The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

December 28, 2012

Sweets for both the eye and tongue

By Erica Benjamin for the SNAP
SNAP

Friday, December 28, 2012 — More than a dozen local children came to the Stanly County Agri-Civic Center this past Thursday for an afternoon of holiday fun. The event, which was hosted by the N.C. Cooperative Extension, included cookie decorating and creating a holiday craft.

Family and Consumer Sciences Agent Courtney Rickenberg and 4-H Youth Development Agent Ashley Smith explained how the idea for the two-hour event, which they named “One Sweet Afternoon,” came about.

“I just decided one day that I wanted to do a cookie decorating and craft class. I asked Ashley if she wanted to help,” Rickenberg said.

“The kids had a day off and we thought it would be a fun activity for them.” Smith noted that a similar class done in previous years had always had a high interest, so the idea to expand upon that event seemed like a good fit.

“A holiday ornament decorating class had been done in the past and it was very popular,” Smith said.

“We both like working with children and we decided we would like to give the kids an afternoon of creative learning where they could enjoy hot chocolate and a snack.”

Sugar cookie dough was prepared in advance to give the children ample time to decorate their treats.

“We made the dough on Wednesday and it took us about three hours to cut out all of the cookies and bake them,” Rickenberg said.

The classroom was divided into different stations which included cookie decorating, ornaments and card making.

Oakboro sisters Catherine Laws, 9, and Thea Laws, 6, were excited to get started on their cookies and crafts.

“I’m so excited about making ornaments,” Thea said.

Her sister, on the other hand, was looking forward to a tasty treat.

“I can’t wait to make the cookies,” Catherine added.

At the cookie station, the children were allowed to select two large cookies and four smaller ones to decorate with different colors of frosting and various types of sprinkles.

Seven-year-old Graylin Olivieri enjoyed the creative process of mixing colors and sprinkles.

“My cookie is going to look so awesome,” she said, while decorating her tree-shaped sugar cookie.

Jackie Burris, 9, took a moment to decide which one of her six cookies was her favorite.

“I like the candy cane the best,” she said.

After finishing up their holiday treats, the children then moved on to the card-making and ornament decorating stations. There were beaded snowflakes, candy cane reindeer which were made with pipe cleaners and plastic jiggly eyes and clear ornaments which could be filled with brightly colored ribbons or candy sprinkles.

Leela Jarrett, 9, already had plans for one of her finished holiday crafts.

“I’m going to give one ornament to my grandmother,” she said.