Archives for posts with tag: pretend play

It’s Memorial Day weekend, why not whip up some cookies that everyone will remember?

If you’re after the popular sweet and salty combo, you are bound to get hooked on these.

Memorial Day Cookies aka cookies to remember
Makes 24 cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. of salt
  • 1/4 tsp. of baking soda
  • 1/2 cup of butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup of tightly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter chips
  • 1/2 cup broken up pretzel pieces
  •  Sea Salt


  1. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a larger bowl, beat the butter and sugars together on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). On low speed, slowly add the beaten egg and vanilla extract. Beat to combine, scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  3. Add the flour mixture and beat just until there are no more streaks of flour. Stir in the chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, and pretzels. Cover and refrigerate for an hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop out well rounded tablespoonfuls of the dough, flatten slightly then sprinkle with sea salt. Leave about 2 inches between each cookie. Bake for 10 minutes. If you prefer crispier cookies increase the baking time by 1-2 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before removing.

This week’s Recipe for Fun as well as yummy eating is from Sugar Cooking.  You can find many other delicious and unusual recipes that you may like to try on her blog. She also tells us that if you have a favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe you could use it for the base instead.

Thanks Sarah for this memorable recipe.


Have you ever experienced cookie failure? The dough is so good and definitely worth eating, but somehow when you pull the cookies out of the oven they are way spread out and flat.

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie blog has this helpful chart to help correct cookie flops. As the name implies, it is your go to source for you know what, everything chocolate chip cookies.



Do any of these cookies look familiar? I have seen number 4 several times and now I know why! Silly me, I never knew the dough could be over mixed – hello number 5.

There are many variables in baking.  Pictured are cookies with various problems using the same dough (with flour adjustments in numbers 3 &4).
1.  This cookie is done just right. It is pictured to compare with the rest.
2.  This dough was not refrigerated.  It is still good but a little flatter than it should be.
3.  This dough contained too much flour and did not spread much at all. It is interesting to note that the dough looked identical to the correct dough, but was much stiffer and drier.
4.  This dough had too little flour.  It spread too much and didn’t bake evenly.
5.  This dough was over-mixed.  It had a poor color, baked flat and had a strange consistency.
6.  This dough was formed too small.  It was overcooked at eight minutes. It is fine to make smaller cookies, just bake them for less time.
7.  This dough was formed too large.  The outsides were done while the middle was too high and underdone.
8.  This dough was baked in an oven 25 degrees too hot.  The outside was overdone and the inside was slightly underdone.
9.  This dough was baked in an oven 25 degrees too cool.  It fell flat and became too crisp without much of an inside.
10.  This dough was frozen when baked.  It took longer to bake and didn’t cook as evenly.  To use frozen dough, set on cookie sheet at room temperature while oven is preheating, 15-20 minutes.  It takes the frost off and bakes perfectly.


Red Retro Kitchen large

Totally Kids fun furniture & toys has many pretend kitchens for beginning bakers. Stop by or visit us online!

With fewer and fewer days left to get your holiday shopping wrapped up, and if you are feeling challenged in your search for the perfect toys, our knowledgeable personal shoppers are ready and waiting to help you find something for everyone on your list. Plus, good news: there is FREE gift wrapping on most toys. Bring the kiddos in for a test and play session  in our playful toy area where they will be entertained with many of our unique educational toys while you shop.

Today Annette shares a couple of her toy picks.

Annette’s Staff Picks:

Of all the toys my children played with repeatedly over the years, the play food items were the toys that never got lost in the bottom of the toy box.  For that reason, my  pick for a toy that’s universally popular with toddlers, preschoolers and even school-age children would be any of the Melissa and Doug play food sets.  Specific favorites are the Pizza Party, Birthday Cake and the Slice and Bake Cookie set.  All will provide hours of role playing fun for kids.  Who doesn’t like to reenact their birthday over and over again or pretend to bake cookies?  These toys are not only popular with a variety of age groups but also are appealing to both boys and girls.   Priced at $19.95 they’re very affordable, too.



My son John loves the Vertigo Sky Shark. This toy is a lot of fun! In between take offs, the dual rotors made learning to fly it easy and he really likes the fact that he can walk from to room while the helicopter hovers above the ground.  A simple push of the right and left trim buttons controls the direction the helicopter flies and it also has an 2-in-1 infrared remote control/charger.  Flight time is about 4 minutes and the package even doubles as a helipad (which he thinks is really cool!)

This is a good choice for any remote-control vehicle fan aged 8 and up.



These easy to make Reindeer Cookies may not be the ones to leave out for Santa on Christmas Eve? They look a little too much like Rudolph, don’t you think? We rate them high on the easy to make scale. Easy enough for little ones to help decorate and then make them  disappear. Java Mom holds the tricks for their creation.


I heard you have been naughty not nice,
And Santa even checked his list twice.
So all the way from the cold North Pole
all you’re getting is a bag of coal.


Lump of Coal Candy
by Tami Rose
Do you know someone who has been naughty this year? Fill their stocking with these lumps of candy coal! This also makes a great gag gift!

What You Need:

2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 tsp. black paste food color
1/2 cup water
1 tsp. anise extract

What You Do

Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil, extending edges over the sides of pan. Lightly grease foil with butter or baking spray.

Combine sugar, corn syrup and water in a heavy, non-stick, 2-quart saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture comes to a boil. Cook about 15 minutes, without stirring, until a candy thermometer registers 290 degrees F.

Immediately remove from heat. Stir in anise extract and food coloring. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Cool completely.

Lift candy out of pan using foil. Place candy between 2 layers of heavy-duty foil. Using a hammer or mallet, break candy into pieces the size of a lump of coal.

Fill a cellophane bag with a few pieces of coal and attach the poem from above with red yarn or ribbon.