Cooking With Your Kids: Gingerbread Cookies

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So, I am a day late with my “Cooking With Your Kids” series post. On Friday Big B and I made gingerbread cookies, but they needed to be refrigerated for 3 hours and we wanted to wait until Dad was home today to decorate them. We wanted to make it a family event.

Gingerbread Cookies

I’ve never made gingerbread cookies before, but I thought it would be a fun holiday activity to do as a family. I found a really great recipe from Food Network here. The link has directions for Royal Icing that I have not including since we used store bought cooking decorating icing. It allowed us to have multiple colors, and they came in nice neat bags that made it easy for Big B to use.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly milled black pepper
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1 large egg
Whenever we do more difficult recipes I will premix all of the seasoning into a very small bowl so Big B can just dump them into the mixture all at once.

Gingerbread Cookies

Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, salt and pepper and set aside.

Gingerbread Cookies

Using an electric mixer at high speed beat the butter and vegetable shortening together until well-combined. Add the brown sugar and beat for about 2 minutes. Finally beat in the molasses and egg.

Gingerbread Cookies

 Big B was not a fan of the constant loud “beating” of this recipe.

Gingerbread Cookies

Using a wooden spoon this time gradually mix in the flour mixture until it forms a stiff dough.

Gingerbread Cookies

Divide the dough into two disks and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until chilled. About 3 hours. The dough can be prepared up to 2 days ahead.

Gingerbread Cookies

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Deal with one disk at a time allowing it to warm for about ten minutes before trying to roll it out. If you attempt to roll it out too soon it will crack. Lightly dust the counter with flour to prevent the cookies from sticking. Roll out the cookies to about 1/8 thick.

Gingerbread Cookies

This is where my camera battery died, so I don’t have any images of the cutting of the cookies. Use the cookie cutter and put the gingerbread men onto a non-stick cookie sheet about one inch apart. Once on the cookie sheets Big B and I added raisins to the cookies. Cook for 10-12 minutes. Cool on the sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer to wire cake racks to cool completely.

Gingerbread Cookies

 Now the fun part… decorating! This is the example I did for Big B…

Gingerbread Cookies

 

Gingerbread Cookies

Gingerbread Cookies

We had a great afternoon decorating cookies together as a family! I think this will be a new holiday tradition.


Cooking With Your Kids: Banana Bread

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Banana Bread is one of my favorite things to bake. It’s something that I make often, and because of this I already have a “go to” recipe, but since we have been cooking out of my favorite childhood cook book, Alpha-Bakery Children’s Cookbook, I decided to use the recipe out of the book instead.

Cooking with your Kids: Banana Bread

I do have to give a little disclaimer when it comes to the banana bread recipe in the Alpha-Bakery book; when I make banana bread, or really any bread for that matter, I mix the wet ingredients in one bowl and dry in another, then mix everything together. It allows you to mix all the ingredients thoroughly. This recipe however, instructs the baker to mix everything in one bowl. I’m assuming because it’s a recipe geared towards children, and they want it to be as easy as possible. We decided to go along with the recipe and mix everything together in one bowl, and when I was eating a piece later that night I got a nice bite of what was either baking soda or baking powder… not pleasant. Determine what is best for you and your child. Either mix everything in one bowl or mix the wet and dry ingredients separately first, but know that with one bow you will have to take extra care while mixing.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 Cups of Sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 Cups of Mashed Banana (About 3 large bananas)
  • 3/4 Cup of Vegetable oil
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 1/2 Cup of Chopped Nuts (Optional. We didn’t use nuts)
  • 1 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
  • 2 Teaspoon of Vanilla
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt

Preheat oven to 325

Grease a loaf pan – 9x5x3 or 8.5×4.5×2.5

Mash bananas

Cooking with your Kids: Banana Bread

Mix sugar, bananas, oil and eggs in a large bowl.

Cooking with your Kids: Banana Bread

Mmmmm… Smells good!

Cooking with your Kids: Banana Bread

Stir in remaining ingredients.

Stir well, especially if you are doing all the mixing in one bowl. Then pour into pan.

Cooking with your Kids: Banana Bread

Bake until a toothpick poked into the bread removes clean, about 60-70 minutes. Allow to cool completely before removing from the pan.

You can’t go wrong with banana bread! It would be a great gift for your child to make for friends, family or neighbors.



Cooking With Your Kids: Elephant Ears

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As a child I loved to cook. Most of the things I made came from my imagination, and I’m sure they were actually pretty terrible. I did however have this one cook book that I liked to cook from, Alpha-Bakery Children’s Cook Book. When my mom was visiting for Thanksgiving she brought Big B my old copy.

Cooking With Your Kids: Elephant Ears

I have vivid memories of making some of these recipes, so I thought it might be fun to do some of them with Big B, starting with my favorite one of all… Elephant Ears!

Cooking With Your Kids: Elephant Ears

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 Cup of Butter
  • 1 Cup of All Purpose Flour
  • 5 Tablespoons of Sugar and an Additional Sprinkle
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1/3 Cup of Milk
  • 1 Teaspoon of Ground Cinnamon

Start by heating your oven to 425 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet

Melt butter and set aside.

