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There’s lots of reasons parents are baking with their kids these days. But more importantly, baking with children is a great way to spend time with them and to teach them life skills at the same time you’re all having fun.

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Baking cookies with any or all of your children is a naturally fun activity. Cookies are portable, sweet and fun to make. They can be made in stages if time is tight-prepare the dough in the evening and bake them the next morning. Older children can read the recipe and direct adults on what steps to take. Small children can roll the dough into balls and flatten it with a fork, similar to making peanut butter cookies. There’s enough fun to go around for everyone.

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What makes your cookies even better is to add corn starch to the dough. In fact, many recipes for baked goods from the early 20th century used corn starch mixed in with flour. Bakers found that corn starch gave biscuits, muffins, cakes, shortcakes, pie crusts and most notably cookies a finer texture and more tender crumb when compared to recipes using flour alone. Recipe books produced then by the experts at Argo and Kingsford’s Corn Starch bear this out. In fact, Argo, established in 1892, has offered their customers cookie recipes since its very early years.

Here’s a recipe for Lemon Shortbread Cookies that’s simple and delicious and should make for a batch of family fun.

Lemon Shortbread Cookies

11/3 cups Argo or Kingsford’s Corn Starch

2 cups butter or margarine

2/3 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups all-purpose flour

Makes six dozen

Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, beat butter until softened. Add powdered sugar, beat until well combined. Add lemon peel and vanilla; beat well. In a medium bowl, stir together flour and corn starch; add to mixture and beat well.

Roll dough into 1-inch balls (kids will love this). Place on ungreased cookie sheets. Press tines of a fork atop each ball to make subtle design. Bake about 15 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Cool on wire racks.