Cooking with kids: Rainbow sugar cookies

Disclaimer from the doctor: No, these are NOT healthy cookies, and I have NO suggestions on substitutions to make them so! Rather, remember, everything in moderation.

Because, hey, we all need milk and cookies sometimes.

Babygirl and I saw a version of these on a cooking website called Eugenie’s Kitchen, and we HAD to make them. Babygirl, like many five-year-olds, is particularly keen on rainbows.

But rainbow cookies are apropos for so many occasions! We made these on a Saturday and brought them to our church on Sunday: perfect for our left-wing-liberal diverse Episcopal congregation! And, of course, for St. Patrick’s Day. Or little girls who are obsessed with rainbows and hearts.

Honestly, apart from being time- consuming, these are pretty easy.

Step one: buy a rainbow of food coloring. Liquid works better than gel here. And a heart- shaped cookie cutter, if you want hearts.

Step two: buy or make plain sugar- cookie dough.

Step 3: divide your dough evenly between six or seven bowls. Why seven? Because Babygirl insists that pink be represented in the rainbow.

Step 4: squeeze a few drops of coloring into each bowl and mix. It’s much easier to be working with room temperature dough here. You will still have to squish it around with the spoon more than stir, because dough is thick.

Step 5: wrap each bit of dough in plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge for twenty minutes or so, to firm up a tad.

Step 6: Lay wax paper, parchment paper, or use a lightly floured clean surface to roll each ball of dough into a long oval shape about a half- inch or so thick. Try to make each oval roughly the same shape so they can be stacked, and as you work, stack them up on a long piece of plastic wrap (which you will use to wrap it all up).

Step 7: When all your colors are stacked, press them tightly into a log. I made mine square as below, but you can just roll it into a round log. You’ll want your log to be around the same height and width of your cookie cutter.

Step 8: Using a nice sharp smooth knife, slice the log into half-inch thick slices, and one at a time, use your heart- shape cookie cutter on each slice. We did this right on the tray, on a nonstick oven- safe silpat (I love mine!). We also rolled up any scraps to make rainbow-mish-mosh cookies, so as not to waste dough.

Step 9: Bake cookies, usually 8 minutes at 350 degrees, but follow whatever your recipe directions say.

Step 10: Enjoy!! Ours didn’t come out perfect like Eugenie’s did, but we were proud. Many people marveled at these. Very much worth the time invested!

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