Cooking with Kids: Toblerone Shortbread

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I love baking with my kiddos! Yes, it’s messy and makes WAY more dishes than if I just do it myself, but their excitement for the process and pride in the finished product is TOTALLY worth it!

This was our favourite new recipe over the holidays – Toblerone Shortbread Cookies –  and we used it to practice our reading and measurement skills this week!

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I began by taking out all of the ingredients and measuring implements required and placing them on the table. Then I wrote out cue cards of each amount of ingredient that would be needed. I laid everything out for the kids to explore.

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The kids looked at each cue card and found the matching measuring cup/spoon and ingredient. It was a great practice for number, letter and word recognition/reading.

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If they found the correct match they got to measure it out and mix it into our recipe, which added a nice competitive streak to the whole ‘game’ of it!

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Bonus: We even got these delicious cookies out of all that learning 🙂

Cooking with Kids: Caramilk Brownies

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Am I the only one still finding myself unwrapping stolen Halloween candy after the kids are in bed at night??

{Please humour me and say no….}

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This week we delved back into that Halloween candy stash for more baking inspiration and came out with these tasty Caramilk Brownies.

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They were easy for the kids to do almost completely independently and  the gooey caramel on top of a decadent brownie is pretty much to die for!

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Cooking with Kids: Smartie Oatmeal Cookies

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Anyone else dealing with an excess of Halloween candy? We decided to incorporate our masses of Smarties into these delicious Smartie Oatmeal Cookies.

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They were fun and easy to make and they freeze well too (just in case you don’t want to eat them all in one sitting :P). We used about 25 packages of our snack-sized Smarties, which added some counting and addition practice to our baking session.

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Rolling dough into Tablespoon-sized balls and then flattening with the palm of your hand makes for the perfect large flat cookies, that are still chewy and tender! And little hands were quite good at helping to flatten our cookies!

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Cooking with Kids: Apple Cider Doughnut Holes

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The apple orchard we visit every year makes apple cider mini-doughnuts and they are DELICIOUS. They are also the main reason we drive so far to go to that particular orchard! So when I came across this recipe for apple cider donuts, I couldn’t wait to test it out! And boy, did they deliver! They are so tasty, but need to either be frozen or (my personal preference…) eaten within a couple of days!

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The kids love to mix and measure the ingredients!

And who doesn’t like to like the spoon?! 😉

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Cooking with Kids: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Nothing says “Fall is here” like the smell of pumpkin spice wafting through the kitchen!

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We made these delicious cookies, they were the perfect amount of pumpkin and sweet complete with yummy chocolate chips. Also, they are this wonderful cake-like texture, that is melt-in-your-mouth good!

I try to focus on a few specific skills each week when we bake together. This week I focused on having the kids identify the required ingredients and helping use the can opener.

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As always, we also had lots of fun measuring and mixing, too!

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These yummy cookies have just earned their way into our Fall baking rotation…and we may need another batch for Thanksgiving this weekend!

Cooking with Kids: Bread

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Homemade bread…yum! Tastes delicious and had me feeling extra accomplished, despite the numerous steps and time consumption!

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It was also a fun recipe to make with the kids given the many sensory opportunities found in the hand mixing and kneading of the dough!

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We followed the white sandwich bread recipe from here, the bread was AH-MAZING and we will be making it again…soon!

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Cooking with Kids: Apple Crumble Pie

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The apple orchard is one of my favourite Fall activities, I just love the way our annual family photos at the orchard chronicle the ever growing love and joy that is our family! And with the photo and all the apples comes some awesome baking too. This year we started with some apple pies!

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We used this recipe for the filling. I had the kids help count the apples we needed, use the slicer to slice them and stir the peeled wedges. I took care of the peeling and cooking the syrup.

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The kiddos spooned the apples into the pie crust and I poured the hot syrup over top.

We prepared this crumble topping and sprinkled it over each pie. And then baked the pies, be sure to place them on a baking sheet to catch any drippings.

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Enjoy these scrumptious pies, they pair especially well with vanilla ice cream! Yum!

Cooking with Kids: Pigs in a Blanket

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This Summer, I have been working extra hard at saying ‘yes’, whenever I can. And I’ve found that when I do say ‘yes’ to the little things (i.e. not matters of safety or respect), my ‘no’s’ are accepted far more readily. So when Little Momma asked to make dinner for us last week – YES!!

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My bossy mini-me requested ‘pigs in a blanket’, which, if you’ve never eaten the delicacy, is hot dogs wrapped in a crescent roll. She also made it VERY clear that she was doing this ALL BY HERSELF, but seeing as she can’t read yet, I was allowed to read the instructions, oh and open the stove (for safety, of course!).

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She preheated the oven and set the timer and then got to work rolling the hot dogs into the pastry.

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As they baked she helped cut up some veggies, took everyone’s drink orders and even set the table!

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And just like that dinner was served – not exactly gourmet, but the fact that Little Momma made it herself made it all the better, and bought great street-cred (or would that be table-cred?!) with the other littles!

Her pride was written all over her face, which is such a beautiful thing to see 🙂

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Cooking with Kids: Banana Chocolate-Chip Muffins

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I love me those days that lend themselves to alone time with any and/or all of my children, simply by fate. I for one don’t particularly like to schedule specific one-on-one time with my littles – I find it to be too stressful, forced and filled with expectations. Instead I like to make a point to steal it (like a kiss) when the opportunity arises. This gives me chance to pick and choose a good mood or the child who is just in need of some extra Momma love! It also allows me to model and practice that fair doesn’t always mean equal, something I want my children to learn, even at their early ages.

However it is you go about having moments with just one kiddo, I am sure you can attest to how neat it is to observe how their little personalities are different without any sibling interference and the undivided attention of their Momma (or Daddy!).

This past week I got some time with my eldest daughter, Little Momma. The two little kids took an extra long afternoon nap and we decided we could use some muffins for a little road trip we had the following day. And so we got to work baking, using our favourite banana muffin recipe (and adding chocolate chips for good measure!).

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Little Momma did it (almost) all on her own. She measured, poured and mixed (in her undies, cuz that’s how we roll!).

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She cracked the egg (with very limited shell added) and helped follow along on the recipe (which we wrote out last week in our Cookery Book, as part of our Summer book club).

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I even let her scoop the batter into the muffin tin using an ice cream scoop, it got a bit messy, but she was soooo proud, so it was totally worth it!

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And of course she had to lick the spoon! :o)

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And boy did her muffins turn out great!

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Best of all my sweet, four-year-old girly ASKED to clean up! She wiped down all of the counters.

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And washed up all of our baking dishes, which she also said was her favourite part!

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This sweet girl brings so much joy and sass to my life, and I can hardly wait to see where our adventures take us next!