Right away, take cookies off cookie sheet. Makes about 6 dozen cookies.
1/2 cup sugar
8 drops of green food coloring
1. Put sugar in a resealable plastic bag. Add food color drops to sugar in bag. Seal bag.
2. Squeeze sugar in bag until it becomes colored. Store sugar in sealed bag. 1/2 cup colored sugar (duh)
p.s. If anybody makes this, email me some photos! Or blog about it and send me a link. I’d love to see how it goes for you.