You knew there’d be days like this. The kids are bored. There’s nothing to do. Mini-spats are simmering.
Slice-and-bake cookies — rolls of dough tucked in the refrigerator or freezer waiting to be sliced, baked and decorated — were created for just such emergencies
“It’s a great activity to do with children,” writes Elinor Klivans, a grandma, former pastry chef and cookbook author, in S lice & Bake Cookies: Fast Recipes From Your Refrigerator or Freezer (Chronicle Books, $18.95).
With this caveat from Grandma Elinor: “I spread newspaper on my kitchen floor to catch any spills, put out bowls of glazes and edible decorations.” (Much of the latter is usually eaten before being applied to cookies.) “Creativity reigns, and when we’re finished, I just roll up the newspaper, wipe the counter and cleaning is done.”
Many recipes have built-in kid appeal and are easy enough for any child adept at Play-Doh to help with measuring, mixing or shaping the rolls. Little ones may just like to help with decorating. The butter cookies are a good one to start with — and have in the freezer, so double the recipe if you like.
Klivans offers variations: Mix 1 teaspoon grated orange or lemon zest into the dough. Or sprinkle cookies with colored sugars before baking. Or decorate baked cookies with confectioners’ sugar icing.