Cookie-Making for Purim with Young Bakers

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Who better to enlist in Purim baking than children between the ages of 3 and 10? They are eager bakers and always have time. With Purim falling on March 20, it’s time to start making cookies.

Warning: There will be lots of errant flour on floors and counters. But the fun you’ll have is well worth it.

Here are some tips for guiding tiny, impulsive fingers into achieving sensational cookies:

Bake with no more than three young bakers. One or two is ideal.

You’ll need step stools or sturdy chairs so that each child can see the mixing bowl and every phase of the process.

Because young bakers become fidgety, before getting started, measure the ingredients into paper cups, the way chefs do on TV.

If there is more than one child, divide the ingredients in halves or thirds so that each baker has the opportunity to add every ingredient.

An adult should crack open eggs so the shells don’t fly into the dough and to avoid contact with salmonella.

Hold the electric beater with preschoolers, unless you don’t mind dough landing on the ceiling.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Let each child write his or her name or draw a picture on the parchment they’ll be using. Children love knowing which cookies they created.

Prepare extra cookies so young bakers can nibble right away. With the scent of warm cookies in the air, who wants to wait for Purim to take a taste?

Chocolate Chip Meringues | Pareve

Yield: four dozen meringues

If your oven can’t accommodate four cookie sheets at once, make half of this recipe at a time. Make this recipe at Passover, too.

  • Parchment paper

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  • 4 jumbo eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 (12-ounce) bag semi-sweet chocolate morsels

Preheat your oven to 275 degrees. Line four cookie sheets with parchment paper. Reserve.

Crack the eggs. Let the egg whites fall into a large mixing bowl. Discard the yolks or save them for another purpose.

Gradually add the sugar, beating well until the mixture turns stiff and shiny. It should increase in volume and form stiff peaks. Do not overbeat. Use a spoon or spatula to fold in the chocolate morsels.

A generous teaspoon at a time, drop the dough on the parchment paper. Bake for 35 minutes. With the oven door closed, turn off the oven and keep the cookies in the oven for an hour or until they are firm. Move to platters to cool.

Hashtag Peanut Butter Cookies | Dairy or Pareve

Yield: three dozen

  • Parchment paper

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  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature, or ½ cup (1 stick) chilled margarine
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg, well beaten by hand
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1½ cups flour, plus extra for coating a fork
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line 3 cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter or margarine and sugar until light and creamy. (Do not overmix the margarine.) Add the egg, vanilla, flour, salt, ginger and baking soda. Mix until thoroughly combined. Add the peanut butter and mix well.

If using margarine, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes before continuing.

With a teaspoon, break off pieces of dough. In your palm roll into balls about ¾-inch across. Place the balls on the parchment paper about an inch apart.

Dip a fork in flour. Flatten the balls with the fork into thick disks, making marks at right angles, creating hashtags. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes, until light brown and firm.

Old Fashioned Oatmeal Raisin Cookies | Dairy or Pareve

Yield: four dozen

If your oven can’t accommodate 4 cookie sheets at once, make half of this recipe at a time.

  • Parchment paper
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature, or ½ cup (1 stick) chilled margarine
  • 6 tablespoons white sugar
  • 6 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • 1 cup uncooked oatmeal
  • 1 cup raisins

Line 4 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter or margarine, both sugars and vanilla, until light and creamy. Beat in the egg.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cloves. In 3 batches, add to the creamed mixture and beat until well-combined. Add the oatmeal and raisins and mix on low speed until just combined.

Drop rounded teaspoonfuls onto the parchment paper. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown.

Chocolate Explosion Macaroons | Dairy

Yield: four dozen

If your oven can’t accommodate 4 cookie sheets at once, make half of this recipe at a time.

  • 2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate

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  • 2½ cups blanched slivered almonds
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate morsels
  • 2 sheets of parchment paper
  • 1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
  • ⅛ cup cream
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 (7 ounce) bag, or 2½ cups sweetened coconut flakes

With young children, do this step in advance so they don’t burn themselves: Fill the bottom portion of a double boiler with 2 inches of water. Place the chocolate squares in the top portion and assemble the double boiler, including the lid.

Place double boiler on a medium flame. Bring water to a simmer. Stir occasionally until chocolate melts. Turn off the flame. Remove the top portion from the bottom. Cool covered to room temperature and reserve.

Place the almonds and chocolate morsels in a food processor and process until the almonds are chopped fine and coated with chocolate. Reserve.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line four cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, mix on low speed the melted chocolate, evaporated milk, cream, vanilla, almond extract and sugar until just combined. The chocolate will look like small dots.

Add the coconut and ground almond mixture. Stir to combine by hand. The dough should appear loose.

Drop half of the batter by teaspoons onto two parchment lined cookie sheets. Place them in the oven and bake for 7 minutes. Move the upper cookie sheet to the lower position and vice versa. Bake for another 8 minutes. The cookies should appear barely ready — do not over bake. Repeat with the remainder of the batter.

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