Last week a friend posted some pictures of her toddler making these and I knew they were our next project. Click here to view the original post.
What you need
- Baking pan
- Parchment paper
- Cooking spray
- Metal cookie cutters
- Hard candies – we used life savers, but you could use jolly ranchers or mints as well.
- Cups or bowls for sorting out the colors
- Scissors – my friend used this as an opportunity to allow her toddler to improve her cutting skills. We did not.
After gathering all your supplies, cut off a piece of parchment paper the size of your cookie pan and spray the paper and all the cookie cutters with cooking spray.
Bailey wanted to do the cooking spray by herself. Note to self I should have done this step before I got her involved because we ended up with spray everywhere and too much spray on the paper, which changed the flavor of the candies and turned dark brown when we cooked them.
Start your designs. I think Bailey ate more than half of the supplies, but that was part of the fun. My original thought was we would work on her fine motor skills and color recognition with opening all the candies and sorting them into bowls. Best laid plans with a toddler. Bailey decided it was more fun to open the candy (with my help) put it in the bowl and then take it back like a shot or pour it into the cookie cutter. I am learning to pick my battles and let her lead how she wanted to do this part.
You could also have your kids break up the candies into smaller pieces. We chose to skip this because Bailey loves to hit things. We have been working on gentle touches and making good progress. I did not want to confuse her, but I do think it would be fun and would add to the designs.
Pre-heat the oven to 350. You could do this when you start, but I did not want to be in a rush. Since half of our candies did not make it onto the pan I had to slightly rearrange and take away some of the cookie cutters. I thought the candies might expand to fill the entire cookie cuter but it will only expand so far so I am happy to eliminated some of them.
When you take them out of the oven you can poke a hole in them to add ribbon later or add a lollipop stick to create a sucker. You would also make additional designs using a tooth pick. Since Bailey is only 2 I took care of making the holes and getting them out of the cutters.
I would recommend using something flat to help get them out of the cookie cutters and doing it within the first couple of minutes of taking them out of the oven. I was shocked how quickly they cooked and hardened.
Now it is time to add ribbon and hand them up or try your product. As I mentioned before our extra cooking spray really changed the flavor they were cool to look at, but did not taste good. After Bailey’s previous sugar high j was just as happy that she did not want to eat them.
Overall it was a really fun project and I would recommend it. You can tailor it to your child with the cookie cuter shapes, types of candy and the level of complexity. If you try it we would love to see yours and hear about your experience.
As always thank you for reading.