Baking with kids

Los Angeles, Ca- My children sat by the stove and watched brownies that we slaved over baking. They smelled amazing! After all our hard work I realized with the commotion of the children helping I never added flour (mistakes happen even to professionals!). This was a perfect teaching moment, rather than the thick chewy brownies we had planned on, we just poured the hot molten liquid over ice cream. 

Cookies, candies and desserts are so fun to make with your kids any time of the year. Any child at any age can help in the kitchen; they just need your guidance, patience and love, after all baking and sharing is a form of love. 

There are few other things to consider when making sweets and treats with children,

Under 5, try having ingredients pre measured, so all they have to do is add it to the bowl. They love mixing at this age, so if all you have them do is pour in premeasured ingredients and stir they will be happy. Keep the recipe super simple – try my chocolate and pistachio bark or chocolate dipped strawberries.

6-10, they are ready for more complex skills: cracking eggs, grabbing the ingredients from pantry and the refrigerator, reading directions, etc. Try my chocolate chip and banana muffins.

Over 10, let them do it! Stay close to guide but seriously I’ve seen kids this age accomplish amazing things on their own. Remember to tell your kids the number one rule-Clean up is as important as the cooking. 

Time frame: Do you have enough time. Children move slowly so add an extra twenty minutes to your time frame. Especially consider this for your older children. When they’re cooking they will definitely make mistakes and will need time to fix them.

Ingredients: Buy extra. No one is perfect when cooking (even me) and to prevent total melt down after a cooking disaster you might want to have extra on hand.

More than one child: If your kids are like my kids there is massive fighting when it comes to who gets to do what, so create a plan before you start so everyone knows what they are doing from beginning to end.

Cleaning up: There is nothing worse than having a little one screaming about messy hands and not being able to get the food off quick enough. Things to know: flour removes dough from sticky hands (sprinkle the flour on the and rub them together over the trash can), a bowl of warm water and a clean towel (not paper) will remove runny chocolate, dish soap that fights grease will quickly remove butter or oil.

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