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I hate decorating cookies...


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...with my kids. There. I said it.

 

Every year is the same. In my head, I think this is going to be great fun. We're going to bake cookies together and decorate them. There is a fire in the fireplace, it's snowing outside, Christmas music is playing, everyone is polite and respectful, I'm wearing an apron and smiling like June Cleaver, while the kids are smiling and sharing.

 

The realty? There is no music because the noise of the kids making "Vrroom, Vroom!" noises with the decorating tips is too loud. There is snow, but it's a pain in the butt because the dog keeps bringing it in on her long fur. There is no fire because I don't want to spend the money on the gas it uses. I don't own an apron ;). The cookies are baked the night before which is fine, except a batch burned. One child is in the way at all times breathing on the frosting, asking for red and green and where are the sprinkles? Is the red made yet? What about the green? I said I wanted green, too! Can I use these sprinkles? ooo! I want to use this! No, I wanted to use that! Is the green done, now?

 

Then the children begin their frosting. Using decorating bags for the first time, they don't listen to my direction on how to hold and squeeze, therefore frosting oozes out the top. They don't listen to my direction to just use very light pressure, so the cookies are bombarded with a cup of frosting on it.

 

I wish I enjoyed this, but I don't. It causes me anxiety and frustration and I usually end up yelling at them, ruining "the moment" (LOL...what moment? :lol:). Seriously though, what might be good memories for them, I end up ruining because I just have zero patience with it.

 

Tell me I'm not alone!

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Had the same dreams except I had only one child. Occasionally, we could pull it off but most of the time, he fed the dog unbaked or baked cookies, decorated the dog's nose with frosting.

 

Here is my solution. NO decorating. Bake drop cookies. You know the kind that get mixed together. Then each child takes a teaspoon and drops the cookies onto a cookie sheet.

Now I know there is still plenty of room left for mischief with this method but why torture yourself with the frosting? The other kind is healthier too! :D

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I tried decorated cookies once or twice. The kids got bored. They did it a few times at some other event= Sunday School, GS or BS, co-op, etc. My kids look forward to making special cookies and candy but none of it is decorated with icing. I don't like the mess of icing. One dd learned cake decorating and she sometimes decorates a cake. Since she is 14, she can also clean-up well.

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I never use squeezable icing because my nerves cannot take it. The first homeschool cookie decorating thing I hosted at my house, my family was left stranded with nasty looking cookies covered with huge mounds of icing. My dh was incensed at the waste. (yes I also saw kids LICKING the decorating bags! gross)

 

All the other years, the cookies are pre-iced and the kids can put sprinkles and candies on them. And every mom is REQUIRED to take home the cookies that their little darlings decorate (an sneeze on)

 

Today we are doing gingerbread men, but they are easier since we just press red hots into the cookies prior to baking.

 

I am also like this about decorating the tree. I turn into a nutcase, irritable, because of the bickering ("but I wanted to hang the glass snowman. It's not FAIR!") and the complete inability of my children to listen and follow directions (do not get the glass ornaments out till last. etc.)

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We decorated cookies for the first time yesterday. Try using thinner icing and clean paint brushes instead of decorating bags. Then there's no sharing issues because you can have more than one paint brush in each bowl.

 

Video showing a recipe for icing and how to use the paint brushes.

 

ETA: There was still a huge mess but I made my 8 and 10 year old clean the table and floor while I cleaned up the brushes and bowls.

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:lol::lol::lol:

 

I don't have the patience for the kid/kitchen combination. But every once in a while they talk me into a cookie decorating session. I survive because I no longer EXPECT it to be fun. :001_smile: It will be an olympic event on my part. I shuffle them through as quickly as possible being very conscious to put on my over-the-top sugary sweetness that I reserve for other people's kids. I'm drained for the rest of the day and it's Little Caesar's for supper. :auto:

 

ETA: This year our library offered a gingerbread house making event for the whole family. Ohhhh Yeeaahh!! :hurray:

Edited by silliness7
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I never use squeezable vicing because my nerves cannot take it.

 

I have never used squeezable icing before this year with them either. I did it because the picture with them using a knife is just...gross. *dip the knife in bowl, plop frosting on cookie. Release cookie from hand to lick fingers. Take licked finger to get frosting off of knife. Lick finger. Pick up cookie with wet fingers. Spread the frosting. Lick the knife. Put knife back in bowl and repeat.*

 

I thought the bags would be easier. What was I thinking!?:banghead:

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Yeah, I'm with you. With all the wonderful expectations, too. You were smart to bake the cookies the night before...for some reason in my mind part of the experience is rolling out the dough, using the cookie cutters, etc. Which almost pushes me over the edge! No wonder I only do it at Christmas and Valentine's.

