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26 Feb 2015
Lessons Learned from a Seven Year Old
Valentine Cookies-Lessons learned from a seven year old

You know the old saying practice what you preach?  Well, I was presented with a situation that put that to the test recently.  I talk regularly about how the experience is much more important than the final product.  How the time you spend with your child creating memories means infinitely more than ending up with something you can hang on your wall or admire on a shelf.  

When my dear little friend Indy and I decided that we were going to make a very special Valentine’s Day dessert for our dinner party, I should have heeded my own advice. Instead I was focused on an image I had from my own childhood.  It was from the Betty Crocker Cookie Cookbook.  On the cover were these amazing pink glazed, heart-shaped sandwich cookies, with a tiny heart cut out where raspberry jam peeked through.

The problems began on day two of our process!  Day one had gone swimmingly, with Indy and I searching out the best looking recipes, making the dough, wrapping it, and setting it to chill overnight.  I should explain that we were in Mexico, and so right away there were some hurdles to overcome:

1. the flour is different

2. the sugar is different

3. the measurements are different (and even with converting ounces and cups to grams and milliliters, I still think we were a bit off.)

4. the weather is tropical (which does not lend itself well to rolling out dough).


 a tequila bottle serves as a rolling pin

Our improvised rolling pin

Given that we don’t bake very often in Mexico, finding a rolling pin in our little community was tricky.  An empty tequila bottle fit the bill.  However, no matter how much we tried, no matter how much powdered sugar we placed on the counter, the dough was melting before we could get it to the cookie sheet.  Our blobby shapes looked more like schmoos than hearts.  I was becoming more and more frustrated.  My Betty Crocker image was being replaced by a “Worst Cooks in America” poster.

heart shaped cookie cutters

Indy doing her best to cut shapes.

When the first mutant batch was pulled from the oven and tested, my dear little friend proclaimed them DELICIOUS!  I was still moping. Then Indy piped up, ”just remember, it doesn’t matter how it looks, it matters how it tastes”.  Wise words from a seven year old.  Enough to snap me out of my funk and back into play mode.  And so, my afternoon spent baking with Indy turned into a playdough session, with the two of us rolling blobs of sticky dough into funny shapes, and experimenting with what happened when we layered the cut out blobs on top of each other.

Scott then suggested we dip the cookies in chocolate.  Doing so greatly diminished their elephantine qualities.  Indy was further inspired to create an amazing Valentine display using our now "black and white" blobs.  When all was said and done, the finished product was beautiful (thanks to Indy) and more importantly, tasty.

Even more importantly, it was a great reminder to me, to slow down, enjoy each moment as it comes, and heed the wisdom of a child.  It's often will be the best advice you can find.

Baking cookies-Lessons learned from seven year old|sophie-world.com