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Bake some sunspot cookies with the kids

What’s the idea?

Bake some yummy sunspot cookies with the kids to celebrate the summer solstice.

What’s the story?

I found a great recipe for sunspot cookies.  My kids certainly love any excuse to bake biscuits.

What better way to learn a fact or two about the sun, whilst making it fun and creative!

With the summer solstice around the corner, the kids started asking me what it is and what the longest day is all about.

We decided to have a look at the NASA website for some key facts about the sun and we came across sunspots and how to make sunspot cookies.

My daughter really enjoyed making the dough and the decorating was fun and super easy!

People should do this because…?

It’s a lovely way to combine doing a bit of research about the sun with a themed activity.

Together, you can research the importance of the sun and what it means to all of us on earth, whilst also having a fun activity to look forward to.

Besides, baking is always a great way to teach kids about measurements and following a recipe.

Even better, the biscuits can be made with minimal ingredients and supplies.

How do you do it?

The biscuits are very straightforward to make and you can use any sugar cookie recipe that you like.

My preferred biscuit recipe is as follows… (Ingredients and quantities are below the instructions.)

How to make the dough:
  1. First of all, in a medium-sized bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  2. Then, take a larger bowl and mix the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. You can use a fork or electric mixer.
  3. After that, add the egg and vanilla to the butter and mix. (We sometimes use a bit of almond flavour for an extra yummy taste!)
  4. Gradually, add the sifted dry ingredients until it becomes a thick dough and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour for best results.
How to make the biscuits:
  1. Once the dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Next, on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to the desired thickness. (We find it easier to roll out half the dough at a time.)
  3. Get stuck in with your round cookie cutters. If you don’t have any cutters, you could use the top of a glass or cup.
  4. Use a spatula to place the cookies on a greased or baking paper-lined tray. Make sure the cookies don’t touch each other.
  5. Bake the cookies for about 8-10 minutes, or until they start to turn brown around the edges.
  6. Place on a cooling rack and make sure they are completely cool before you start decorating!
How to make the icing:
  1. Firstly, mix together the confectioners’ sugar and warm water.
  2. Next, stir until the icing is smooth and thick enough to mould.
  3. Adjust the consistency of the icing by adding more confectioners’ sugar or more water, as needed.
  4. Then, separate the icing into two bowls.
  5. Add yellow food colouring to one bowl and orange food colouring to the other bowl.
  6. Spread the yellow icing over the top of the cookie.
  7. Before the icing hardens, drip some orange icing on the top.
  8. Use a toothpick to mix the colours together and create a pattern.
  9. Lastly, decorate the cookies with chocolate chips for sunspots!

Stuff you may need

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Ingredients for the icing:
  • One 1-pound box icing sugar
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • Yellow, red or orange food colouring
  • Chocolate chips
Utensils:
  • Mixing bowls
  • Fork, Spoon (electric mixer – optional)
  • Baking tray
  • Non-stick baking paper
  • Oven
  • Fridge
  • Rolling pin
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Round/sun shaped cookie cutters
  • Toothpick

Links to other stuffer pages

Bake decorative springtime biscuits

Links to other articles on the web

NASA sunspot cookies

What is the summer solstice?

Everything you need to know about the longest day of the year

Links to other videos on the web

Links to apps

https://apps.apple.com/au/app/solar-walk-3d-solar-system/id347546771

Links to books

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