 

I don't really love to bake at all...but with the kids it is a nightmare. I know some people really love that...and I think, Hmm, I think I should send my kids over there!

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I bake the cookies, put the decorating supplies on the table, and walk far, far away.....preferably straight into a hot, bubble bath. The kids love it, they have a blast and I decorate my OWN batch of sugar cookies later. For those guests who prefer NOT to eat a cookie with a pound of muddy colored frosting and a half cup of sprinkles on it. :lol:

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Next time you might try one of those $10 gingerbread house kits that you see at the store. Everyone can work on the same house together. They are pretty easy and quick. I put the house together, and they stuck the candies on. I bought a few extra candies though for variety.

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I wish I enjoyed this, but I don't. It causes me anxiety and frustration ...

Tell me I'm not alone!

 

:iagree: I just finished the dishes from making the dough (Step 1). Step 2 will be rolling out the cookies tonight. I feel like every kid deserves the experience, I just wish I enjoyed it. We are using gluten free dough this year, so it will be a totally new experience. Decorating the cookies will be tomorrow. I haven't even thought about that because I have to make it through step 1 and step 2 first! :lol:

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Next time you might try one of those $10 gingerbread house kits that you see at the store. Everyone can work on the same house together. They are pretty easy and quick. I put the house together, and they stuck the candies on. I bought a few extra candies though for variety.

 

Yeah, we did that last week! :lol:

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Thank you for posting this! I thought I was the only one. I thought it was my deep dark shameful secret!;)

 

It is exactly how you described at my house. The tree situation that others mentioned as well.

 

At this point in life, I avoid the cookie thing all together unless they ask repeatedly about it. Then I just suck up as much as I can cuz I know how the game works, lol!

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If my kids want to bake and decorate sugar cookies, which they always do, I buy the Pillsbury sugar cookie dough and let them go to town. They have a great time. Now that they are teenage eating machines, no one notices that I won't eat those cookies. Before, I had to eat at least one.

 

My kids have all been making cookies with me since they were 2 years old, so my presence is no longer required in the kitchen.

 

I will let go of a few homemade ones for the kids to decorate if they insist loudly. Usually I don't have that problem because their desires are already sated by Pillsbury. Plus, I turn on Dean Martin's Christmas cd and that keeps everyone far away. I don't understand why they don't like good music. :-)

Edited by RoughCollie
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We decorated cookies for the first time yesterday. Try using thinner icing and clean paint brushes instead of decorating bags. Then there's no sharing issues because you can have more than one paint brush in each bowl.

 

Video showing a recipe for icing and how to use the paint brushes.

 

ETA: There was still a huge mess but I made my 8 and 10 year old clean the table and floor while I cleaned up the brushes and bowls.

 

I've done this before and it works great. Way more control for little hands who aren't ready for decorator bags (who am I kidding, *I* make a horrible mess every time I use them!).

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Whoever decided that decorating sugar cookies is best done with small children? I think the self-control involved is more suited to the over-10 crowd. Or teenagers.

 

Two other cookie ideas that DO work with younger kids: peanut butter blossoms and the Andes mint cookies. My kids are a big help unwrapping the Hershey's kisses while the peanut butter blossoms are in the oven and they manage to get the kisses planted in the center of the cookies without burning themselves when the cookies come out of the oven. And they love it. Similarly with the Andes mint cookies, they unwrap the mints and break them in half, then get the mint halves on top of the cookies when they come out of the oven. They love spreading that chocolate minty-ness around with a knife as the mint melts. And both activities are actually a big help to me.

 

For sugar cookies this year, they helped after the frosting was on by putting the little sprinkle decorations on. With a tasteful, light touch. That was it.

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We decorated cookies for the first time yesterday. Try using thinner icing and clean paint brushes instead of decorating bags. Then there's no sharing issues because you can have more than one paint brush in each bowl.

 

Video showing a recipe for icing and how to use the paint brushes.

 

ETA: There was still a huge mess but I made my 8 and 10 year old clean the table and floor while I cleaned up the brushes and bowls.

 

Nice video! I actually feel semi-inspired to make cookies this year. :D Great idea for using the paint brushes!

 

I could have written the OP's post. I have made Christmas cookies every year in spite of the bickering and mess and you name it, mostly because I wanted to eat the cookies. Also, my kids have gotten older and can clean up the mess (mostly) themselves now. I had forgotten about making cookies this year until I read this. Funny thing is, none of my kids have mentioned it.

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I especially don't like decorating cookies with icing.

 

My kids love it, so they do it. I don't look. I avert my eyes and let it happen. It's fine now, but it was messy when they were little. ;)

 

Still, I like cleaning up more than I like decorating. ;) It's all about letting go. I truly, really, do not care what they look like. If the kids like them, great. Cool. Don't care about Martha Stewart.

