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Posted on May 28, 2015 |

Rita’s Recipe: Snacks for Vacation Bible School

Rita’s Recipe: Snacks for Vacation Bible School

No, they're not Christmas cookies -- they're Joseph and his many-colored coat cookies!

No, they’re not Christmas cookies — they’re Joseph and his many-colored coat cookies!

Vacation Bible school and camps are popular with kids, especially in primary grades. It’s always fun to make snacks that correlate to the story that is told. Here again, due to many requests, are more favorite snacks for kids to make when learning about the Bible.  Check out this site for Bible snacks shared previously for even more ideas!

Joseph’s coat of many colors cookie

Joseph’s father gave him a coat of many colors, showing favoritism to this son. His brothers were jealous and plotted against him, throwing him into a pit and then selling him to Ishmaelite merchants for 20 pieces of silver.

Plain cookies, undecorated, like gingerbread or store bought cookie dough cut with gingerbread men shapes. Or use this favorite shortbread cookie recipe of mine. It’s a great recipe for kids to free form shapes, as well.

Rita’s no fail shortbread cutouts

Let the kids free form shapes, or use a cookie cutter. Dough freezes well, and so does the baked cookie, sans icing.


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • Store bought writing icing in 3 or 4 different colors or make your own and use zip lock bags with icing inside and cut a small tip-like hole on the bottom so they can squeeze the icing out into stripes (recipe below).

Preheat oven to 350.  Whisk together flour, salt and baking powder.  Set aside.  Cream butter and gradually add sugar.  Add vanilla.  Blend flour mixture in.  Dough will be soft.  Roll out on lightly floured surface or between two pieces of plastic wrap to 1/4” thick or bit thicker if you like.  If dough is too soft to cut out shapes with, put in frig for about 30 minutes.  Cut out and place on sprayed cookie sheet. Bake 15-20 minutes just until edges are golden.



Whisk together:


  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2-3 tablespoons water


Drizzle icing over cooled cookies, or make a thicker icing with less water, add food coloring if using, and spread on cookies. Let kids take turns decorating the cookies with the writing icing. Each cookie will wind up with 4 stripes of color. Makes about 2 dozen.


Tips from Rita’s Kitchen:


To test to see if your baking powder is still active enough to leaven, put a teaspoonful in a cup of warm water.  It should fizz right away

While you make this yummy snake snack, you can tell the kids how Eve was tempted by Satan, in the form of a snake, to eat of the forbidden fruit which she also tempted Adam with. You can have apple slices to go along with it!

While you make this yummy snake snack, you can tell the kids how Eve was tempted by Satan, in the form of a snake, to eat of the forbidden fruit which she also tempted Adam with. You can have apple slices to go along with it!

Cinnamon Garden of Eden Snake

  • Wooden skewers
  • 1 can breadstick or crescent roll dough (or you can make freeform snakes from the shortbread cookie recipe above)
  • Raisins, currants or dried cranberries (cut cranberries if necessary)
  • Cinnamon sugar: Mix sugar and cinnamon to taste or just use cinnamon
  • Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray cookie sheet. Spray wooden skewers with cooking spray so the “snakes” will slide off easily. Wrap a strip of dough around a skewer, pinching one end for a tail and leaving a large head on the other end. Next, press two raisins onto the head for eyes. Some may come loose during baking, but they can be placed back on the head or secured with a small drop of honey or frosting after removing them from the oven.

Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top of snakes’ bodies. Bake for 13-18 minutes. Don’t overbake When finished baking, pick up a skewer and carefully slide the snake off.

Jesus walks on water

  • Blue Jello mix
  • Sour Patch Kids candy

Prepare blue Jello in individual plastic cups.

When Jello sets place a Sour Patch Kid (the candy is shaped like people) to stand on top of Jello.

Rita Heikenfeld.

Rita Heikenfeld.

Rita Nader Heikenfeld writes a weekly syndicated column and blog for the Community Press, appears every Thursday on the Son Rise Morning Show, and is the author of several cookbooks. An adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati, she is Certified Culinary Professional and Certified Modern Herbalist,  the Culinary Professional for Jungle Jim’s Eastgate, and a media personality with a cable show and YouTube videos. In 2014 she was inducted into the Escoffier Hall of Fame. She lives “in the sticks” outside Batavia, Ohio with her family, where they heat with wood, raise chickens for eggs, and grow their own produce and herbs. You’ll find all her previous recipes featured on The Catholic Beat here.

Rita’s Bible Foods segment airs on the Son Rise Morning Show every Thursday morning at 7:22 am (rebroadcast Friday at 6:02 am). Tune in to hear her discuss the history behind each recipe and the scripture verses that inspired it. And of course, for cooking tips!

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