Fenton — The cookies didn’t all turn out perfect, but that’s hardly the goal — mistakes were welcome.
On Saturday, Feb. 8, the Fenton-Winegarden Library hosted a cookie decorating activity. It was run by Mary Riley-Walraven with the Michigan State University Extension 4-H STEAM Corps.
Cookie decorating is actually an activity in 4-H in which participants can earn ribbons and cash prizes. This is a point Riley-Walraven tries to make at such demonstrations.
Children could enter decorated sugar cookies in the “cookies, any not listed” category.
Riley-Walraven had experience in such an activity because her daughter decorated at a county fair last year. She said the activity isn’t just fun, it’s actually a useful life lesson on moderation, measurements and how these themes impact a final product.
The children had to dilute the coloring with an appropriate amount of water to make colored frosting. “They really get to learn by seeing how the different amounts affect it,” she said.
They have to mix the frosting with water to the proper thickness, and then use the “flooding” technique to fill in color. “Flooding” is making an initial outline on frosting atop the cookie, and then filling it in, line-by-line of frosting until it’s smoothly filled in.
Hand-eye coordination also is bolstered along with all the tools needed for the activity. While this frosting was provided by 4-H, she did describe how to make frosting at home.
Parents may have cringed a little, but the point is to hand children food coloring and let them dilute it to see how it works. “That’s what 4-H is all about — learning things hands on,” Riley-Walraven said.
Go to thegdl.org/events for more free upcoming activities. There’s yoga, folklore, 3-D printing and more coming this week.