This week’s Virtual Book Club for Kids is featuring Freight Train by Donald Crews. Train week is always a favorite for my kids. This week we made chocolate train cookies. They are a delicious brownie roll out cookie or sugar cookie that’s super forgiving so it’s easy for kids to help. Be sure to check out all of the transportation and train themed activities at the end. I get commissions for purchases made through the affiliate links in this post.
Freight Train by Donald Crews
Freight Train has been one of my family’s favorites for years. My oldest saw it in the book store when he was 2 and just had to have it. It is a simple read with colorful train cars. Watch the train travel across a bridge, go through tunnels, and go by the city. Before you know it, it will be gone!
Chocolate Train Cookies
These are my favorite chocolate sugar cookies. We have made a few versions here before – for Aiden’s airplane birthday party, for our valentine brownie cookies, and for a brownie cookie picture recipe where Aiden followed a visual recipe to make the cookies. This time we are making them into chocolate train cookies. The recipe below is adapted from Smitten Kitchen.
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
- In a large bowl, mix butter and sugar together with a mixer. Add eggs one at a time and mix. Add in vanilla extract and cocoa. Mix to combine.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Slowly add flour mixture to wet ingredients.
- Once dough comes together, cover and place in refrigerator for at least an hour.
- Preheat your oven to 350°.
- Roll out your dough onto a floured surface to a thickness of 1/4 inch. (Thicker is okay, too.)
- Cut into train shapes. We used this train cookie cutter from Wilton. (I linked to the one on Amazon, but I picked mine up for less at Walmart.)
- Bake cookies for about 8-10 minutes.
- Remove to a wire rack to cool. Be careful when transferring the warm cookies to the cooling rack. Sometimes they like to stick to the spatula and break.
- Decorate with powdered sugar, icing, candy, or simply leave plain. For the icing, I use my husband’s grandma’s recipe that mixes 1 cup of powdered sugar with 1 tablespoon of milk and a splash of almond extract. I separated the white icing into bowls and added food coloring.
Aiden (he’s almost 8) read the directions while Lily (she’s 3.5) followed the steps to make the cookie dough. Later they helped roll out the dough and cut the chocolate train cookies.
Before they bake, they are a dark, fudge color.
After they bake, they are a lighter chocolate brown. My kids love covering the cookies with lots of icing and candy.
Our sugar cookies usually turn out a bit messy and over iced, but they still taste delicious.
Here Lily decided to add a pile of sprinkles. Whatever works!
More Train Activities from Us at Inspiration Laboratories
See all of our train inspired activities here.
More Activities from the Virtual Book Club for Kids
See more transportation themed activities inspired by Freight Train:
Alphabet Train – Teach Beside Me
Freight Train Name Craft – Clare’s Little Tots
Train Carriage Counting Game – Rainy Day Mum
Transportation I SPY & Graph Printable – School Time Snippets
Train Track Card Game for Preschoolers – Preschool Powol Packets
Transportation Playdough Mat – The Moments at Home
Transport Sand & Water Play – My Bored Toddler
Fingerprint Train Ornament for Kids- The Educators’ Spin On It
Freight Train Drawing Prompt – My Storytime Corner
Easy DIY Paper Train Table for Kids – Toddler Approved
Geometric Shapes Train – Mama Smiles
Also stop by the Virtual Book Club for Kids Facebook group to see what others are sharing!
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