July 4th Fireworks Painting and Cookies

July 4th Fireworks Painting Activity and Iced Cookies with Roaming Rosie

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!

Fireworks Painting with Toilet Paper Rolls and Glitter 1

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.

Fireworks Painting with Toilet Paper Rolls and Glitter 2

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.

Fireworks Chocolate Iced Cookies from Roaming Rosie 1

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.)

Fireworks Chocolate Iced Cookies from Roaming Rosie 2

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.

Fireworks Chocolate Iced Cookies from Roaming Rosie 3

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.

Happy Fourth!

Roaming Rosie Signature

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Triple Chocolate Spice Cookies

Triple Chocolate Spice Cookies

If you like chocolate and you like Spice Cookies, then you’re going to agree with me that these cookies are Uh-MAZING!!

They’re gooey and chocolately and bursting with fragrant flavor!  A total hit with everyone who has tried them.  Well … the ones I was willing to share!  ;)

They’re loosely based off of the Land O’ Lakes Chocolate Chai Latte cookies.  I like how those had a soft chocolate cookie base, are flavored with spices, filled with chunks of chocolate, and iced with a cinnamon glaze.

So I made this recipe to incorporate those elements, but with all the individual ingredients instead of starting with a cake mix.  Cake mixes differ a lot, and I wanted to know exactly what was going into my cookies.  Plus this way the cookies all turn out the same, unlike if you have a different cake mix on hand from the last time.

I played around with the measurements until I found something I loved, including adding more spice into mine.  I picked out spices I liked and measured them out, instead of using using a drink mix like the Chai cookies.

Because, really, I’m far too unorganized to have a specific cake and drink mix on hand whenever I decide to make these.  All of the ingredients I use here are things I usually have in the pantry.  Except if I’ve forgotten to stock up on powdered milk, but that’s shelf stable, so I usually keep that around, too.

(Scroll down for the printable PDF of the recipe.)

Triple Chocolate Spice Cookies

It looks like a lot of ingredients, but once you get everything set up, it’s super simple to whip up a batch.

And you can see that I used milk chocolate for these.  I suppose you could use semi-sweet or dark, but I like the way the softer and gentler milk chocolate chips contrast with the rest of the cookie.

The chips are one part of the “Triple” chocolates for which I named these.  Aside from the cookie itself, there is also chocolate in the icing.  :)

Triple Chocolate Spice Cookies

Would you just LOOK at all that FLAVOR!?

Triple Chocolate Spice Cookies

The dough is coming together…

A little thick, but that makes for soft, puffy cookies!

Triple Chocolate Spice Cookies

Scoop it out onto parchment paper or on a pan like this that releases the cookies easily.

Triple Chocolate Spice Cookies

The just-baked cookies.

See that moisture in the cracks?  Get ready for some moist, fudgy goodness!

Triple Chocolate Spice Cookies

And the icing ingredients.

I made this icing with both cocoa powder and cinnamon for maximum chocolatey-spicy flavor.

Triple Chocolate Spice Cookies

The icing consistency is ready when it easily drips from the fork or spoon in thick ribbons.

Triple Chocolate Spice Cookies

Drizzle the icing over the cooled cookies by dipping the fork back into the icing then waving it back and forth above the cookies.

Wait until the icing hardens completely to eat them.  The slight crunch of the icing makes a wonderful combination with the soft cookies.

Store them covered, and if you’ve waited until the icing is completely cooled (doesn’t smoosh and melt apart when you press it with your finger), then you shouldn’t even need to separate the layers of cookies with paper or anything.  Just throw the ones you didn’t consume immediately into a container.

Triple Chocolate Spice Cookies

Triple Chocolate Spice Cookies

Ingredients:
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup instant nonfat dry milk powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons milk
2 cups milk chocolate chips

Icing:
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 to 5 tablespoons water

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°). Combine the first 11 ingredients in a large bowl with a whisk or fork. Add in the butter, eggs, and milk and blend with a mixer on medium speed until fully combined. Stir in the milk chocolate chips by hand. The dough should hold together but be thick. Scoop rounded teaspoons of dough onto cookie sheets, about two inches apart. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. The cracks in the cookies will still look moist when they are done. Allow to cool on cookie sheets for two minutes, then transfer to cooling racks and allow to cool completely.

Using a fork, combine the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and cinnamon in a bowl. Add in 3 tablespoons of water, stirring well until icing is smooth. Add a teaspoon more of water at a time until the icing drips from the fork in thin, unbroken ribbons. Line your workspace with waxed paper beneath the cooled cookies, and use the fork to drizzle the icing over the cookies. Allow icing to harden completely and store cookies covered. Makes four dozen.

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Click here to print the free PDF version of the recipe:

Triple Chocolate Spice Cookies

Happy Baking!

Roaming Rosie Signature

Easy Iced Lemon Cake Mix Cookies

Easy Iced Lemon Cake Mix Cookies

These Lemon Cake Mix Cookies are super, super amazing!

Seriously delicious.

It has something to do with the softness you already get from the using the cake mix to make the cookies, PLUS it’s even more amazing when you use cake mix that has pudding in the mix.

Dude.

You gotta try these.  Even if you only kinda, sorta like lemon at all.  If you love lemon – well – these will blow you away!  {Trust me:  my coworkers didn’t leave a crumb behind!}

Easy Iced Lemon Cake Mix Cookies

These are also an easy dessert that you can throw together at the last minute when guests show up for a surprise visit, or you’re just suddenly craving something sweet and lemony.

Easy Iced Lemon Cake Mix Cookies

Stir together the cake mix and a bit of sugar, then stir in some eggs and oil.

Easy peasy.  And smells amazing!

Easy Iced Lemon Cake Mix Cookies

I used teaspoonfuls to make mine.

You could make them a little bigger if you wanted, but I find this to be a perfect size.

Easy Iced Lemon Cake Mix Cookies

And the icing is another easy step.

Just mix it all up in a little bowl or cup and drizzle it over the cookies.

Easy Iced Lemon Cake Mix Cookies

It only takes a minute to mix the icing and another minute or two to drizzle it over the cookies with a fork.

Totally worth it.

It really makes the cookies extra special.

Easy Iced Lemon Cake Mix Cookies

Doesn’t that gooey-ness look ah-mazing??

I love these things!

Please share your own pics when you make them here or on my Facebook page!!

{Scroll down to print the recipe.}

Easy Iced Lemon Cake Mix Cookies

Easy Iced Lemon Cake Mix Cookies

Ingredients:

1 box (15 oz.) lemon cake mix
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs

Icing:
1 cup confectionery sugar
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons water

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

In a large bowl, combine the cake mix and sugar. Stir in the eggs and vegetable oil until fully combined and smooth.

Drop teaspoonfuls of dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until the cookies are set on top and just barely starting to brown around the edges.

Cool on baking pans for two minutes, then transfer cookies to wire racks and cool completely.

Using a fork, mix all ingredients for icing in a small bowl or measuring cup, starting with 1 tablespoon of water, and adding about a 1/4 tablespoon of water at a time until you reach the desired consistency. It should still be a little thick, but drip easily from your fork.

Drizzle the icing over the cooled cookies, making sure your working space beneath the cookies is lined with waxed or parchment paper for easy cleanup.

Allow icing to set. Store covered. Makes 3 dozen.

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Print the free PDF copy of the recipe:  Easy Iced Lemon Cake Mix Cookies

Enjoy!

Roaming Rosie Signature