Baking with kid’s can often be a high-stress, high mess, experience. The outcome of the treat is usually a little less than what you hoped for in presentation, and sometimes an important ingredient can end up doubled or left out. In short; it can be rough. However, it can also be a science lesson, fine motor skills building, and (when we can let it go) a really bonding and fun experience to have together. My kiddos always ask to help, to stir, to mix, to pour, to work with me. And the more I say yes, the easier it is to keep saying yes, and finding ways to make it really functional and fun together.
5 Tips to Make Cooking Together More Fun for All!
- Choose something where rustic/mess looks the best in the end. This is especially important if aesthetics’s are important to you, and you like to ‘eat with your eyes first’. Also, explain that concept to your kiddos! They’ll often understand that, and seeing what “plating” looks like to them is SO fun and sweet too! Here are a few suggestions; Apple crisp, drop cookies, galette, biscotti, and (not baking, but fun to play with plating!) fruit platters.
- Set all of you up for success; talk about it first. What are you going to do, what order do you do it, and what tools do you need. Lay out the measuring tools, the mixing tools, the baking tools, you’re doing real and awesome work! Treat it as such.
- Lower your expectations; will it be messier? yes. Dress for that, lay out a cloth, do what you need to do to be okay with some mess. Will it take longer? Yes. Do it when you’ve got an afternoon to kill, or want to pass some time by. Will it turn out? MAYBE, have a back up dessert/dinner idea in your pocket, just in case.
- Know your kiddos. Are they likely to smash eggs/toss flour everywhere? Pre-measure, help with eggs, have only the amount out that you know they need. Talk to them about the ingredients, walk them through it step by step, only pulling out what you need as you need it, and then putting it away. This will help everyone have more fun, and be successful. However, if you have older kiddos or kids who have a bit more impulse control, letting them measure/pour and do it all as much as possible is really amazing for their brains and experience.
- Enjoy. Deep breaths. Remember that you have infinite times to have this ‘turn out’ to treat each cooking together experience as a potential awesome memory for them, and just keep it calm. For me this looks like slowing down, allowing the experience to be far more important than the outcome, and really noticing where my kiddos are thriving in it.
Gluten and Dairy Free Chocolate Biscotti!
2 cups GF flour mix
1/2 cup coconut sugar (or any other sugar you like)
1tsp. baking powder
1tbs. cacao powder
2tbs. melted coconut oil
1/4 cup almond milk
1 cup chocolate chips
2tbs coconut oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients together well (flour, sugar, baking powder, cacao) in a large bowl. Stir in coconut oil, beaten eggs, add in milk as needed until a firm dough is formed. On a sheet pan with parchment paper form your dough into a rectangle, one inch thick. Bake at 350 till springy but baked through (about 20-25min). Cut along the short side into 1-1.5in thick strips. Lay each strip on it’s side and bake AGAIN at 300 degrees till crisp (about 20 minutes). IMPORTANT: Allow them to cool completely after cooking, this will help them not fall apart when you are topping them. TO TOP: Melt together chocolate chips and coconut oil, dip your fully cooled biscotti and then top with chopped nuts (we used hazelnuts) or coconut.