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Children's Hand Cookies

Older children can use their hand to outline the cookies, drawing around it on the dough with a skewer and using a knife tip to cut along the line. If your child can't participate, make a pattern from a manila folder. Translucent parchment works well for the heart stencil; it will allow you to see the shape of the cookie through it.

  • Yield: Makes 8 to 10 cookies
Children's Hand Cookies

Source: Martha Stewart Kids, Holiday


For Dough

  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, for decorating

For Decorating

  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • Sanding sugar


  1. In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.

  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg, and beat until smooth, about 1 minute.

  3. Add reserved flour mixture, and mix on low speed until thoroughly combined. Stir in vanilla. Wrap dough in plastic, and refrigerate for about 45 minutes.

  4. Make cookie pattern and heart stencil while wrapped dough is chilling. For the pattern, have your child trace his or her hand on a manila file folder, and cut out the tracing. You will lay this on the dough and trace around it with the tip of a paring knife. For the heart stencil, cut a heart shape from a piece of parchment paper, discarding center.

  5. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. On a well-floured work surface, roll out cold dough to 1/8 inch thick. Cut out hand shapes. Transfer cookies to prepared baking sheets. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes. Dough scraps may be re-rolled twice.

  6. To decorate the cookies with sanding sugar hearts, lay the heart stencil over a cookie. Combine the egg white with the water in a small bowl. Brush the egg wash in the heart, and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Lift stencil and repeat with remaining cookies. Bake until edges just begin to brown lightly, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cookies cool on pans for 3 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Reviews (7)

  • mommybeck 5 Aug, 2010

    These would make excellent "The Kissing Hand" cookies for the first day of school...especially for kindergarteners! Love it!

  • wherearemyglasses 5 Aug, 2010

    Sanding sugar is coarse and glittery, not fine and glittery

  • Levidan 5 Aug, 2010

    To Nadio O: Sanding sugar is fine grain, usually colored sugar that has a sparkle. It is normally used for decorating cookies. You can substitute other sugars, but won't be quite a glittery.

  • NadiaO 5 Aug, 2010

    cute, but what is sanding sugar?

  • hundt 5 Aug, 2010

    Great idea. Use with the book, "The Kissing Hand". Perfect for the beginning of the school year, especially the first day for a kindergartener.

  • Joeyannie1 29 Sep, 2008

    How much fun would this be for young girls to decorate? Nail color,BLING using all kinds of silver

  • jbgpjgajg 7 Feb, 2008

    easy to make, taste great...

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