Sunday, December 7, 2014

Baking Night!

Last week we had a baking night!

We divided the girls up according to their circles (we bought circle patches from epatches for this - 10 is just too many Sparks, KWIM?).  The thistles started in the kitchen with Emerald and our Guide helper making cookies, and the Raindrops started with me in the regular meeting room making fridge magnets, singing camp songs and playing a few games.

Here's an example of the magnets we made -

The girls were encouraged to colour them in using markers (I found the wood cut-outs at our local dollar store).  We then attached two magnets to each backing using hot glue.

For songs I taught them Barges, we sang Black Socks and our unit favourite - Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee.

With Emerald, the girls were rolling out Joe Froggers and then making a few Ginger Sparkles.  (Get it... Sparkles?  Don't worry.  The girls didn't laugh either.)  The Joe Froggers are for our event next week at our local senior's home, where we will be serving tea and cookies.  I felt it was totally unfair to have five and six year olds toil to make cookies, then not get any, so they were able to put together some Sparkles for themselves.

We stopped about five minutes before our end time to sit and have a cookie with a glass of water and just chat.

I chose Froggers and Sparkles because they bake for the same time, at the same temperature, so you can put them in the same oven on the same baking sheet without worrying.  The Froggers have an awesome dough.  Easy to roll out, smells great, dairy and egg free and very forgiving.  You can have several different thicknesses without them burning on one and raw on the other, and roll it out ten or more times before it falls apart on you.  The only tricky part is that you MUST start the dough a full 24 hours before you roll it out.  So it takes some forethought.

Here are the recipes.  My family Joe Frogger recipe (at least 100 years old) and my Dad's Ginger Sparkle recipe.

Joe Froggers

1/2 cup shortening
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup warm water
4 cups white flour
1 cup dark molasses
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp soda
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice

In a large bowl, cream the shortening and sugar together.  Mix in molasses and water.  Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and allspice.  Blend into the shortening mixture.  Chill for 24 hours.

Preheat oven to 375F, roll out cookie dough approx. 1/4" thick, cut with cutters.

Bake until cookies are set up and very lightly browned.  10-12 minutes.  Leave on sheet for 2 minutes or they'll break apart.

Ginger Sparkles

2 cups flour
2 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cloves
1 cup brown sugar (the darker the better)
3/4 cup butter (softened)
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
-extra granulated white sugar for rolling.

Preheat oven to 375F.  Blend dry ingredients.  Cream together brown sugar, butter, molasses and egg.  Add flour mixture to creamed mix and mix well.  Shape dough into 1" balls, roll in sugar and place 2" apart on cookie sheet.  Make 10-12 minutes.  Cool slightly before removing.

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