Help your kids start a lemonade stand this summer
If you have budding entrepreneurs at home, you’ve probably heard about lemonade stands. How fun and easy they are. Yes, even for parents – provided you arrange matters so the kids can do the work.
First, make sure they plan to set up shop in the front yard or driveway, where you can supervise without hovering. For a stand, simply donate a card table and either a brown paper or plastic tablecloth.
See that the operation has enough coins to make change. If the staff hasn’t dealt with that before, give them a short rehearsal in counting back when a customer pays with a dollar bill. Make sure that hands, faces and clothes are clean, and remind the young merchants that good manners go a long way.
The night before opening day, they can follow these instructions to make lemonade and cookies.
Fresh lemonade starts with freshly squeezed lemon juice. Some kids squeeze by hand, but a reamer or small hand juicer speeds up the job. A mechanical or electric juicer is good for large batches. Nine lemons will produce about 1 ½ cups of fresh lemon juice. Set it aside.
In a microwave-safe container, such as a 16-ounce Pyrex measuring cup, place 1 cup sugar, then fill to the 2 cup mark with tap water. Stir the sugar and water together. Microwave the sugar-water for 1 minute. Then stir it and zap it for another minute. Now you have simple syrup. Pour it and the lemon juice into a large plastic container. Stir in 5 ¼ cups of cold tap water. This makes about half a gallon of lemonade.
This recipe can be multiplied as needed. If fliers promoting the stand have been spread through the neighborhood, business could be brisk. So keeping another gallon of lemonade in the fridge or ice chest might be a good idea. In areas where lemons are very expensive, some stands stretch their freshly squeezed lemonade with glasses of freshly defrosted concentrate. To add visual oomph and a little offbeat flavor to each glass, garnish with mint leaves or freeze fruit into the ice cubes. Or use fruit punch to create red cubes.
Older children and teens can handle this recipe easily. Younger ones will need adults to manage the oven.
- 3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- Food coloring to tint dough (gel food color produces bright shades without thinning the dough)
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter until very smooth. Add sugar and combine thoroughly. Stir in vanilla.
2.In a separate bowl, sift together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter a little at a time, mixing just until combined.
3. Divide the dough into two or three portions and tint them with food coloring if desired. Shape these portions into large flat circles about 1-inch thick and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line rimmed cookie sheets with parchment; set aside.
5. Use a rolling pin to roll out dough between two pieces of wax paper. The dough should be about ¼-inch thick. Use cookie cutters to cut out small cookies. Place these on the parchment-lined pans and bake for about 15 minutes. Remove pan from oven and let the cookies cool on a rack until firm.
Makes eight dozen 1 ¾-inch cookies.