UPDATE 1/21/16: This post was originally written in 2015. While it should still give you a great idea of the overall experience, it is also possible that some information may be outdated. We encourage you to check out The Cookie Workshop’s website for the most up to date information, especially for details like hours and pricing. If you notice something in this post that needs to be updated, please feel free to leave a comment with the updated information, or email us at email@example.com and we will be happy to make the updates. Hey, it takes a village, right?
Thank you to The Cookie Workshop for allowing my family complimentary admission to a drop-by cooking-making session! All opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own.
So Mother’s Day is coming up this Sunday (happy early Mother’s Day to all our mom readers!), and every year that I’ve been celebrating this holiday as a mom myself, I tell my husband that I want three things for Mother’s Day: 1–I don’t want to cook anything; 2–I don’t want to clean up anything (or anyone!); and 3–I don’t want to change any diapers. It’s not a terribly extravagant list of wants, but oh man, one day without having to be responsible for any of the above is like the best gift in the world right now. Because as we all know, sometimes what makes kids so much fun, also makes them a lot of work!
I’m sure that many of our readers can relate when I say that sometimes we just want to have fun with our kiddos, do something creative, get a little messy, and not have to worry about the after part–the part where we have to clean everything up. And even though we might be able to count on a bit of reprieve from the grunt work on Mother’s Day, it sure would be nice to have this little perk available on some of the other 364 days of the year, am I right? 🙂
Well, guess what?! How’d you like to be able to bake and decorate a batch of cookies with your little one without having to clean up a single crumb? At The Cookie Workshop in Trumbull, CT, it’s like every day is Mother’s Day!
As a mom of two boys, who also happens to love to cook and bake, I have not let the gender of my children deter me one bit from getting them busy in the kitchen (anyone remember Boo’s stunning culinary debut at this Stew Leonard’s Toddler Cooking Class?!). As a result, my kiddos love, love, love to get up on their stools, get their hands, and faces, and hair, and shirts, and pants (and even one time their socks!) dusty with flour and help me bake a big batch of whatever cookie happens to be their favorite of the moment. So when I found out about a place in Fairfield County where we could make and decorate our own cookies together (and where I wouldn’t have to clean up my kitchen afterwards!), I couldn’t wait to bring my boys down for one of their drop-by baking sessions.
Now, it’s a good thing that baking is like therapy for me, because let me tell you, we picked a doozy of a day to try to get out of Hartford and head south to Trumbull. I don’t know what was going on but every entrance to 91 South that we tried to get on was either jammed with unexplained traffic, backed up because of construction, or just plain closed. Yup, it was one of those days that made me understand why people are always complaining about “the river”. Because if you are on one side of it, and you have to get to the other side of it, and things aren’t going your way, well, let’s just say there are not enough expletives in the world to describe that frustration 🙂
Fortunately, we’ve been Hartford-area residents long enough to know a few tricks, so eventually we were able to get ourselves on the highway going in the right direction. After that, it was a really pleasant drive!
The Cookie Workshop is located sort of at the rear of a larger complex of buildings, so you won’t see it from the road. But you will likely see some signs as you get closer, so you’ll know you are heading in the correct direction.
There’s plenty of convenient parking right out front.
One of the nice things about this bakery is that it is 100% nut free (and as you can see above, there are plenty of other dietary requirements that can be met as well). So everyone can come here and enjoy the cookie-making without the worry.
We visited on a Saturday around noon, and while typically the drop-by cookie-making session is a bit more crowded on weekends, today was one of those very first nice days of spring and so I think everyone just decided to go to the park instead (we later confirmed this when we visited a nearby playground that was PACKED with people 🙂 ). So we were lucky enough to have the whole place to ourselves!
If you’re a first-timer here, you can step up to the desk and someone will come out to help you get started (seasoned cookie-makers who know the ropes can just jump right in because payment is collected AFTER the cookie-making is complete).
The first step when you arrive, is to wash your hands. There’s a kiddie-size sink in the back corner that’s perfect for the task.
Next stop, grab an order form and a pen from the back table.
This is what you’ll fill out to let them know what kind of cookies you want to make and what color frosting and sprinkles you’d like for decorating. Everything here is homemade–even the icing!
Some baking accessories are also available for purchase. You can buy this cute paper set for your munchkin for just a few bucks (how cute will this look in pictures?!):
Or you could choose an apron they can use again and again at home (or the next time you come by for drop-in cookie-making!).
But none of this is required for cookie-making. It’s just a little something extra to add to the fun.
We filled out our order forms (vanilla for the little guy; chocolate chip for Boo) and handed them in to the lovely young woman
with the patience of a saint who cheerfully answered about 10,000 questions for me who was helping us out today.
Then, we got to pick out our cookie cutters! Boo chose vehicles (shocker) and we thought the little guy would like animals. There were lots of choices!
We also received sheets of parchment paper to put the boys’ names on. That’s how we’d know whose was whose when the cookies got taken to the oven.
Our requested dough flavors were brought out to us (don’t be deceived by the size of the dough ball– it can make a lot of cookies!), and the boys went to town rolling out the dough (I learned that about 1/4 inch thickness is ideal, by the way) and cutting out their cookies. And then scrunching up the dough into a new ball, rolling it out again and cutting more cookies! There were at least three rounds of that 🙂
Remember not to eat the dough. We had to keep a close eye on the little guy in that regard 🙂
These kid-sized rolling pins were great. Even the little guy could handle one.
