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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Moon cookies/ crescent cookies

Cultures and religions across the world have developed a wealth of stories about the moon. To the Romans, the moon represented Diana the huntress. To the Nahua, the moon represented the beautiful Tecuciztecatl, God of the Conch Shell. To Wiccans, the phases of the moon represent the Goddess as she moves from Maiden to Mother to Crone. A fun way to teach kids about the moon and the mythos surrounding the moon is to make moon cookies.

Make sugar cookies (recipe below).

Decorate the cookies with powdered sugar icing in a small-tipped pastry tube, or with a tube of pre-packaged icing. Decorate the cookies with designs that represent the different stories surrounding the moon. For example, you could draw a bow and arrow representing Diana; an ankh representing Isis, Queen of the Heavens; or the face of a young girl representing the Maiden form of the Wiccan Goddess.

Discuss with your kids the stories and symbolism behind different conceptions of the moon. Be certain to explain the relevance of the moon within your own path. Take this as an opportunity to learn some new things for you. Some resources for stories about the moon include the following:

American Indian Myths and Legends selected and edited by Richard Erdoes and Alfonso Ortiz
Circle Round: Raising Children in Goddess Traditions by Starhawk, Diane Baker, and Anne Hill
The Goddess Path: Myths, Invocations and Rituals by Patricia Monaghan
Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham
Sugar Cookies

1/3 cup butter or margarine
1/3 cup shortening
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat butter and shortening with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds.
Add the egg, sugar, milk, baking powder, vanilla, salt, and about half the flour. Beat until thoroughly combined. Beat in remaining flour.
Divide dough in half. Cover and chill for 3 hours.
On a lightly floured surface, roll half of the dough at a time 1/8 inch thick. Cut with a round cookie or biscuit cutter. If you would like to make crescent or Gibbous moon shapes, you should move your cookie cutter about 1 inch from the edge of a cut cookie and cut again. This will make one crescent and one Gibbous moon.
Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake in a 375 degree oven for 7 to 8 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are very lightly browned.
Fully cool cookies on a rack before decorating.
Powdered Sugar Frosting

1 cup sifted powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon vanilla
milk or orange juice

Mix powdered sugar, vanilla and 1 tablespoon milk or juice. Add milk or juice 1 teaspoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. Spoon into pastry tube.

( Or you could just buy the already made sugar cookie dough, and shape into moon shapes!)

I also have this very easy recipe...

Almond Crescents (Cookie Mix)

Servings: 60
Betty Crocker® Cookie Mixes

1 (1 pound 1.5 ounce) pouch
Betty Crocker® sugar cookie
1/2 cup butter or margarine,
1 egg 1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup ground blanched
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup powdered sugar
Blue edible glitter, if desired

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. In large bowl, stir cookie mix, butter, egg, cornstarch, ground almonds and almond extract until soft dough forms.
2. For each cookie; shape rounded teaspoon dough into 2 1/2-inch strip. Taper ends and form crescent shape on ungreased cookie sheet.
3. Bake 9 to 10 minutes or until set. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie to wire rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Roll in powdered sugar. Sprinkle with edible glitter.