Baking with Kids

Since Nick and I live right outside Boston we are both at least 2 hours away from our families. It’s usually a treat when anyone comes to visit us, since we usually do the traveling.

During their April vacation from school my two nephews and my mom came for a visit. The oldest, 15, loves to bake so I thought one of the things we could do together is bake something. I asked him in advance what he would like to make and he gave me some very generic answers. I bought a lot of ingredients so we could decide that day.

When our the boys and my mom got here we hung out for a bit before we started cooking. The boys ended up deciding on the dreaded chocolate chip cookie. I say dreaded because I have NEVER been able to make a chocolate chip cookie that I love. They need to be fluffy and chewy. I always end up with flat cookies. I have tried a million different recipes and today was no different.

I decided to use this recipe on the back of the bag for the Ghirardelli chocolate chips, I had never tried this recipe, and for the 2 years we have lived year, I have never attempted the cookie of doom.

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My helpers:
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Ben, 15

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Cole, 7

I split up tasks for the boys to do based on difficulty. I had Ben do a lot of the measuring and handling all of the liquid ingredients, while Cole dumped the dry ingredients in the bowl and helped mix the ingredients together

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While the boys finished up putting all the ingredients together, I lined my baking sheets with wax paper and set the boys up in stations. I showed them how to make a good size cookie and let them get dirty!

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Once the boys finished, we put the first round of cookies in the oven. While I washed the dishes the boys ran around playing games.

Finished product:
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That didn’t seem to bother the boys at all, they devoured waaay to many before lunch, it’s okay it’s vacation after all, so I think they loved them.
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They tasted okay to me, a little too buttery almost and again flat. What are your tips for fluffy delicious chocolate chip cookies?

Here are a few of my tips for baking with children:

1. Pick a recipe that is age appropriate. Don’t pick a recipe that includes a lot of heavy machine use or knife skills if baking with a young child.

2. Pick a recipe that the child likes, or if you want to pick something they have never tried, use an ingredient that they love, like chocolate.

3. Bake something that doesn’t take forever. Depending on the age, the child could lose interest very quickly and you might be stuck doing the rest of the baking and watching a child.

4. This one isn’t so much baking but general kitchen tips: a. Make sure the kids understand the importance of cleaning the kitchen before and after baking.

b. Washing your hands frequently, especially if you are touching the ingredients, like my nephews touching the cookie dough.

c. Eating raw dough/ingredients. This is my personal preference. Since the kids are not mine, I didn’t want to let them eat raw dough if it isn’t what their parents would want. But I wouldn’t let my kids eat raw dough with eggs. I wouldn’t want my guests, especially kids, spending their visit on the bathroom floor.

5. Send the kids home with what they made. I certainly didn’t need 4 dozen cookies at my disposal. I think it is a proud moment when the kids can go home and share with their families what they made.

Today’s Questions: Do you have any tips for baking with children? Also, do you have a baking kryptonite? And I will take ANY chocolate chip cookie suggestions!