 

Crafty folks would not want to see our gingerbread houses...nope. LOL

Edited by LibraryLover
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For sugar cookies this year, they helped after the frosting was on by putting the little sprinkle decorations on. With a tasteful, light touch. That was it.

 

:lol::lol::lol::lol:

 

That should be in the Hall of Fame. I cannot imagine my kids with a "tasteful, light touch" on just about anything!

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That's why we have the once a year exception to the "NO TV during the week" rule! :D

 

I plunk them down in front of some videos and frost the dang cookies myself! Ds2 will usually wander over at some point and want to help. I give him any broken cookies to frost, and he frosts a few, is happy, and returns gladly to the big shiny screen!

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Oh bless your heart, I am so with you. I am thankful my girls are older now.

 

A few years ago I did gingerbread houses with them, I think there is a beer by my hand in every photo and it was like, 10am!!

I used to hyperventilate at the though of it and I feel bad because I had the same vision in my head you did. Apron, fireplace, music, light snow falling, fa la la la la, and oh screw that.

 

We do them now in a big cookie day at my Mom's house with the cousins, both in their 20's, my twin and her dh, and assorted others, we have it down to a science.

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take the kids to the 4-H gingerbread house party. For $2, THEY get out all the candy, make the houses beforehand and clean up at the end! Best $2 I've ever spent...

 

Oh my goodness! I had no idea such a thing existed! I hope I remember that for next year because that is brilliant!

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Oh bless your heart

I think there is a beer by my hand in every photo and it was like, 10am!!

Apron, fireplace, music, light snow falling, fa la la la la, and oh screw that.

 

 

 

:lol::lol::lol: The juxtaposition of these 3 sentences is funny! You start out so sweet and then...:lol:

 

(I wish I had thought of the beer in hand; the time would have been so much better for me. I wouldn't have cared about a thing!:D)

 

Thanks for the chuckle.

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I gave up on that dream a while ago. LOL

 

Now I make two batches of cookies. One batch that is edible for all guests, and one batch that is just for the boys. I buy the Wilton's Sugar Cookie frosting (looks like a glue bottle), it's already colored, and it's easy for little hands. Put the frosting in the microwave for 30 seconds, then let the kidlets go crazy.

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Miss Compliance (12yo)

Mr. Defiance (8yo)

Mr. Reliance (2yo)

 

With kids those ages, I'd just put out the supplies and let them go at and have fun. :D So what if the cookies don't come out looking all professional? Let them create, take some photos, and they can share the cookies with THEIR friends if you don't want the insanity on a plate when YOURS come over. ;)

 

(I'm assuming that your 12 year old can keep an eye on the 2 year old - if not, take her off to play and let the olders do it themselves.)

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I was just talking about this with my MIL yesterday. She said she never let her kids touch the cookies, etc. My mom passed away 10 years ago, but she used to do all the hard work and my sister and I would do the decorating. Now I have my own kids (5 1/2 year old twins) and I want them to have fun decorating cookies like I did. It is not fun for me though -- LOL. I now realize what my perfectionistic mom went through let us mess up her beautiful cookies :-). Anyway, I did the cookie cutter sugar cookies last year and let the boys decorate them. Too much work. This year I'm getting the pre-made log of sugar cookie dough, slicing it so they will just be circles and letting them have it with the decorating. I know the grandparents, etc. won't care what they look like because their only grandchildren decorated. I'm also going to make molasses cookies so they can roll them into a ball and dump them in sugar and I'm trying mint melatways this year.

 

I am doing a gingerbread house again this year (the boxed set kind) and that will be interesting. They loved it last year (their first time) and I have some adorable pics of them making a mess of things and laughing their fool heads off. It was one of our centerpieces and all the family loved it. They decorate their own gingerbread men for Santa. They have been very interesting since we started them 2 years ago. This year I think they will be more careful where they place things. Santa doesn't care though :-). He eats them anyway.

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I can completely relate!! I about lose it watching the kids decorate cookies. I think the crossbars factor gets me more than anything. I always hide a few "safe" cookies for dh and me.

 

On a similar note, I tried making a no sew fleece blanket with the kids the other day. I turned on the Christmas music and the vision I had was quite similar to yours. Instead I almost pulled my hair out trying to help a stubborn 3 year old cut fleece.

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You are NOT alone!

 

I have the same dreamy vision...but my reality is quite the opposite.

 

Messes and screaming, shoving and yelling, rudeness...*sigh*

 

And then you have the children.... ;)

 

Yeah, I've decided *I* bake decorated cookies. Or *they* bake decorated cookies. This is NOT a joint effort. Period.

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