Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Four Easy Kid Friendly Recipes & Other Ideas

We are in the midst of summer holidays - so a lot of my thinking is about how to entertain the bunnies. One of the things we like to do a lot of in this house is simple baking. If it can’t be made quickly and easily I try to stay away from it. It allows me to be relatively successful in the kitchen and juggle the seemingly endless demands from the three bunnies! Recently my eldest (four is very grown up you know) has decided she wants to bake alone – with no help what so ever. So I wanted to share these recipes we use which seem pretty fool proof. It doesn’t seem to matter how they get mixed – they seem to turn out yummy. 

Don't want the kids to cook with you? Give them a range of random ingredients (1 tablespoon each) and let them mix to their hearts content alongside you.

When I can I like to amend recipes to add some whole wheat flour into the mix. If the kids have to eat cake and cookies – let there be some whole wheat flour in there! Because whole wheat flour is much more absorbent than plain flour - we have been able to add much more zucchini to our zucchini bread and more bananas to our banana bread. 

 Ready to start!

I measure out all the ingredients before my bunny starts. Then she gets to add and mix in what ever order she desires. I always do a bit of final mixing – but I do allow her to portion out the cookie dough & scoop batter into tins etc. That is why you will not find any directions to how to mix the ingredients below. 

A cheap toy mixer will give you hours of fun & allow your kids to make their own 'recipes'.

Zucchini Bread
Tip: this recipe freezes really well. I cut the loaves in half and freeze each portion defrosting as we need them.
Makes: 2 loaves 8” x 5”
Oven temp:  350F
Time: 55-60mins
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups of whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2  cups white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 cups grated zucchini (about 2 large zucchini)
1 cup chopped walnuts

Cut slabs of sponge cake into different shapes (like building blocks) and let your little ones construct things out them. Here is a car my eldest built & decorated for Father's Day. (I did help her a little - but she made it very clear who was in charge!)

Banana Bread
Tip: when our banana’s go a bit brown and the kids don’t want to eat them we put them in the freezer until we have enough to make banana bread. This recipe also freezes really well. I cut the loaves in half and freeze each portion - defrosting as we want them.
Makes: 2 loaves
Oven temp: 350F
Time: 55-60mins
8 mashed bananas – we use defrosted frozen ones.
½ cup melted butter
2 cups sugar
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups of whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips

My girls & their friends baking Chocolate Layer Cake together.

Chocolate Cupcakes or Cake or Slab
Tip: once you eat this you might never use another cupcake recipe again.
Original Recipe: This is the original recipe from Martha Stewarts Baking Handbook Pg 168 ‘ One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes’
Makes: 24+ cupcakes or 2 x 8" layer cakes or 1 x 13"x9" slab
Oven temp: 350F
Time: 20-25 mins for cupcakes 45 mins for layer cake/slab.
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ¼ cups cocoa powder
2 ½ cups of sugar
2 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
1 ¼ teaspoons salt
2 large whole eggs, plus 1 large yolk
1 ¼ cups of milk
½ cup + 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 ¼ warm water

Purple icing and endless sprinkles make everything delicious!

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Original Recipe: Page 149 of Annabel Karmel’s First Meals  ‘ White Chocolate & Cranberry Cookies’ – my eldest just likes chocolate chips in her cookies.
Makes: 30 ish cookies
Oven temp: 375F
Time: 10-12 mins - these cookies are good on the softer and on the crispier side so don't worry if your little one scoops out uneven portions. 
½ cup softened unsalted butter
½ cup sugar
½ light brown sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
½ cup + 1/3 cup of all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon of baking powder
½ teaspoon of salt
1 cup of chocolate chips

Don't like cooking? Buy a pre-made cake and let your little ones ice it. Here is a cake (store brought) the girls iced themselves for Daddy's Birthday. Yes - the icing is as thick as it looked. Daddy was a good sport and ate a whole slice!! 

If your little ones prefer making mud pies outside than making a mess in your kitchen check out this great post by Happy Hooligans - Mud Kitchen Activity


Sue said...

I used to make cookies a while my nephew was napping, then let him ice and decorate them. Amazing how much icing he could pile on one cookie.

hetty said...

Some really yummy things are happening at your place! My daughter is 41 now, but she still loves to bake goodies. I am sure it is because of all the baking we did together when she was young. I used the recipes as little math lessons and no one suspected that he/she was learning anything.