Happy Fourth of July!
This year, my kids and I did a painting activity and a cookie project that mimicked fireworks. First, we stamped fireworks with toilet paper rolls, and then we baked some chocolate cookies and iced them in patterns to represent bursts of color.
Both of these things were done on dark backgrounds to make it look like our paint and sugar fireworks were exploding against a nighttime sky.
Even threw in some glitter (edible and not-so-much) for a little extra spark!
First up: the painting project.
We reused some toilet paper rolls by transforming them into stamps.
To make the firework-shaped stamps, cut slits around one side of the cardboard roll, making the incisions about a quarter-inch wide (my kids made a few slivers; don’t aim for uniformity here), and then bend back the strips against the palm of your hand to make the pieces stick out.
I put some red, white, and blue (washable) paint into three small paper plates, and we dipped the stamps into the plates and then pressed them into the paper to make our fireworks.
To get a neat effect, overlap your stamps.
After you’ve covered your paper in fireworks, sprinkle with glitter for a fun sparkly touch!
Allow the paint to dry before shaking off the excess glitter and displaying your art.
These cookies were not only fun to make – they were delicious too!
Just like the painting activity, we used the red, white, and blue colors against a dark background (in this case chocolate) to represent the fireworks bursting against a night sky.
We used the recipe that I made for my Chocolate Almond Mummy Cookies, but I made double the batch of icing.
You don’t actually NEED to double the icing – the recipe already makes plenty – but I wanted to make extra, double, totally sure that we’d still have enough icing if my girls ended up squirting most of it onto the counter instead of the cookies.
It turned out, one batch probably would have been more than enough . . . except that one of my containers burst and half of the blue icing spilled out onto a couple of cookies.
But that’s an anomaly. (Hopefully.)
When you make the icing, be sure to stir it well until there are no lumps and it drips easily from the fork or spoon in thin ribbons.
Not watery – just thin. If it’s too thick or clumpy it will clog your spout.
I used my Wilton Candy Making Decorating Bottles. Mine are quite old but they
usually work fine only sometimes explode. (But seriously, this is the first time I’ve had a problem.) I’ve been meaning to pick up some new ones anyway. They’re pretty easy to clean and my girls just love using them.
But if you don’t have bottles like these, you could just as easily put the icing into three separate plastic baggies and snip off the ends to squeeze out the patterns.
If you’re using the bottles, I poured the white icing into them and then mixed in the food coloring with a wooden skewer, the kind used for making shish kabobs. You could do the same with the baggies, or, if you’re not lazy like me, you could put the icing into three bowls and add the red and blue food coloring to two of them, and mix them before pouring them into the containers.
I made the icing while the cookies were in the oven. You could make it much earlier in the day, but the longer it sits, the more likely to thicken and then you’ll have to worry about mixing in more water or stirring it to thin it again.
As you can see, we took the easy way out with these “cut out” cookies: no cookie cutters. We just sliced them up with a pizza cutter. Easy Peasy. Re-roll and slice again.
(If you’re wondering, that’s cocoa powder sprinkled over the counter to keep the dough from sticking, which you can use instead of flour when making chocolate cookies.)
We made the cookies into rectangles or large squares, all slightly different. Once baked and fully cooled, I spread some waxed paper to catch the drippings and we all drizzled the icing onto the cookies, overlapping the colors, in a bit of a star burst pattern so that they would kind of look like fireworks exploding.
And, before the icing could harden, we added some white sparkling sugar to add a little extra spark to our cookies and to match the glitter on our paintings.
Again, you can find the cookie recipe on my post for Chocolate Almond Mummy Cookies.