Easter can be one of those holidays that brings the “Big Time” pressure. How big is your kid’s basket? What did you put inside? Are they wearing the “proper” church attire? The endless checklist that must include white eggs and lots of food dye. Don’t get too commercial about the holiday. Focus on “Jesus is the reason for the season.” How on earth am I to get a family to be dressed in their Sunday best while they’re stuffing their faces with chocolate? I’m mean, come on. We’ve all been there. Dealt with these standards I’m not sure who started. I can’t say much about good riddance to them since I hold myself to most of them. Having grown up in a home where Easter was more than just that the bunny had arrived at our house but held a special significance with our faith, I saw my mom maintain the exhausting state that trying to do it all can have on a mom during a major holiday. Yet, I do it all just like so many of us, because I want them to experience the fun without loosing the importance of the faith.
When I first got married, my mom gave me a book full of family recipes she had collected over the years. Many that I had consumed while at her kitchen table. She included the below recipe I’m going to share with you today. At the time when I browsed through the book, I was unsure of why she included it. Then I had children.
We first tried this recipe when our oldest was 4 years old. We performed each activity together and at one point, she broke down in tears. I didn’t realize the impact it would have on our little girl but the point of making the cookies was received. We do it every year now and with each child that has been added to the family, there is an age appropriate activity that they can perform.
We’ve read the Bible story, held each Resurrection Egg, read countless Easter books, but nothing moved them to understanding what Jesus went through as much as this had. It’s a solemn thing to do as a family together and one that doesn’t require hours. Because who has that on the weekend of Easter?! What’s your favorite Easter tradition?
Easter Story Cookies
*To be made the evening before Easter.*
1 cup pecans
1 tsp white vinegar
3 egg whites
salt – a pinch for each child
1 cup sugar
wooden spoon or rolling pin
Preheat oven to 300 – to not skip.
Place 1 cup of pecans in ziploc bag. Let children beat nuts in bag with a wooden spoon or rolling pin. Explain that after Jesus was arrested he was beaten by the Romans soldiers. Read John 19:1-3
Place 1 teaspoon vinegar in a mixing bowl. Let each child smell the vinegar. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross he was given vinegar to drink. Read John 19:28-30
Add 3 egg whites into vinegar. (Separate eggs in a different bowl. No yolk can get near your main recipe.) Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave his life to give us new life. Read John 10:10-11
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, and the bitterness of our own sin. Read Luke 23:27
So far the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 1cup of sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because he loves us. He wants us to know and belong to him. Read Psalm 334:8 and John 3:16
Beat the ingredients with a mixer on high speed for 12-15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. 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 and John 3:1-3
Fold in the broken nuts from the ziploc bag.
Drop by teaspoons onto a wax paper covered cookie sheet. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus’ body was laid. Read Matthew 27:57-60
Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF. (Please note that I have not had great success with dry and hollow cookies. I think the elevation might have something to do with it. So, this year I’m letting mine bake for 5 minutes before turning off.)
Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus’ tomb was sealed. Read Matthew 27:65-66
Go to bed! Explain that they may feel sad to leave cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus’ followers were in the despair when the tomb was sealed. Read 16:20-22
On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Easter, Jesus’ followers were amazed to find the tomb empty. Read Matthew 28:1-9