Saturday , 26 May 2018

Kyra’s Kitchen: “I’m Bored! I’ve Got Nothing to Dooooo!” Part 1 – Sweet Surprises

It is three weeks to the start of school – camps are over – and it is hot outside.
Your kids are driving you nuts and your only recourse is to dump them in front of the TV…. Or is it?

Why not get into the kitchen and Create with your Kids – 

I bet you will have so much fun that you will actually be sorry when you wave them goodbye on the first day of school….

Things to do with cookie dough.  You can use your own favorite recipe or buy the cookie dough ready-made or make this recipe, which is fool proof.


1 ½ sticks butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract OR 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 ½ cups All Purpose flour, scooped
1 teaspoon baking powder.
½ teaspoon salt
Beat the butter and sugar until light. Beat in the eggs and flavorings.
Stir in the flour, baking powder and salt to form a dough.
Wrap or cover and chill for at least an hour or overnight.


Sugar cookie dough

Egg Paint:  1 egg yolk  divided into 4 or 5  little pots.  Add food coloring to each to make “paints”.

Paint brushes

Preheat oven to 400
Roll out half the dough – cut into 3” rounds, ½” thick – [or cut shapes of your choice].
Using the egg yolk “paints”, paint designs on the cookies.
Set on a baking paper-lined cookie sheet.
Carefully insert a candy stick into each cookie.
Bake for 6- 8 minutes or until the cookies are set.
Allow to cool before lifting cookies off the baking sheet.

Variation  No 2. — FRUIT PIZZAS
Sugar Cookie dough
1 cup Strawberry Jam
Fresh fruits:  strawberries, grapes, blueberries, peaches, plums, kiwi, orange segments- your choice
1 cup Greek yogurt sweetened with 3 tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven to 375
Roll out dough ½” thick and cut out 4 rounds, 6” in diameter.
Set on baking paper-lined cookie sheet.
Bake for 10 – 15 minutes or until the dough is lightly browned and crisp.
Allow to cool.
Spread the jam oven the cookie ‘pizzas’.
Arrange the fruit on top.
Pipe the yogurt ‘cream’ around edge .  Hint:  Fill a plastic bag with the mixture, seal, cut off a corner of the bag and pipe away!

Note: Any leftover cookie dough can be wrapped and frozen for another day of fun…!

FROZEN BANANA POPS [courtesy of the Food + Fit =Fun Healthy Living program] 4 bananas
8 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup cheerios or crushed cereal of choice
8 craft sticks

Cut the bananas in half – insert a craft stick in each and set in the freezer while melting the chocolate.
Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave on High for  1 minute.
Stir until melted and smooth.
Remove the bananas from the freezer.  Spread the chocolate over the bananas.
Roll in the cereal and set on a wax paper-lined plate.
Freeze until ready to eat.

PAINTED SANDWICHES [courtesy of the Food + Fit =  Fun Healthy Living Program] 8 slices white bread
Liquid or gel food colors
Paint brushes

Divide paint colors into small pots.
Paint the bread slices with a design [be sure to clean the brush in water before using another color] Toast the bread.
Sandwich together with filling of your choice.

6 healthy breakfast muffins
3 oz. dark chocolate broken into small pieces
Gummy worms
1 chocolate cookie crushed

Microwave the chocolate on High for 1 minute – stir until smooth.
Spread the chocolate over the tops of the muffins.
Stick the gummy worms into the muffin to look as if they are crawling out!
Sprinkle on the chocolate cookie ‘dirt’!
What a fun way to start the day!


Next week: Part 2 — Fun Savory Treats

About the Author

McKinney resident Kyra Effren is a contributing writer for’s “Food” section.  She is a retired food stylist and contributing writer for the “Food” section of Dallas Morning News. In 1975, Effren opened Cours de Cuisine Cooking School in Dallas and in 1978, she was awarded The Commanderie des Cordon Bleu in France for her contributions to French cooking.   She has edited multiple cookbooks and served as recipe tester for a number of cookbooks including both of the Mansion on Turtle Creek cookbooks by Dean Fearing and baking books by Nick Malgieri.

Kyra welcomes any and all reader comments and suggestions.  What would you like to have for dinner?

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