They love being in the kitchen anyways so why not combine baking with a story?
Preschoolers love to be in the kitchen, and especially at Easter when Mom is busy baking. My toddlers enjoy climbing on cupboards, licking beaters, unplugging kitchen gadgets, spraying water or washing dishes whenever I am trying to bake. It takes twice as long to mix ingredients with them present as I attempt to save batter and little fingers. Sometimes the outcome isn’t successful but it is the process that makes it memorable.
I recently discovered an Easter recipe in our family cookbook that is ideal for small children. They love being in the kitchen anyways so why not combine baking with a story? The simple ingredients assist in relaying the Easter story, and there is a surprise waiting to be discovered in the oven Easter morning.
EASTER STORY COOKIES Preheat oven to 300F.
Place 1 cup whole pecans in a zip-lock bag and let children beat with a wooden spoon to break into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested, the Roman soldiers beat him (John 19:1-3).
Let each child smell 1 tsp of vinegar. Put it into a mixing bowl. Describe how Jesus was thirsty on the cross and he was given vinegar to drink (John 19:28-30).
Add 3 egg whites to the vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life (John 10:10-11).
Sprinkle a little salt into each child’s hand. Let them taste it and brush a little salt into the bowl. The salt represents the salty tears shed by Jesus’ followers and the bitterness of sin (Luke 23:27).
Add 1 cup sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to him (Psalm 34:8).
Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks form. Explain that the colour white represents purity in God’s eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed (Isaiah 1:18).
Fold in broken pecan nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto a waxed-paper-lined cookie sheet. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus’ body was laid (Matthew 27:57-60).
Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven off. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. It’s like Jesus’ tomb was sealed (Matthew 27:65-66).
Now it is time to go to bed. On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! Explain that on the first Easter, Jesus’ followers were amazed to find that the tomb was open and empty as well (Matthew 28:1-9).
Sheila Braun writes from Landmark, Manitoba