Showing posts with label Cooking with kids. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cooking with kids. Show all posts

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Christmas Cookie fun with kids # Giveaway #recipe #Christmas #mystery


Around here, we're all in the mood for Christmas and we hope you are too.

We love Christmas cookies! It gives us an excuse to break out the festive cookie cutters and to get flour all over ourselves and the kitchen.  This year, MJ was lucky enough to have a young relative helping out.  You can see that Teagan did all the heavy lifting!

MJ here:  I picked the sugar cookies I remember from my own childhood.   I remember sugar sparkles on those cookies and so a quick trip yielded just what I needed.   I know red and green are favorite Christmas colors but Teagan and I decided that blue, white and silver were just right. 

Why don't you join us in the kitchen when we make these very easy Christmas sugar cookies?  We’d offer you one, but they were gone in a twinkle!

Christmas Sugar Cookies

 You will need:
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter, room temperature
2 extra large eggs, at room temperature, well beaten in a small bowl
2 ½ cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cream of tartar
½ tsp salt
1 tsp good quality vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract (optional - but we always do it!)

All you have to do:
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Cream butter and sugar until fluffy in stand mixer (or whatever works for you).  Add beaten eggs and vanilla and continue to beat until well blended.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, soda, and cream of tartar, mixing to blend.

Add dry mixture to wet and mix just until blended. Don’t overbeat.

If you have time, roll the dough into a ball, wrap with plastic wrap, and chill the dough for 20 minutes before rolling out.  It is very soft.

Roll out on floured surface and roll with floured rolling pin until about ¼ inch think.  They will puff up slightly, so don’t roll too thick. 

Cut into shapes with your favorite cookie cutters.   

Teagan liked the trees best. MJ just couldn’t decide between stars and snowflakes.   

Transfer to cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. They spread quite a bit so keep it to six per sheet, or they will run into each other.  I learned this the hard way and had to eat quite a few and then start again. Ahem. Dust each cookie with a bit of colored course sugar.

Bake 10 minutes. Remove and cool.  Makes about two dozen. Guard them well, because they have a tendency to disappear.

Of course you know that Victoria Abbott is a dangerous combo of Mary Jane Maffini and her daughter, Victoria.  When not busy being elves, they write the book collector mysteries, with a bit of help from Peachy the Pug. 

We all hope you all have a wonderful December full of sweet tastes and warm moments and entertaining books.  So from our family to yours, have the best of festive seasons, whatever you celebrate. 

Speaking of, why not tell us about how, what or if you celebrate and your name may be drawn to receive a copy of the book collector mystery of your choice!  If you have them all, we'll still find a deal for you.   Because it's that season!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Cooking With Kids--Chocolate Pudding Cake

From Peg Cochran

My four-year-old granddaughter recently had a "sleepover" at Grandma and Pop-Pop's house.  She loves to help me in the kitchen (even emptying the dishwasher!  Go figure) so I wanted to have a baking project for us to do together.  This cake is super easy, and she was able to help with most of the steps.  And even though it's called chocolate pudding cake, it's sophisticated enough for company.  When baked, you have a delicious, chewy, almost brownie-like cake with what is more chocolate sauce than pudding.  It is delicious with ice cream, and you can spoon the "pudding" over the ice cream.  It's somewhat like those volcano cakes but without all that work.

I used Hershey's dark chocolate cocoa powder in this, and I think it made it better than when I've used the milk chocolate version.  I suppose you could splurge and get a tin of one of those really high-end cocoa powders because I think you will want to make this a lot!  Served in a pretty glass, it would be the perfect end to a dinner party.  

The batter for the cake part is much thicker than a typical cake batter.  Even thicker than brownie batter.  The directions said to smooth it in the pan with an offset spatula, but we ended up using our hands to pat it into place.  I don't know if that was a result of our using Splenda instead of sugar in the cake or not.  It certainly didn't detract from the deliciousness of the final product!


3/4 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk (I used 2%)
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/4 cups HOT water

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees


Whisk together the sugar flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.  Stir in milk, butter and vanilla (hint: don't use the whisk to stir it because it will all stick to it--trust me.)

"Pour" (???) the batter into an ungreased 9" square baking pan.  (It will not come close to pouring--it will fall out of the mixing bowl in a clump.)  Level it with an offset spatula (use your hands to pat it into place in the pan.)

Whisk together the sugars and cocoa and sprinkle evenly over the batter.  Pour the hot water on top but DO NOT STIR!

Bake approximately 30 minutes (my oven runs hot and yours may differ). It should look like an undercooked brownie with delicious chocolate sauce bubbling up on top.  Remove from oven and let stand 15 minutes (if your husband and/or grandchildren can wait that long).  Serve by spooning the "sauce" over the cake.  A scoop of ice cream is really the icing on the cake (pun intended.)  

PS We also made "campfire stew" together and she had a blast.  It's a very kid-friendly dish.  Recipe here.  

Bon appétit!

Wearing Grandma's glasses (upside down!) to read the recipe

Dough is very stiff so you will have to put some elbow grease into mixing it.

It's probably easier to pat mixture into pan and smooth out.

Don't forget to lick the spoon! Note she has tucked the glasses into her shirt like
Grandma does!

Sprinkle sugars on top then pour the hot water over all but do not mix.

Bubbly, gooey and delicious!

Serve with a scoop of ice cream if desired.

Out now for all e-readers!

Stop by my web site for a visit or my Facebook Page or chat with me on twitter @pegcochran.