Friday, January 28, 2011

Betsy Ross and Two-Bite Star Cookies

Today I had the opportunity to use both my cookie cutters and my camera.  Life just doesn't get much better!  The occasion?  Second grade Revolutionary War Day.   I love these special presentation days at school and Revolutionary War Day is no exception.  First of all, I get to bake!  Look at this giant platter of perfect little iced two-bite star cookies.  You just can't get more patriotic than that.  I used my secret freezer stash of Pillsbury Sheet Cookie Dough and cut out nearly 100 stars from two packages.  What I love about these sheets is that the cookies turn out perfectly every time!  No big, puffy, lop-sided stars!  I topped them with Wilton's glossy cookie icing.  This is truly the perfect cookie icing.  It hardens enough for stacking, but doesn't get that break-your-teeth crunch like Royal Icing does.  The red stars were frosted with the icing that came with the cookies.  As you can see, they are not beautiful and glossy!  I tried to remedy this with some patriotic stripes.  I guess it all works out in the end!

You can find more details on my sugar-cookie shortcuts and Wilton's Cookie Icing recipe here!

Secondly, look at these adorable faces!  Didn't they do an amazing job?  Each student was required to dress in character and tell the story (from memory!) of a Revolutionary War Hero.  As usual, I was simply amazed with their poise, ability and understanding!

Here's my very own Betsy Ross.  I had so much fun photographing each student.  When I was through, I ran the pictures through Pioneer Woman's Vintage Action for Photoshop Elements, which turned out beautifully for this project and their new class bulletin board!

Even though this is my third time through second grade (as a parent), I find that I continue to learn something new each time!  Just for fun, here's a little Betsy Ross trivia for you:

  • Betsy Ross' birth name was Elizabeth Griscom.
  • She was an accomplished seamstress by age 12  and then became an apprentice in an upholstery (sewing) shop.
  • Her future husband, John Ross, was also an upholstery apprentice.  They fell in love and had a secret wedding because he was not a Quaker and her parents did not approve.
  • They were married only two years when, in 1776, he was killed while guarding an ammunition truck.
  • It was later that year that George Washington was said to have come to her shop to discuss the design of the first American Flag.
  • George Washington wanted a square flag with 13 stripes and 13 six-pointed stars because he said a five-pointed star would be too hard to make.
  • Betsy Ross suggested a rectangular flat, which would fly better in the wind, and showed him how to make a perfect five-pointed star with a folded piece of paper and just a single cut!
  • Betsy's last name was Ross for only four years!  She would become widowed two more times before her life was over.
  • Betsy, a working woman, kept her upholstery shop until until she 75 years old.  She died at 84.
If you already knew all that, then congratulations!  You're smarter than a second grader!

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