This is a great cookie to make with children beginning the night before Easter. It helps to tell the story of Easter as you create the cookies.
1 c. whole pecans
1 tsp. vinegar
3 egg whites
Optional: 1 tsp. vanilla to represent the sweet smelling spices used to prepare Jesus’ body for burial
1 c. sugar
You’ll also need a ziploc baggie, a wooden spoon or mallett, and some duct or packing tape.
Instructions: The first thing you need to do is start heating the oven to 300 degrees F. Put the pecans in the baggie and have the children pound them with the spoon or mallett. Tell them about how Jesus was arrested and beaten by Roman soldiers. (You may want to read John 19:1-3.)
Give the children the opportunity to have a sniff of the vinegar and even a tiny taste if they’re willing. Put the vinegar into your mixing bowl and discuss how, when Jesus was on the cross and he became thirsty, he was cruelly offered vinegar to drink. (John 19:28-30)
Add the egg whites to the bowl containing the vinegar. Eggs symbolize life and Jesus gave His life so that we could have eternal life. (John 10:10-11) Give each child a tiny taste of the salt. Add a pinch of salt to the bowl. The salt represents the saltiness of the tears that Jesus’ followers cried when he was being crucified. They represent our tears too when we sin. (Luke 23:27)
The story and the mixture are not terribly sweet so far but now we add the sugar to the bowl. The sugar represents the fact that the sweetest, most wonderful thing in this story is that Jesus died because He loved us so much. (Psalms 34:8, John 3:16).
Beat the mixture in the bowl for 10-15 minutes on high until it forms stiff peaks. The mixture is white symbolizing the purity of God and the purity we can have because of Jesus’ sacrifice. (Isaiah 1:18, John 3:1-3) Gently fold in the pecans.
Drop this cookie “dough” (because they’re meringue cookies, it’s not a traditional dough) onto cookie sheets that have been lined with waxed paper. The mounds on the cookie sheets that will become cookies symbolize the tomb where Jesus was buried. (Matthew 27:57-60)
Place the cookie sheet(s) in the heated oven and turn the oven off. Give each child a piece of tape to place on the oven door to seal it just as Jesus’ tomb was sealed with a stone. (Matthew 27:65-66). Leave the cookies in the oven overnight to set. If the children protest over having to wait until the next day for their cookies, remind them that Jesus’ followers were also sad when Jesus died and was placed in the tomb. (John 16:20 and 22)
The next day, let each person have a cookie. When you bite into them, you will find that the cookies are hollow, just as when Jesus’ followers came to his tomb, they found that it was also empty. (Matthew 28:1-9)