Cooking with kids is an important part of our family’s culture. Sometimes they insist because they want to be part of the action. As long as the kids follow the safety rules like checking the oven before turning it on or handling a knife properly, we find ways to include them in preparing food. I love seeing my kids cooking alongside me, even preparing the meal themselves.
When a child asks to make a recipe they found in a magazine, I try to make it happen as soon as possible. Early Sunday afternoon is often a good time for a child to bring their recipe into the kitchen and make a bit of a mess before we need to clean up for dinner preparations. I go over the kitchen safety rules and basic kitchen hygiene before my kids start cooking.
This month’s Cobblestone magazine, an American History magazine for children, featured a cookie recipe called Sugar Cakes. My 10 year old son, who has some experience baking cookies, decided to try the recipe this week. Initially, I didn’t look at the recipe under the assumption that it was a basic cookie recipe. The intent of the recipe was to build a pile of sugar cookies for presentation.
After my son made the dough, he asked me about the directions for baking the cookies. When I realized baking the cookies would involve my supervision while I needed to focus on the 4 other kids, I suggested we turn the dough into slice-and-bake cookies.
I showed my son how to roll the dough into a long log on the cutting board.
As he sliced the cookies with a pastry cutter, my youngest son placed them on a parchment paper-covered baking sheet and we popped them in the oven. Lining up the cookies in 3 rows of 4 was a perfect teachable math moment for my youngest son.
Of course, the making of any recipe requires some tasting and critiquing. My son decided these cookies needed vanilla flavoring. I suggested putting a dollop of Nutella on the ones he made that day which gave them an extra bit of flavor.
Find more of our kitchen adventures on my Cooking with Kids page.