Easter Story Cookies (Empty Tomb Cookies)

>> Thursday, April 21, 2011

This is a fun kitchen activity that teaches about Easter.  We have made them in past years and I love the resulting meringue cookies, but only a few of my kids think they are proper cookies.

Easter Story Cookies
1 c. whole pecans (or walnuts)
1 tsp. vinegar
3 egg whites
pinch of salt
1 c. sugar
1 zipper baggie
1 wooden spoon
parchment paper or wax paper
masking tape
Bible

Directions and Activity:
1) Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
2) Place nuts in zipper baggie and let children beat them with a wooden spoon to break them into small pieces.
Explain that after Jesus was arrested, he was beaten by Roman soldiers.  Read John 19:1-3.
3) Let each child smell the vinegar.  Pour 1 tsp. vinegar into the mixing bowl.
Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross, he was given vinegar to drink.  Read John 19:28-30.
4) Add egg whites to vinegar. 
Tell the children that eggs represent life.  Explain that Jesus gave his life so that we could be resurrected and have eternal life.  Read John 10:10-11.
5) Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand.  Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl. 
Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers during the crucifixion.  Read Luke 23:27.

Ask the children if any of the ingredients used to this point seem very appetizing.
6) Add 1 cup sugar. 
Explain that the sweetest part of Easter is that Jesus died because he loves us. He wants us to know and belong to him and be able to return to Heavenly Father.  Read Psalms 34:8; Read John 3:16.
7) Beat with a mixer on high speed until stiff peaks are formed (this may take some time).
Explain that the color white represents the purity in God's eyes, of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus.  Read Isaiah 1:18.
8) Fold in the broken nuts.  Drop dough by teaspoons onto a cookie sheet covered with parchment or wax paper.
Explain that the mound of dough represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid. Read Matthew 27:57-60.
9) Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF.  Give each child a piece of masking tape and help them seal the oven door.
Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed.  Read Matthew 27:65-66.
10) Go to bed.  Or proceed with the events of the evening and leave the cookies in the oven until morning.
Explain that the children might feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight.  Jesus' followers despaired when the tomb was sealed.  Read John 16:20,22.
11) Before the children are up the next morning, remove the tape and open the oven door.  After the children awaken, gather them in the kitchen and give everyone a cookie.  Tell them to notice how the surface is cracked and to take a bite.  The cookies will be hollow.
Explain that on the first Easter Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty.  When they understood what it meant, they rejoiced! Read John 11:25-26.

Notes: In the past, I have lost the attention of some of the children during the step of beating the eggs to stiff peaks.  If you think this might happen, you'll want to be prepared to sing some songs or color a picture during this step. It also goes smoother if you have one person looking up and reading the scriptures while a second set of hands is in charge of the cookie production. Happy Easter!
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