My aim for this particular series was to introduce different cultures, so I made a cookie from the highlighted country or culture and showed them a game that would be played there. Some of the games were tricky for this age group; still they were curious. I tried to print off a paper version for each child to take home to remind them of each game. Since the books in this series were too long to read in our time allowance, I read at least the first chapter to give them a sense of the story and let them decide if they wanted to continue reading the book on their own, before moving on to our activity.
There's no denying, the kids were most interested in the cookies. They enjoyed trying the different types and always wanted to know where the next cookie recipe was going to come from. And since they told their parents how much they liked the cookies, I started to print the recipes for them to take home.
Below are five of the programs I used for this series.
Viking It and Liking It
Cookie: Viking Cookies
2 cups butter
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
4-1/2 cups flour
3 cups rolled oats
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
3 cups white chocolate chips
Melt butter, cool to room temperature. Mix in sugars. Add baking soda, powder, salt, eggs, vanilla and spices. Mix thoroughly. Add flour by 1/2 cup increments. Then add white chocolate chips. Add oatmeal and mix. The dough will be stiff. Drop by teaspoons onto cookie sheets. Flatten with spatula. Bake at 350 degrees for 11-13 minutes. Cool for 3-5 minutes on sheets.
Hnefatafl was a popular game in medieval Scandinavia. It became a popular game in Northern Europe during the Viking era (end of the 8th century to 1000 C.E.) It was particularly popular in Nordic countries and followed the Viking civilization to other parts of Europe. It translates literally to "king's table."
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Have ready a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch plain tip.
2. Break the almond paste into small pieces and place in bowl of electric mixer along with the sugar. Mix on low speed until very fine. Add the egg whites in three additions, mixing well after each addition. Continue mixing the dough until very smooth, about 3-4 minutes.
3. Fill the pastry bag with the almond mixture. Pipe 1-1/2 inch mounds onto the parchment paper, spacing about 1 inch apart. After you have filled the baking sheet with cookie mounds, take a damp paper towel and lightly press the top of each cookie to smooth out the surface (you want to smooth out the tip of the dough at the top of each cookie caused from piping.) Lightly sprinkle a little sugar on top of each cookie.
4. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the cookies have risen, are a deep golden brown color and have tiny cracks.
5. Remove from the oven and place baking sheet on a rack to cool. When cooled, gently peel cookies from parchment. If they stick to parchment, turn the paper over, take a damp paper towel and gently wipe the bottom of the parchment to loosen the cookie.
Game: Giuocco Dell'oca(Game of the Goose)
Me Oh Maya
by Jon Scieszka
Cookie: Mayan Chocolate Cookies
3/4 cup vegetable shortening (non-hydrogenated)
4 oz. unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
1-3/4 cups flour
3/8 teaspoon salt - omit if using salted butter
1-1/4 cup natural cocoa powder
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
6 oz. finely chopped dark bittersweet chocolate (70% Lindt Intense Dark)
Mixture of 1/2 cup granulated and 1 teaspoon cinnamon for rolling
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Cream shortening and butter in a large bowl with high speed of electric mixer. Beat in the brown sugar and granulated sugar and beat until creamy. Beat in vanilla and eggs; beat only until they are mixed.
3. Stir together flour, salt, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking soda, ground pepper and cayenne. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir until it's almost well mixed. Add the chocolate chips and stir until well mixed.
4. Shape dough into 1 inch balls, roll in a mixture of cinnamon sugar. Arrange on parchment paper lined sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes.
5. Let cookies cool on the the cookie sheet for about 7 minutes, then remove from cookie sheets and place on a rack to cool.
1. Beat butter until white.
2. Add sugar and beat for 3 more minutes.
3. Add flour and salt and beat for 2 minutes. The dough consistency should be like moist sand, and should hold itself together when pressed in the palm of your hand.
4. Roll into small balls and press it down with your thumb. Press almond on top.
5. Place balls in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
6. Bake at 250 degrees. Color should be like ivory, don't let it blush!
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Butter a cookie sheet. Write fortunes on strips of paper about 4 inches long and 1/2 inch wide. Generously grease 2 cookie sheets.
- Mix the egg white and vanilla until foamy but not stiff. Sift the flour, salt, and sugar and blend into the egg white mixture.
- Place teaspoonfuls of the batter at least 4 inches apart on one of the prepared cookie sheets. Tilt the sheet to move the batter into round shapes about 3 inches in diameter. Be careful to make batter as round and even as possible. Do not make too many, because the cookie have to be really hot to form them and once they cool it is too late. Start with 2 or 3 to a sheet and see how many you can do.
- Bake for 5 minutes or until cookie has turned a golden color 1/2 inch wide around the outer edge of the circle. The center will remain pale. While one sheet is baking, prepare the other.
- Remove from oven and quickly move cookie with a wide spatula and place upside down on a wooden board. Quickly place the fortune on the cookie, close to the middle and fold the cookie in half. Place the folded edge across the rim of a measuring cup and pull the pointed edges down, one on the inside of the cup and one on the outside. Place folded cookies into the cups of a muffin tin or egg carton to hold their shape until firm.