Stir together flour, 2 tablespoons of the sugar, the baking powder, and salt into a bowl

Cooking With Your Kids: Elephant Ears

Stir in milk and 3 tablespoons of melted butter until dough forms.

Cooking With Your Kids: Elephant Ears

Sprinkle a surface lightly with flour. Knead and roll dough out onto the floured surface. Shape dough into a 9×5 inch rectangle.

Cooking With Your Kids: Elephant Ears

Cooking With Your Kids: Elephant Ears

Brush with the remaining melted butter.

Cooking With Your Kids: Elephant Ears

Sprinkle with remaining sugar and cinnamon

Cooking With Your Kids: Elephant Ears

Roll up dough, beginning at the narrow end. Pinch edge to seal the roll. Cut into 4 equal pieces with sharp knife. Place onto the cookie sheet cut side up and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake until browned, about 8 to 10 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool. Enjoy!



Cooking With Your Kids: Apple Crumble

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To me the holidays are all about family and food, and the number one food item that is a must at every holiday event is apple pie. I’ve made apple pie from scratch before, but that’s a little to much to expect from a three year old. I found this simple recipe for apple crumble on the side of Kroger brand granola cereal box. It has the feel of apple pie, but is easy enough for a three year old to do.

Apple Crumble Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 4 Medium Apples
  • 1 Cup of Granola
  • 1/3 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/3 Cup Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/3 Cup Melted Butter

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees

Peel and core 4 medium apples, and line them in a 8-inch square baking dish.

Apple Crumble Recipe

Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl

Apple Crumble Recipe

Apple Crumble Recipe

Apple Crumble Recipe

Layer the granola mixture over the apples

Apple Crumble Recipe

Cook the apple crumble for 30 minutes or until the apples are tender. Serve with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream.

We made this the night before Thanksgiving in hopes that it would make it to Thanksgiving dinner. The three of us each had a small bowl that night, but every time I turned around my husband was sneaking a spoonful. Only a little bit made it to Thanksgiving dessert, enough to give everyone a taste of Big B’s cooking. It was so good!



Cooking With Your Kids: Frozen Nutella Banana Dessert

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This week’s installment of “Cooking With Your Kids” features a recipe for a frozen nutella banana dessert… I mean, who doesn’t love nutella?

This recipe is so simple that Big B was able to do every step on his own and it has a super tasty result!

Ingredients:

  • Banana(s)
  • Nutella
  • Granola Cereal

Cut the banana(s) into slices. This was Big B’s first time using a knife. We spent some time before hand discussing “knife rules.” We talked about how to use knives safely and how he still needs to stay away from steak and big knives. He was so proud that he was “big boy” enough to use a butter knife.

Line banana slices in a freezer safe container that is lined with wax or parchment paper.

Spread Nutella on the top of each banana slice

Sprinkle the granola cereal over the Nutella

Cover and put into freezer. Keep in the freezer for at least an hour or until the dessert is frozen.

Enjoy!!



Cooking With Your Kids: Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Oh this was so bad of me! Right in the middle of our health and nutrition unit I have Big B make cookies. When I saw this recipe for Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies from Sugar Cooking come across my Pinterest dashboard I just couldn’t help myself! It was the most intensive recipe that Big B and I have ever done together but he did a great job. Days after making these cookies he was still telling everyone about them… somehow they were gone within three days

I made a slight variation to this recipe. We did not add the peanut butter chips because my husband is allergic to peanuts. Instead we just added extra chocolate chips. I will write up the recipe the way we did it, but if you would like to do them the original way go here.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. of salt
  • 1/4 tsp. of baking soda
  • 1/2 cup of butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup of tight packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 of granulated sugar
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1.5 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup broken up pretzel pieces
  • Pretzel salt or sea salt

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, salt, and baking soda.

In another bowl beat together the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Then slowly add the beaten egg and vanilla extract. This was Big B’s first time using the beater. I put my hand over his on the beater and held his free hand behind his back to he wouldn’t try to put it near the beaters.

Add in the flour mixture and beat

Add the chocolate chips and pretzels, then cover and refrigerate for an hour

Preheat the oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop out tablespoon size balls, leaving 2 inches in between each cookie. Sprinkle the cookies with the pretzel salt. I did the salt. I didn’t want them to be over salted.

Bake for 10 minutes, then allow cookies to cool. ENJOY!!



Cooking With Your Kids: Pumpkin Bread

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This week Big B and I tried this Pumpkin Bread recipe from Simply Recipes. It involved a little more help from me than some of our past recipes but Big B was extremely excited about the outcome.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (although I skipped this stepped)

Preheat over to 350 degrees. Sift together the flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda

Mix the pumpkin, oil, eggs, 1/4 cup of water and spices together.

Combine the wet and dry ingredients. This is where you would add the nuts… I am hoping to serve this at our next co-op meet up and we have allergies within the group

 Pour into a greased 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. Bake 50-60 minutes until skewer comes out clean when poked into the loaf.

Big B loves it and I have to say that I am really loving doing this series!!

