Have you ever had cream cheese mints at a wedding or graduation? You know...the really addictive ones? This recipe is those mints in cookie form. The basic recipe is: Ingredients
1 cup white sugar
2 sticks butter (room temperature)
4 ounces softened neufchatel cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp peppermint extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1) Beat everything except flour together until smooth
2) Stir in flour until well blended
3) Refrigerate dough at least 8 hours
4) Preheat oven to 375 degrees
5) Shape cookies as desired
6) Bake 7-10 minutes
The dough is really easy to work with so you can do lots of things with it. The first time we made these cookies, we made candy canes. Immediately after blending in the flour I removed half the dough (leaving it white) and added several drops of red food coloring to the other half. I then placed both halves in the fridge over night.
both doughs rolled in to tablespoon-size balls
one white and one red rod pressed together at the top and bottom then twisted
Once rods are twisted together, bend into cane shape. Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 7-9 minutes. Sprinkle with sugar immediately after removing from oven.
The second time we made these cookies I wasn't as ambitious so I just rolled the dough into two logs and then cut into approximately 1/4 inch slices. When I roll dough into logs, I don't refrigerate for a full eight hours. I let it chill for about an hour, roll the logs and then place them in the freezer until I'm ready to bake.
buddy painting the dough with whisked egg whites
sprinkling on red sugar
No matter the shape, these cookies are a favorite of ours. We actually make the recipe, minus the peppermint, all year long. When rolled in to logs the dough keeps in the freezer really well, so it's easy to cut and bake a few as they are "needed".
**To see the other two types of peppermint cookies we've been enjoying, click here and here.
Normally I'd do a Dr. Seuss unit in March around his birthday. We had to do one now though because on Saturday Big Buddy and I going on a date to a Dr. Seuss exhibit. The exhibit is only at the museum until January and I'm afraid if we don't go now we might not get the chance.
We are of course reading lots of Dr. Seuss's books. A great advatage to studying Dr. Seuss in November rather than March is that all his books were available at the library. I also found a great children's biography which is perfect for preschoolers.
We've read it a couple times and Big Buddy loves reciting all the facts he's learned
WRITING CENTER ADDITIONS
LEARNING "TRAYS" -I rotate these, setting out about four a day from which the boy's can choose.
We haven't been doing a ton of school work this summer but we have tried to fit in a little reading practice everyday. We are currently working our way through Bob Books and The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading - I highly recommend both. I saw this idea for paint chip word families on Pinterest several months ago and knew it would be one we'd have to try. I changed it up a little bit so that the the strips pulled through the word family cards.
My supplies: large white paint chips, various colors of paint chips, sharpie, scissors, and an x-acto knife
Step 1: Because my colored paint chips were so wide I folded and cut them in half.
Step 2: In the center of the white paint-chip, use the x-acto knife to cut two openings, at the top and bottom of the white square, the width of the color strip.
Step 3: Use the sharpie to write letters on paint chips (a list of word families can be found here)
Step 4: Pull strip through word family card
This past Saturday we had a joint birthday celebration for Big Buddy (6) and Mini Man (4). They have both been intrigued with knights and dragons for a while now so that's the theme we chose.
Papa and Maca Lindsey were gracious enough to let us host the party in their backyard/secret garden, it was the perfect setting.
In leu of traditional party favors, we outfitted the party guests with a sword, surcoat, and shield. Everyone's surcoat and shield was emblazoned with their sigil/initial.
The shields were also our party craft. They are cardboard which Jeremy cut with a laser cutter. I then hot glued and taped (double reinforcement!) ribbon on the back for handles. The kids used dot markers to decorate the shields. This worked out really well because the cardboard absorbs the ink so fast that drying is almost instantaneous.
In addition to the shields we also had a few other themed activities: a dragon catapult, sand castle building, a row of balloons for sword practice, and t…