May 05

Mexican Wedding Cookies

Mexican Wedding Cookies

As can be guessed from the name of these scrumptious treats, they are a necessary component of any Mexican wedding or special occasion! Lots of flavor is extracted from just a few simple ingredients in this traditional “biscochito” recipe, said to have originated in Europe and been brought to Mexico via Spain. This tasty activity provides a fantastic opportunity to teach your little one about international foods!

Vary this recipe by choosing your family’s favorite type of nut. Some recipes use pecans, while others use hazelnuts, walnuts, or pralines.

Yield: about 2 dozen cookies.

What You Need:

  • 8 ounces butter
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup very finely chopped almonds (or nut of your choice)
  • 2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • Powdered sugar for dusting

What You Do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Beat the butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy, about 10 – 15 minutes.
  3. Have your child add vanilla, salt, and almonds.
  4. Once thoroughly beaten, remove from the mixer and stir in flour. Do not over mix! The dough should be fairly coarse.
  5. After showing him an example, ask your child to form the dough into small football shapes.
  6. Have your child lightly butter a baking sheet.
  7. Ask your child to place the dough-balls onto the baking sheet and bake them for about 10 minutes, or until they begin to turn golden brown on the bottoms.
  8. When you see the slightest bit of color, make sure to remove the cookies from the oven and place them on a cooling rack.
  9. While the cookies are still warm, place them in a small bowl with powdered sugar and toss them gently until fully coated. When the cookies are cool, they are ready to be served!
mexican-wedding-cookies-slide

Kate from learnandgrowbooks.com

Kate is the founder of Learn and Grow Books, which is a website for parents and teachers of pre-K children.

May 03

How to Make Paper Mache Pulp

How to Make Paper Mache Pulp

Use this recipe to make a pulp mixture using newspaper and water. It is great to use for adding fine details to your paper mache projects.  You should be able to mold it almost like clay.

Materials Needed:

  • Newspaper
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Glue

Instructions:

Start off by tearing the newspaper into tiny pieces and putting them in a large bowl. Add just enough warm to hot water to completely cover the newspaper. Let it soak several hours or overnight.

Once your newspaper has soaked for several hours, get your hands into it. Play with it, mix it, and squeeze it through your fingers until it looks similar to oatmeal. Try to get as many lumps out as possible. If necessary, add a bit more water and let it soak a little longer.

Once you have it as smooth as possible, add a few tablespoons of salt to help retard mold. Mix it again with your hands. Once mixed thoroughly, squeeze out any excess water and add a few tablespoons of glue. Now you are ready to use your paper mache pulp!

If you don’t want to wait overnight, you can add your newspaper to boiling water and let it boil until the newspaper falls apart. You have to watch this carefully and possibly add extra water if necessary. You can also try letting your newspaper and hot water mixture sit for a few hours and then put it in a blender or food processor. Don’t forget to add the glue and salt once your mixture is smooth!

Tip : “I used your method to boil newspaper pieces in boiling water in order to make paper mache pulp. The method worked. However, the pot that I used was smeared in newspaper ink on the sides. I tried soap, baking soda, vinegar and finally came upon a solution that quickly removed the ink: vegetable oil. I used the oil and a paper towel & was able to quickly remove the residue in the pot. I thought it would be helpful to include this remedy in your article for those of us who end up with dirty pots.”

Store your pulp in an air tight baggie or bowl in the refrigerator for several days!
Kate from learnandgrowbooks.com

Kate is the founder of Learn and Grow Books, which is a website for parents and teachers of pre-K children.