Cutting out cookies…
Ready for the oven!
Remember what I said about not having to clean up anything? Well, this is the mess that you WILL NOT have to clean up 🙂
Baking the cookies takes about 7 minutes. But as we all know, 7 minutes is like 700 hours in kid time, right? Fortunately, The Cookie Workshop has a solution to this age-old dilemma– kids can decorate a cookie box while they wait. Genius!
Boo wanted to draw cookies on his cookie box. I thought that sounded very logical 🙂
While we wait, let’s talk about food for a moment. Because this is a nut-free environment, it’s really important not to bring in outside food or beverages. But they do have coffee available for purchase (yay!), as well as other assorted beverages (soda, water, juice) and even cupcakes you could snack on while you wait for your cookies to bake.
Also, if your kiddos are old enough to do this activity semi-independently, there is this large, comfortable seating area where you can hang out and relax a little (wait, relax?! what’s that???). They even have FREE WiFi available!
Before we knew it, the cookies were done. Now the hard part– keeping the kids’ hands off them for a few minutes so they could cool!
Moments later, we had our icing and sprinkles in hand (you’ll remember that we selected our colors at the beginning). Let the decorating begin!
Next came the kids’ favorite part– eating the cookies 🙂
Fortunately, we were able to convince them to pack the rest of their creations in those boxes they had decorated earlier.
Before we headed out, I snapped a pic of the birthday party room all set up for a party that was about to start–so cute! (For more great birthday party ideas, be sure to check out our NEW Birthday Party Venue Directory!).
All told, we spent about an hour at The Cookie Workshop that morning. We had so much fun making, baking and decorating cookies. And best of all, since we didn’t have to clean up anything, we could move right along to our next adventure!
Ahhh, but you’ll have to wait until next week to hear about that one 🙂
I hope you get a chance to drop by for cookie-making at The Cookie Workshop in Trumbull, CT. (And be sure to tell them we sent you!)
- Drop-by Cookie Making/Normal Business Hours:
*Note: The last seating for cookie-making is 2pm
- Party Reservations/Bakery Order Pickup:
- Closed Mondays
- Cookie-making experience (2 balls of dough which make 12-24 cookies and 2 bags of icing): $18 per person (NO SHARING)*
- Cookie-making experience (1 ball of dough which makes 6-12 cookies and 1 bag of icing): $12 per person (NO SHARING)*
- Additional icing bags can be purchased for $2 each
- Optional accessories:
- Embroidered Apron with The Cookie Workshop Logo (multiple colors available): $15
- Cloth Apron: $5
- Paper Apron: $2.50
- Chef’s Hat: $2.50
*They also offer gluten-free, egg-free, and dairy-free cookie-making experiences (please call ahead so that they can have the dough ready for you). Due to the cost of the gluten-free flour, they charge $24/person for 2 balls of dough and $15/person for 1 ball of dough. While they do not use any products containing gluten in their dough, they do use regular flour in their bakery so minimal cross-contamination may occur.
- Stroller Friendly: YES. The bakery is stroller accessible and you can definitely bring in your baby in a stroller while your older child is participating.
- Coffee Mug Friendly: NO. But coffee is for sale there.
- Restroom: YES.
- Baby Changing Station: YES. In fact, there’s a real changing table in the restroom!
- Parking: YES. Plenty of parking in a lot right out front.
- Food for Sale: SOME. Cupcakes and assorted beverages are for sale and can be enjoyed while there. This is a fully-functioning bakery, so you can also special order baked treats ahead of time for your next party or special occasion.
- Outside Food Allowed: NO. This is a nut-free facility so it’s important not to bring in any outside food so it remains safe for those with allergies.
- Cash Required: NO. Credit cards are accepted.
- Dress Code: NO. But things may get a little messy!
- Age Recommendations: All ages are welcome. Boo is almost 5 and he was able to do just about everything on his own. I was told that for the most part the youngest cookie-makers who come here are around 3, but my little guy (21 months) had a great time! He did need significant parental assistance though 🙂
- Evening/Weekend Hours: YES. Drop-by cooking making on Saturdays!
- Discounts: I don’t know of any.
- NEW The Little Green Tambourine – Located in Canton, CT, this healthy living creative arts studio offers a variety of opportunities for kids to learn and play.
- Connecticut Children’s Medical Center – The state’s only free-standing hospital that offers comprehensive, world-class health care to children. Based in Hartford, Connecticut Children’s also provides services at several locations throughout the state.
- The Independent Day School – Located on a rural campus in Middlefield, CT, this private pre-school, elementary and middle school serves families from over 20 communities.
- Mandell JCC – The Mandell JCC, Zachs Campus, 335 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford, CT, welcomes and serves families and individuals of all ages, stages, backgrounds and faiths. Our fitness, wellness and recreation, arts and culture, camp, early childhood education programs, classes, clubs and services are open to all. You Belong Here!
- New England Air Museum – Located in Windsor Locks, CT, NEAM houses dozens of historic civilian and military aircraft and memorabilia in two giant hangers that visitors can tour. A family-friendly destination, the museum also hosts a variety of fun and educational events and activities for kids. Read the OAAM post on this destination here.
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