Begin this recipe on Saturday, the day before Easter.
1 cup whole pecans
1 teaspoon vinegar
3 egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
wooden spoon or a wooden meat hammer
duct tape or packing tape
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Place pecans in zipper baggie and let children beat them with the wooden spoon or hammer to break them into small pieces.
Explain that after Jesus was arrested he was beaten by the Roman soldiers. Read John 19:1-3.
Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 teaspoon of vinegar into the mixing bowl.
Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross he was given vinegar to drink. Read John 19:28-30.
Add egg whites to the vinegar. Eggs represent life.
Explain that Jesus gave his life to give us life. Read John 10:10-11.
Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand. Let them taste. Then put your pinch of salt in the bowl.
Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus's followers, and the bitterness of our own sin. Read Luke 23:27
So far, the ingredients are not very appetizing! Add 1 cup sugar to the bowl.
Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because he loves us. He wants us to know and belong to him. Read Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16.
Beat with a mixer on high speed for 10 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks form.
Explain that the color white represents the purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3.
Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper covered cookie sheets.
Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus's body was laid. Read Matthew 27:57-60.
Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of tape to seal the oven door.
Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed. Read Matthew 27:65-66.
Leave the kitchen. If you've been making these cookies just before bedtime, GO TO BED!
Acknowledge that the kids are probably sad that they've worked hard to make these cookies, and now have to leave them in the oven overnight. Explain that Jesus' followers were in sad when Jesus died and the tomb was sealed. Read John 16:20 and 22.
On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Ask the kids to notice the cracked surface. Have them bite into the cookies. The cookies are hollow!
Explain that on the first Easter morning, Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty. Read Matthew 28:1-9.