Monthly Archives: July 2012

Firecracker Frosted Sugar Cookies

My husband loves the soft, frosted cookies you can pick up at the grocery store, so I decided to make a version for the Fourth of July. To up the festive-factor of my cookies, I mixed Pop Rocks into the sprinkles, hence the “firecracker” part.

They were quite a hit at the Fourth of July barbecue we went to, especially with the kids. The Pop Rocks, sadly, weren’t as poppy after spending the night in the refrigerator—they were a lot more firecracker-ish the night before—but they were still delicious! As yummy as these were, I don’t think I’ll be making these on a regular basis. I had no idea how much work cut-out cookies were! But for a special occasion, they are definitely worth the effort.

Firecracker Frosted Sugar Cookies
Yield: Five to six dozen cookies

Cookies:

6 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sour cream

Frosting:

1 cup butter, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar
6 tbsp heavy cream
Sprinkles
5 packets Pop Rocks candy

 

Cream the butter and granulated sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Add the vanilla and sour cream, and beat at low speed until combined.

Slowly add the dry ingredients, and beat at low speed until combined. The dough will be a little sticky. Divide dough into two sections and wrap each with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator overnight or for at least two hours until firm.

Preheat oven to 425°. Line three large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Working with one batch of dough at a time (leave the other in the frig until you’re ready to roll it out), flour one side of the dough and turn it out onto a hard surface. I used my kitchen counter, covered in plastic wrap. Dust the other side of the dough with flour and roll it out to 1/4 inch thickness, adding more flour as necessary to keep the dough from sticking to your rolling pin. Using a cookie cutter, cut the cookies out of the dough and transfer them to the baking sheets. If you do not have a round cookie cutter, you can always use the rim of a glass—works perfect!

Bake the cookies for about seven or eight minutes or until pale golden. Cool the cookies on a wire rack.

For the frosting:

Cream together the butter and vanilla. Slowly add in the powdered sugar. Once smooth and creamy, add in heavy cream, one tablespoon at a time.

In a bowl, mix together the sprinkles and the Pop Rocks. Once the cookies have cooled completely, frost and add sprinkles. Allow frosting to set, then store in an air-tight container.


Our Nightly Bedtime Brawl

Ahhhh, bedtime. What every parent looks forward to and what every child makes it their life’s mission to avoid. “Not my child,” you say? Clearly, you have an infant. Just wait. It’s not a matter of “if” but “when.”

The book Go the F**k to Sleep by Adam Mansbach came out when Olivia was just a baby. While I laughed when I read it, I remember thinking, naively, This will never be my child. The child in this book is clearly a hellian. I will never pray for her to go to sleep because I miss her as soon as I shut the nursery door on her angelic little face. But now? I get it. Oh, do I get it.

It starts off easily enough. “Olivia, ready to go night night?”

“Night night,” she responds gleefully, running full tilt for the stairs. She playfully climbs the stairs, stopping every few steps to sit and pat the space next to her, “Sit mommy.” It’s sweet, really. And that’s about where the cooperation ends. I think she does it to screw with us, I really do. (“He he, I’m totally going to let them think this is going to be easy so they put down their guard and then WHAM! kick to the face during the diaper change!”)

Some nights, I swear it’s like she takes speed before bedtime and morphs into a little streaker. But, by far, the most difficult part about the bedtime routine is the brushing of the teeth. It’s a two person job. I don’t know how single parents do it. I assume their kids must have horrible teeth—or they are up for sainthood.

Our best attempt usually involves my husband laying over her on the changing table to hold down her flailing legs and arms while I try to hold her head still enough to get the toothbrush in, all the while both of us singing “Happy Birthday” or “Sesame Street” or the ABC’s at the top of our lungs like a couple of lunatics. There is the occasional cooperative brushing session, but these are few and far between—probably just often enough to keep our feeble hope alive. Most of the time, she looks like she’s acting out a scene from The Exorcist and saying “No mommy, no mommy, no mommy” over and over again.

And then there are the books. I actually love reading to Olivia, but one book is never enough before bedtime. And God help you if you accidentally grab a long one. (Don’t ever buy Strega Nona, by the way—longest book EVER. It’s deceiving because it’s a board book, so you think it will be appropriate, length-wise, for a toddler. You would be wrong.)

By the time we get through the whole bedtime routine, it’s been at least 20 or 30 minutes and our nerves are shot and practically begging for wine. But just as I pick up Olivia to deposit her in bed, she says “Love you, Mommy,” and plants a big wet one right on my lips before throwing her chubby little arms around my neck in a tight squeeze.

Shit. Of course she has to be all adorable and remind me exactly why half an hour of bedtime hell is so worth it. I’d probably go through a whole lot more just for that moment of sweetness. But then again, I can say that now because my daughter is still in her crib. I’ll let you know if I change my mind when we switch to a big girl bed and she figures out she can escape!

 

 


Puddle Jumpers Aren’t Just Tiny Planes

Olivia is at that in-between stage where she’s too big for her baby pool float from last summer, but she’s not quite ready for arm floaties. Strangely enough, I’ve never really paid attention to what the other toddlers at the pool were sporting as far as flotation devices go. I guess I was too busy planning my revenge on the little twerps who always shoot me with water guns.

I went online to Google toddler floaties, and everyone was raving about these Puddle Jumpers. I had never heard of them before, but I was fairly certain they weren’t talking about little, rickety planes. Turns out, Puddle Jumpers are flotation foam belts that go around your child’s chest and each of their arms (think arm floaties on steroids). It also turns out they are on sale at Target right now for $15, so we took a little trip before heading to the pool.

This thing is awesome! It was a cinch to put on, stayed in place, and—most importantly—kept her afloat. We were even able to let go of her hands so she could kick and splash around for a minute on her own (which, incidentally, is freaking terrifying the first time you do it—even though you’re right there and you know she’ll be fine. . .holy heart palpitations).

And, of course, NOW I notice that half the toddlers at the pool were sporting Puddle Jumpers over their swimsuits.

How does your little one stay afloat at the pool?