Holiday cards bring wonderful good cheer, but in our “green” times, we do have a problem: lots of paper to throw out afterward. So here’s a delicious alternative that just happens to be a nice boost for small motor skills and for young writers: an “edible” holiday card!
What You Need:
- Sugar cookie dough (available in the refrigerator section of most groceries)
- Rolling pin
- 4x6 index card
- Colored pens
- Sharp knife
- 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
- About 1/2 teaspoon water (add a little extra if the mix seems too thick)
- 1 drop vanilla extract
- Squeeze-on, narrow tube frosting in holiday colors, or “frosting pens” designed for writing on cookies and cakes
- Holiday sprinkles, if you choose
- Cookie sheet, hot oven, and a kitchen space you don’t mind messing up a little!
What You Do:
- Help your child roll out a sheet of sugar cookie dough, about 3/8” thick (you don’t want it too thin; this cookie needs to hold together).
- Once your dough is smooth, flat, and even, place the card on it and trace around it with a knife. You will have a 4x6 flat “cookie card” in front of you!
- Bake the “cookie card” according to package instructions until it is a light golden brown. Remove it from the oven and allow it to cool.
- While the cookies are baking, take out that 4x6 card again, along with some regular markers and do some planning. Have your child decide on a short holiday greeting message, and then choose how to decorate the cookie.
- By now, your cookies should be ready for the best part: decoration! Start by placing the confectioner’s sugar in a bowl, and add the water and vanilla to make a smooth, easily spreadable paste. This will be your icing “base.” Cover the entire flat surface of your cookie card. You’ll notice that the icing should harden quite quickly—the cornstarch in the confectioner’s sugar makes this happen, and also creates an attractive, shiny effect.
- You don’t need to wait for the icing to harden—in fact, if you’re going to add sprinkles, now’s the time, so they’ll stick well. Invite your child to explore, create, and enjoy. You should end up with a unique, and delicious, edible card!
Julie Williams, M.A. Education, taught middle and high school History and English for seventeen years. Since then, she has volunteered in elementary classrooms while raising her two sons and earning a master's in school administration. She has also been a leader in her local PTA.