Tag Archives: Baking

Little Chefs: Chores in the Kitchen

We have little chefs in our house. Our oldest thinks that overtime someone is cooking she must be in there helping. Everyone loves to cook. I must be a family trait. We learned early on that including our kids in the food prep and cleanup that they seemed more interested in eating the food. So we tried not to discourage them from helping in the kitchen. But when they were little it could be difficult to decide how much they were allowed to help. That was when we decided to let them to small things, like help stir, set the table, take their plate to the kitchen, wash the produce, etc.

How much your kid can help with is really dependent upon their maturity level and skill level. If your kid understands things like sharp objects, cleanliness, and can handle carrying things without dropping them you might decide that they are ready to take on more in the kitchen. It is all relative.

If you aren’t quite sure what your child can handle try letting them try something with supervision. Start small, and build up. Buy some small plastic tools to let them use. We sometimes let our four year old cut things with a small plastic butter knife. But only with supervision and only soft things like berries and bread or dough.

Here is a simple little chart that can help you decide what chores are appropriate for your child. But always take in to account the ability level of your child. And please, always use supervision in the kitchen.

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Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies: Fall Goodies!

IMG_0821.JPGWe love pumpkin flavored food during the fall. We have made pumpkin bread with chocolate chips, pumpkin smoothies, pumpkin pancakes, and even pumpkin coffee and hot chocolate. So when we found this delicious looking recipe for chocolate chip pumpkin cookies I knew I had to try it. My family would just go nuts for it! Fall is the perfect time to try new recipes, especially recipes that include pumpkin, apples, caramel, or cinnamon. They really make for sweet and cozy treats that really embody the spirit of Fall.

This month we found the delicious chocolate chip pumpkin cookie recipe at a fun blog full of delicious recipes, Sally’s Baking Addiction. Written and run by Sally, a bake-a-holic, with a serious baking addiction. She features incredibly decadent sweet treats and healthy recipes for balance. She sure knows the way to this bloggers heart, chocolate and pumpkin together, scrumptious!

We can’t wait to try her recipe. These cookies will be the perfect after-school treat for the kiddos. Just bake a batch and be ready when school lets out with a glass of milk, some cookies, and open ears. Those kiddos will spill all of huge details of their busy day at school. It even makes the perfect treat for snacking on when planning this years incredibly cool Halloween costume! So enjoy the sweet fall treats and be sure to head over to Sally’s Baking Addiction for complete instructions, easy-to-follow photos, and other amazing recipes! Enjoy!

What You Will Need:

1/4 cup (50 grams) light or dark brown sugar
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 Tablespoons (86 grams) pumpkin puree
1 and 1/2 cups (190 grams) all-purpose flour (careful not to overmeasure)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg*
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves*
1/4 teaspoon allspice*
1/2 cup (90 grams) semi-sweet chocolate chips

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Holiday Cookies: Candy Cane Cookies!!

Candy Cane Cookies

We love to bake in our house. But with young children it can sometimes be difficult to include them in the baking process. That is why I try to find recipes that will allow my younger kids to help to bake and decorate, especially during holiday time. They just love helping to make the special cookies everyone eats for Christmas dessert, and the cookies they leave out for Santa. This year we wanted to try something new, but still stick with simple easy things that the kids can help with.

When I was checking out recipes on the internet I ended up on Spoonful the Disney website of crafts, activities, and recipes for families. I love this site, not just because we are huge Disney fans in our house, but because all of their posts are geared towards families. This means everything has been pre-screened for appropriate content and it is designed for children to participate. In our house, that is perfection!

Since we were looking for something fun and easy for our Christmas cookie recipe we were delighted to find this fun and easy Candy Cane Cookie Recipe. It is simple to make, and even simpler to decorate. Kids can help and it is even easy for the not so great decorator to make.

What You Will Need:

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp. light corn syrup
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract

What You Will Do:

In a medium-size bowl, mix the flour and salt. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar, stir in the egg, then the corn syrup and vanilla extract. One third at a time, add the flour mixture until thoroughly mixed.

Next divide the dough into portions and use a toothpick to add food coloring paste (available at party supply stores) to each one. Knead until the color is evenly distributed. For a flavor surprise, omit the vanilla extract and add 1 teaspoon of lemon extract to the yellow dough, mint extract to the green dough, and strawberry extract to the red dough.

Pat the dough into disks, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours, or until firm enough to roll. If it is too firm, soften at room temperature for 5 minutes.

Finally, for each candy cane, form small pieces of two colors of dough into two ropes, about 1/4 inch in diameter and 16 inches long. Carefully twist the ropes together to form a candy cane. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned.

These fun cookies will definitely be a hit at our house this season!