It’s spring in Minnesota. So naturally, it snowed over a foot this weekend. It snowed from Friday night until Sunday morning. Nonstop. There are snowdrifts, snow piles, and everything is covered in a thick layer of snow.
If you didn’t have to leave the house, you didn’t. The boys were especially restless by Sunday. While the snow does not typically keep us housebound during the winter, this spring snowstorm was unlike any winter snowstorm. It just would not stop snowing. And given we are a month into spring, you can conclude that all Minnesota drivers have already completely forgotten how to drive in the snow, not to remember how to successfully maneuver over black ice until a solid week into the following December. So we needed a fresh in-house activity for the boys.
For the past 9 months, I have been getting the Baby Boy Bakery monthly We Cook kits. A couple months back, we got the animal cookie kit but we hadn’t found a time to bake them. When I pulled out our binder with recipes, JR quickly decided today was the day we would finally bake them. The recipe includes giraffes, elephants, and sea horses–it was a no brainer.
With Max down for a nap, getting the dough together was pretty seamless. I love Max, but he is a little barnacle. If I am in the house, that means he wants to be in my arms or on my boob. Honestly, lately it’s felt like he’s been nursing every second he’s around me. Which makes doing anything else basically impossible. I love being needed but it’s hard.
Making the dough with JR was so much fun. JR helped blend the oats in the food processor, tossed the dry ingredients into a bowl, and added the wet ingredients into a bowl. Whenever we got to the next step, JR would proudly exclaim, “Me do it!” And of course his favorite part was licking the bowl.
He really wanted to lick the bowl clean. You have to admire his dedication. Dough all over in his hair and face, but perfectly happy 🙂
After letting the dough sit for an hour in the fridge, the two of us proceeded to roll the dough out and cut out cookies. Well, we tried. But the dough was so so dry. Typically, I will follow a recipe to a tee the first time I make it. But there was no way any cookie would stick together. So I did what every girl would do. I called my mom and asked what I can add to make the dough work. Since Max is allergic to eggs, and the original recipe didn’t call for eggs, I wanted to avoid adding them if possible. My mom suggested that I mix in milk. It did the trick. The dough was just sticky enough that we could roll out the dough without it crumbling beneath the pin.
We rolled and cut and rolled and cut. Once the cookies were baked, JR tossed as many sprinkles on a single cookie as possible. It was messy and sticky and exactly what we needed to beat our snowy cabin fever.
The cookies themselves were alright. Our measurements of ingredients were not exact. We should have ground the oats longer. And we clearly made some mistake with the original recipe given how dry the dough was. But the afternoon baking wasn’t about the finished product. It just gave our hands something to do while I spent some quality time with my first born.
1 ½ cups flour
1 cup finely ground oats
½ teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
¼ cup sugar
¾ cup softened unsalted butter
- 1/4 milk
3 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1 cup powder sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
1. Blend the oats in a food processor until they are well-ground. Are the oats a flour consistence? If not, keep going. (this is where we made our first mistake. we did not blend them long enough)
2. Shift together the dry ingredients–flour, oats, baking soda, and salt.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, butter, milk, honey, vanilla extract, and orange zest.
4. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients. Once mixed together, separate the dough into two balls. Cover each ball with plastic wrap and place in fridge for one hour to set.
5. Preheat the oven to 350. Toss flour on a cutting board and on your rolling pin to avoid the dough from sticking. Roll out the dough to about a 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out cookies with your cookie cutters. Place cookies on a sprayed cookie sheet.
6. Bake cookies for about 10 minutes. They are relatively thin so keep your eye on them so they don’t burn. Once lightly browned, remove from oven and onto a cooling rack.
7. While cookies cool, you can make the frosting. Place powder sugar, milk, and vanilla into a bowl and mix. If the mixture feels too thin, add more powder sugar. If it feels too thick, add more milk.
8. Once the cookies are cool, place icing on cookies. Decorate with sprinkles.
Modified from: Baby Boy Bakery