Mother’s Day is just around the corner!
As it comes time to celebrate the special women in our lives who have raised us, I wanted to help find an easy activity to do with your children that isn’t too messy, and also shareable and tasty! 🙂 Whether you’re a mom or mother figure trying to find something to do as a family, or a dad or guardian trying to find something to do with your children for their mom/aunt/grandma/mother figures, I hope this helps!
Today I’ll be sharing my Strawberry Thumbprint Shortbread Cookie recipe! It makes a small batch of 12, which I thought would be good for small families! It doesn’t require eggs, and the dough isn’t too hard to make! The messiest part is adding the strawberry jam!
*At the end of the post, I’ve attached some crafts that I hope you can also do as a family when you have free time!
NOTE: This can be a very sensitive time for children, especially with those who have lost a mother, or don’t necessarily have a biological or adoptive “mother”. It can make a child feel isolated and alone when others are celebrating this holiday and they feel that they can’t. We encourage you to take time to listen to your child’s feelings on this day and to help them think of other women in their lives that God has used to help take care of them, whether it’s an auntie or grandma, a relative, friend, teacher, or caregiver. For those who have lost a mother, take time to share memories or just remember.
Strawberry Thumbprint Shortbread Cookie Recipe
Makes: 12 cookies (Click for Printable PDF)
(You can easily double or triple the recipe! Tips for how to involve kids below)
- 1/2 cup butter, left at room temperature for about 20 minutes
- 1/3 cup sugar (granulated)
- 1/2 tsp almond extract (vanilla should be ok, too)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup strawberry jam
(or if you want to make your own, this is a great base recipe! I often use frozen organic strawberries and lessen the sugar and add a little cornstarch to help thicken it)
For Almond Glaze
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 3/4 tsp almond extract (vanilla is ok)
- 1 tsp of milk
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Cream the sugar. Using a hand or stand mixer, cream together butter and white sugar until it’s creamy and smooth. If you don’t have one, you should be able to do this with a whisk! Just make sure it looks creamy before moving on.
- Mix in the almond extract. I often eyeball this and go by smell. If it smells almond-y, it’s good! I haven’t made it with vanilla, but I believe it should be the same idea!
- Mix in the flour until the dough comes together.
- Roll the dough into balls about 1 inch in diameter and place on plate. This mixture should make about 12 balls.
- Make a small hole in the center of each ball, making sure there’s still dough at the bottom of the hole. You can easily use a cleaned chapstick or lipstick tube! I used my thumb.
- Add jam/preserves. Using 2 teaspoons, use one teaspoon to gather 1/2 teaspoon of strawberry jam and the other teaspoon to scrape it into the hole of the dough balls.
- Clean the dough. Using a clean napkin, carefully wipe away any jam that may have got onto the dough, then place onto an un-greased cookie baking sheet. I lined mine with either parchment paper or my silicone mats and both worked fine as well!
- Bake cookies for about 14 to 16 minutes. Check the cookies! They’re finished once you see the edges very lightly turn golden!
- Make the glaze. Once you take out the cookies, mix together the powdered sugar, extract and milk. Add milk if the glaze is too thick. When you lift up a spoon and let the glaze fall back into the bowl, it should settle a little on top of the mixture before melting back in. Cookies are pretty good without the glaze for less sugar!
- Glaze cookies. Place the glaze into a small plastic bag and cut a small 1cm hole in the corner. Let the glaze fall onto the cookies going in quick zig zag motions!
Let them dry & you’re finished! 🙂 Enjoy!
TIPS ON HOW TO LET KIDS HELP
- Encourage your child to make the cookies with you!
- Portion out the ingredients ahead of time in small bowls or cups so they can easily help by pouring the ingredients in when it’s time!
- Ask your child if they think “it’s ready” before moving on to your next steps!
- Some questions you can ask while making the cookies: What does this remind you of? What’s your favorite part of a cookie?
- When you cream the butter, if your child that’s helping is still small,start off mixing yourself, then allow your child to help once it’s starting to get creamier so they don’t get discouraged!
- Let your child do some of it! Let them flip the switch (if it’s safe & with supervision), or help them mix with your hand over theirs as you stir!
- Use a Chinese soup spoon! To mix in the flour without it being too messy, have them add it in slowly, using a Chinese soup spoon!
- Rolling the dough can be hard for kids with small hands. Get out a cutting board and have them try to roll it into a ball using both hands on top of the dough on the cutting board.
- For the holes in the dough, have your child stick their thumb in the rolled dough ball first! Then make it bigger with your own thumb!
- Be patient! Your child might not do things perfectly, but it’s okay! This recipe is fairly simple! Show them first how to do it and watch them as they try! Help when needed! It’s the experience of doing this together that they’ll remember! 🙂
- “I Love You This Much” DIY Card – Perfect for making for any mother figure in your child’s life! Or if you’re a mother reading this, you can both make one to give one another. 🙂
- Handprint Flour Bouquet – No flowers on hand? That’s okay! Use this fun craft as an idea your child can easily make with paint and paper! Use any color to make your mother or mom-figure’s favorite flowers! You can also use green paper or white paper colored green to make the stems!
Without paint, just trace your child’s hand and allow them to color it in either with solids or with patterns!
- DIY Accordian Book – Help your child make a book! You can either fill the book with old photographs you might have, or have your child write a book about their mom or mother figure! It can be a story about her, or a story with her in it for something fun!
Wishing you all a safe Mother’s Day! We can’t wait until we can see you all face to face again!
Grace & Peace,