Few things say fall to me more than pumpkin recipes. This pumpkin bread recipe really kicked our fall season off right!



Cooking with Your Kids: Apple Pie Frozen Yogurt

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When it comes to my “Cooking with Your Kids” series, I try to find recipes where the child can do most of the “cooking” themselves. I want the child to be the chef and the adult to be the helper. This Apple Pie Frozen Yogurt recipe is a perfect example of that.

I have heavily tweaked my Apple Pie Frozen Yogurt recipe from this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Unsweetened Apple Sauce
  • 1/2 cup Plain Yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Pinch of sugar (because I found it tart but my son loved it as it)

Have your child scoop the plain yogurt into a 1/2 cup measuring cup:

 So, you might not want to let your child think this is ok to do during the cooking process, but it was just too cute:

Next, have your child scoop the apple sauce into a 1/2 cup measuring cup. We just used the same cup:

Again… eating while he is cooks:

Help your child add the spices:

Stir together ingredients. Just look at that concentration and anticipation:

Add everything into a freezer safe container:

Put the yogurt mixture into the freezer. Allow to freeze for about an hour, stir, put back into the freezer, then continue to stir every 15-30 minutes until you are happy with the consistency. Scoop into bowls and serve. Like I stated in the ingredient section, I found it tart and had to add some sugar to mine. Big B literally sucked it down without the sugar.

While your yogurt is in the freezer clean up! Again, bad mommy moment…

I hope you enjoy!!



Cooking With Your Kids: Baked Apple Chips

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What’s more “fall” than cooking with apples? This week Big B and I made Baked Apple Chips for our weekly cooking activity. He was able to do most of the recipe of himself. I only had to cut the apples.

Ingredients:

  • Apples
  • Cinnamon
  • Sugar

Preheat your oven to 225 degrees and line a cookie sheet with wax or parchment paper. Cut your apples as thin as possible. I had do it with a knife and had a very hard time getting them really thin. Thin or thick, it still comes out tasty, so don’t worry if you can’t seem to get them very thin. We used 4 apples and it seemed like more than enough. I laid the cut apples on a cutting board and gave Big B a blunt round object to remove the core of the apples pieces. I didn’t have a small enough cookie cutter, so I removed the bulb on the baster and let him used the large end to cut out the core… you got to get creative sometimes.

In a bowl mix 1 part cinnamon to 4 parts sugar. Sprinkle the cinnamon/sugar mix “evenly” over the apples, then lay the apples on the cookie sheet.

Cook the Apple slices for one hour. If your slices are on the thicker side, like mine, you might need to cook them longer. I added an extra ten minutes to mine.

Finally comes the clean up! Very important!

When you are done you have a nice, healthy snack that is great on it’s own, or wonderful when added to the top of ice cream, pancakes, or french toast.


Cooking with Your Kids: Pizza Night!

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It’s Friday night and in our house that means it’s pizza night, but instead of ordering in we make our own. Big B loves to cook and he looks forward to pizza night all week long. We hand him a ball of dough and he does the rest.

**I have included our recipe for the dough and pizza sauce at the bottom of this post!**

Big B adds flour to the counter so the dough does not stick:

He flattens out the dough into a somewhat pizza shape:

Next, he adds his sauce:

The last step is to add toppings… but it’s likely that not all of them will make it onto the pizza:

I’m warning you… It can be quite messy

But is totally worth it:

Believe me, it’s delicious! I would pick it over ordering out or a frozen pizza any day.

Pizza Dough Recipe:

  • 4 cups Bread Flour
  • 1 1/2 cups of warm water
  • 1 package of yeast
  • 2 tsp of kosher salt
  • 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil

Combine yeast and water in a small bowl or measuring cup.

Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Add water/yeast mixture and olive oil to the dry mix. Combine with large mixer, or by hand (more fun!), until a large dough ball is formed. If it is too wet add more flour.

Grease the bottom and sides of another large bowl with a small amount of olive oil, and place the dough ball in the bowl. Cover and set in a warm spot for at least an hour, and until the dough rises to roughly twice it’s size.

Preheat oven to 525 or higher if possible (be careful with the kids around the oven, of course)

We can form two equal sized dough balls and a smaller child’s sized dough ball from this recipe. Form each into a ball. I prefer to chill the dough slightly before handling, but use your own judgement. We also like to make several batches at once and freeze them. It makes pizza night easier.

Add Sauce (recipe below), Cheese and Toppings.

Bake Pizzas until cheese is melted and starting to brown slightly.

Pizza Sauce Recipe:

  • One 8oz can of Crushed Tomatoes
  • One 8oz can of Tomato Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoon of Italian Seasoning
  • 2 Tablespoon of Garlic Powder
  • Salt, Pepper and Crushed Red Pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan and cook over medium heat until nice and hot. Remove from heat. Place sauce in a metal bowl and place bowl in an ice-bath to cool sauce. Put sauce with ice bath in the refrigerator until needed. We also like to make large batches of the sauce as well.

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Cooking is such an important life skill. We try to allow Big B to help in the kitchen as much as possible. I am considering doing a “Cooking with Your Kids” segment every Friday to go along with my life skills curriculum. Let me know what you think!