Before I do anything in the kitchen with my kiddos, we go over these simple steps to keep the kitchen in some order and to keep mommy sane:
1. We always wash our hands before handling any food. Also during the process if we touch the trash lid or lick our fingers. I know that's gross but kids will be kids.
2. I premeasure and set out all our ingredients so all they have to do is dump it in. My kids are young so this part is a stress reliever for me but if you have older kids you can let them help with this part.
3. We get out and prepare all our utensils and equipment. Go ahead and pre-grease any pans now because some batters (and kids) don't like to wait.
4. Read and follow the recipe exactly. Nothing wrong with experimenting but try to get the base of the recipe down first.
5. Kids love chopping things so I usually let my girls chop soft fruit or butter with a plastic or butter knife. If you're feeling brave you can take it a step or two further with older kids. NEVER leave children of any age unattended with sharp or slightly sharp objects. Also, NEVER leave children unattended around hot stoves and ovens.
Ok, now that that's out of the way... here are some of mine and my girls' fav "together" recipes!!
Sugar cookies are great because the possiblities are endless. Kids have a blast decorating these with sprinkes, icing, chocolate chips or anything else you can find. This recipe can be "dropped" or rolled out and cut with cookie cutters. Now you could just go and get some premade dough and get straight to work but my girls and I think these taste much better.
2 3/4 cups All-Purpose Flour, 1 tsp Baking Soda, 1/2 tsp Baking Powder, 1 cup Butter; softened, 1 1/2 cup Sugar, 1 Egg, 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Preheat oven to 375F. In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder; set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (2 to 3 mins). Beat in egg and vanilla. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients. For dropped cookies: Use a teaspoon or cookie scoop to place rounded balls on an ungreased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with sugar or other sprinkles. Bake 8-10 mins or until golden brown.
For cut out cookies: Refrigerate dough for at least two hours. Remove and roll out on a slightly floured surface. Use your favorite cookie cutters to cut out shapes. Using a spatula carefully place cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with sugar or other sprinkles. Bake for 8-10 mins or until edges are golden brown. Make sure cut outs are cold before baking to make sure they don't warp.
Rice Krispy Treats
I know you don't actually bake these but the kids have fun making these too. Like sugar cookies, rice krispy treats can be cut with cookie cutters and decorated to your hearts content. All you need for these is a box of Rice Krispy's (brand name is better but it's up to you), marshmellows (again brand name is better) and butter. Most brands have the recipe on the box but some store brands don't so I'll go ahead and put it on here.
3 tbsps Butter, 1 pkg (10 oz) Large Marshmellows, 6 cups Rice cereal
In a large bowl, heat butter on high for 50-60 secs or until melted. Add marshmellows and stir. Heat on high for 1 to 1 1/2 mins or until smooth; stirring once. Stir in vanilla and rice cereal. Press warm mixture into a buttered 9x13x2" pan. Cool then cut into bars or cut with cookie cutters.
Let the kiddos go crazy with sprinkles, chocolate, icing, etc.
Tea cakes are not just for tea parties! They're regular cake cut into bite size pieces and decorated or topped with something even more delish!! Trust me boys love anything they can eat with their hands! My girls love to use their mini heart cutters and cut out tiny heart cakes, dallop with cream cheese icing or whipped cream and top with fruit. These can also be topped with sprinkles, dipped in chocolate or make them slightly larger and put ice cream between them. This way boys can enjoy them too!
For these, I usually take the easy way out and just use scraps from a previous cake or get a premade pound cake but joyofbaking.com has a great pound cake recipe that I use too.
If you love chocolate then you can't help but love brownies and my kids (husband included, lol) LOVE brownies!! While there's not much to decorating them, they don't usually last long enough in my house to get decorated. This recipe is SUPER easy and delish!! My girls love it because it doesn't have any nuts but you can add 1/2 to 1 cup of whatever you want.
1 cup Sugar, 4 Eggs; beaten well, 16 oz Chocolate Syrup (Hershey's is best), 1 1/4 cup Flour
Beat ingredients about 3 minutes. Pour batter into a greased 13x9 inch pan. Bake at 350F for 30 to 35 mins. Cool slightly and enjoy!
See... super easy!
Now go, gather the kids and enjoy some time together making a tasty mess!!