2015 · Baking · Cookies · Family · Food, Recipes and Kitchen tips · Kelvin · Kid friendly · kids · Recipe · toddler · Toddler Recipes

Tips for Baking with Littles // Cookies

I think it is safe to say everyone likes cookies… in some form or another everyone HAS to like cookies… right? I know it is ok to disagree with me here, but if you don’t like cookies in some form or fashion it is definitely kind of…weird. My whole family really likes cookies – good ol’ fresh homemade cookies. I could pass on any store-bought cookies any day of the week and not miss out, but a fresh homemade cookie is the bomb-diggity! Since we are talking about baking with kids here, I will travel back on track. My 3 year old loves them… my 20 month as well and actually his third word was cookie! My boyfriend likes them… and my husband too (to limit confusion, my boyfriend and husband are the same person).  My little and big boy(s) love the kind of cookies that are loaded with nuts, seeds, oats and good stuff so that makes it fun.  My son has been asking me if we can make cookies together so this is where a few tips come in.

{Today, we are making lumberjack cookies. These are a favorite around here and my husband and our friend had a big morning running a half-marathon… so they need some of these.}

If I was going to make cookies by myself it would be a lot faster and require less dishes than this, but it is a special time to spend with my little guy while my youngest naps, so I choose to take on the extra when we do this together.  So, this is what making cookies WITH my boy looks like.

First, I clear the space around my mixer and clean off the counter as well as make sure the sink is empty (at least the half closest to where he will be sitting. Then I literally measure out all my ingredients and put them into separate bowls according to the steps in the cookie process.  This makes it a lot easier when we are in the midst of making them and keeps it actually cleaner than if he was to do the measuring, scooping and egg cracking. I have also found that doing it this way is much more accommodating to his attention span.

Oh and please don’t get jealous about my fancy photography skills using my phone and terrible kitchen window glare – you don’t got time for that!

1 - layout prep

This is also important because I NEVER have to turn my back to go get flour, find mixing cups, get eggs etc.   That way my eyes stay on him while he is up on the counter and near the mixer and sink etc. I like to have him sit right in front of me on the counter, rather than standing up high on a chair. He gets too excited and moves a lot so it is safer in our case for him to stay seated in one spot on the counter.

It’s ready to insert a toddler. I put all ingredients on the opposite side and leave nothing on his side.

2 - ready

I would probably suggest you unwrap the butter and have it ready to dump, but he absolutely loves this part and it is so cute to watch him focus in and learn how to unwrap it.  Also, to note, since we are making the lumberjack cookies that I tagged above, they have peanut butter – I already added that to the mixer before he came on scene! That would be entirely too messy for him to mess with.

3 - butter

After he adds the butter, he gets to dump in the sugar

4 - sugar

Then it is time to turn on the mixer. So this is where my rule for us comes in.  Never under any circumstance does he touch the mixer while it is on. If he does, our entire cookie-making session is over. No chances.  I also don’t let him scrape the batter inside or do anything involving the operation of the mixer.  It is intentional that he is sitting on the opposite side of the mixer that the power lever is on. He does not even see exactly how I turn it on.

He knows, that when I tell him the mixer is going on that he keeps his sweet little hands down near his lap.  I usually give him something to munch on to occupy his hands and mind while it is beating.

Here he is, hands down, eating a snack watching the sugar and butters beat together.

5 - mix

next, eggs and vanilla

6 - eggs

Then, while that is all mixing together, I have him pour the salt, baking powder and soda into the flours and wheat germ

7 - dry

then “sift” it… or just stir it around and try and keep most of it in the bowl

9 - stir dry

Then start dumping a little at a time into the wet ingredients (mixer is always off when he is adding ingredients)

10 - dump dry

He loves to dump the last part that is left in the bowl

11 - dump dry

Then here he is adding his favorite part… the chocolate chips and nuts

12 - chocolate

He has even learned to tap the bottom of the bowls for the rest to come out

13 - dump nuts

Here he is stirring it some… but it is too stiff. He is determined!

14 - stir

The next steps are just for mommy to do… I don’t have him handle the dough or have any part of the actually baking/oven part.  He just gets to go play while they bake. As you can see by the picture series, he really does almost all the cookie making… at least adding all the ingredients. I just operate the mixer and make sure we add in the right order.   He loves this!  Can you forgive me that I did not get a picture of him getting to eat a cookie after they were all done? This kid has big time cookie-joy!

Do you bake with your young kids? If so, what tips do you have?  We also love to make muffins together.  He does all the stirring and even adds the batter to the cups… perhaps another post for another day!

Happy Sunday!

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