The big 0 - 6, the cake is already planned and in production, so what then, no cake--no cake for mallory to bake. Flo, the little darling of finess, the firecracker in pink shoes and round purple specs who fills my wednesdays and fridays with coloring books, park games, and singing lessons, is turning 6 and therefore something must be made. For this baker/chef/caterer wanna-be always makes known your importance in her world with flour, sugar, and an egg. Yeah that's right grandma, back off.
For this joyous fête of fêtes, a 3 hour long scherade of around 15 bubbling bouncing 6 year old FRENCH children jacked to the glucose saturation point on candies, cakes, and sweets of every make, another sticky goodness must be added, naturally. Finding a treat for a child is not a difficult task as some may think, but if a cookie must be made, it cannot be just any cookie, oh no it can not.
Carolyn Dodo, la pauvre. Flo's gallantly patient (do turtles have a choice?) pet turtle whose popularity is strewn in motif-decor throughout the appartment. Effigies of glass, chrystal, wood, clay, fabric and tin from every corner of the globe fill the cubbords, bookshelves, tables, and walls. Plain said, the girl loves turtles. A turtle cookie it is then. Step one: find a cookie cutter (noble quest!) Step two: head to the factory production line, we are manufacturing turtles.
The moral here to be made is that the simpler is always the better when it comes to childrens palats. Remember that these are the little humans that find pleasure in meat and fish formed into "nuggets" and that putrid condiment from hell...ketchup. For the wee Americans, a day without peanut butter and jelly is unthinkable (my american darlings C&R i mean you), and for children the world around, no matter how unpleasant the taste, a gummy bonbon in any color shape or form is always number one. But do not despair my little friends, you'll grow out of it. Why, just ask my mum and you will hear that I too went through a stage of a days diet consisting singularly of koolaid. C'est vrai.
Turtle sugar cookies, sablés to the French, simple white dough to allow for the most important part, the icing. Flour, vanilla, butter, sugar, an egg, a bit of lime, c'est tout. Be warned though when creating an arsenal of cutout cookies--it is very time consuming.
75 cookies, turtles and hearts, mais attendez--qu'est ce que c'est? What's that little poulet doing swimming with the turtles? I think he is lost; was looking for the cabbage patch and ended up in the turtle pond. Silly poulet, I'll help him out.
Cutout cookies are perfect for personalization at an event with a big crowd. M, Flo's mother, and I, the only two adults trapped in the appartment with 15 darling little 6 year old demons were surprisingly enough to maintain a basal level of order and peace. Lock and Load. I know these kids, I know their playground clicks and games, and I know their soft spots, but then again, they know mine. We'll see how many times i can twirl you, but wiat stop jumping on the couch!
M prepared two flourless chocolqte tortes, chouette! A gesture that made me feel almost part of the family, either that or a stroke of luck for this cake deprived child (me). Along with the cake and cookies was more sugar, juice, and waffles. The French ever so much love their waffles, a common snack treat wheather packaged or homemade.
Recette: 300g flour ~ 120 g powdered sugar ~ 125g butter ~ 1 egg ~ vanilla & lime zest.
Preparation: mix, and refigerate for at least an hour, roll out dough SMALL portions at a time and leave the rest in the refrigerator, roll them thin, bake ~ 15 min depending on oven, cool completely before icing. The icing: powdered sugar, vanilla, and lime juice. That's it. The coloring? Anything you have--dyes, natural flavors, or in my case, colored sprinkles.
Were the turtles a success? For the most part yes, particularly the eyeballs. Verse. Flo gasped and gave me a giggle, sign enough I had done well. The #1 turtle consumer, however, was C, Flo's 8 year old brother who in the following days managed to finish off the bucket of turtles handfuls at a time. Good boy.
The rule of the game: presentation. Come on, it shows you care, and as we eat first with our eyes and second with our tongues, food's first lesson like the potty or à dire "mama" is first and foremost in its look. Children are not so far removed from us we the garnish reveling glossy eyed patrons of well plated steaks and sauce covered cakes often times think, though taste, as a virtue, is aquired. Enjoyed in yesteryear were the fish nuggets; blue popsicles in tubes, and flavorless gumballs, but remember, everyonce in a while, it is ok to eat and enjoy a pink marshmallow, or perhaps just a little loving cookie.