Category Archives: Baking and cooking with Kids

Easter Cupcakes

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Simple and Delicious Easter Cupcakes

Simple and Delicious Easter Cupcakes

Easter is always a fun time of year for us. We are not religious, and don’t normally attend church (my partner and I grew up with different religious backgrounds).

Since my family does celebrate Easter (and other holidays) we attended the usual family gathering and dinner. I’m usually in charge of desserts for most family dinners, and this time the kids got a special treat-chocolaty cupcakes.

I’m usually more of a cookie maker, and have just started trying cakes and cupcakes from scratch. I found a recipe that came on the back of my cupcake  papers, and decided to give it a try. Boy, was it EVER a great choice! They turned out so moist and rich the icing was an unneeded addition.

Old Fashioned Cupcakes (courtesy of the packaging on Sweet Creations cupcake wrappers)

1 3/4 c all purpose flour

2 c granulated sugar

3/4c unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2 eggs

1 cup brewed coffee (you can use instant, I just used leftover from the morning)

1 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. If you are using liners, place in cupcake tins and set aside. If you don’t use liners, grease the pan.

2. mix together the first  6 dry ingredients in a large bowl, and set aside.

3. Whisk together the other 5 ingredients in another bowl.

4. pour the wet batter into the dry mix and whisk until combined.

5. Fill each cupcake tin half full, and bake for about 18-25 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean

 

Decorate after they are cooled with icing and candies, or sprinkle icing sugar over the top.

 

Please enjoy these cupcakes.

 

Passionate about Baking

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Hey there! I’m SO happy to see you reading my blog and I hope that I can help inspire you, while I show you my journey.

Baking powder biscuits-a quick family favorite

Baking powder biscuits-a quick family favorite

So far I have touched down on a few things I enjoy making at home for me and my family to enjoy as meals and treats, but now I’m going to share with you one of  my true passions in life- baking!

I have been an avid cookie maker for years, perfecting my timing almost down to the second on my chocolate chip cookies, chewy and moist, but firm enough to keep their shape. I have made jam jam cookies, modifying the recipe without anyone even noticing. I have made countless batches of oatmeal-type cookies to finally find the perfect one-only to make it even better, and with my kids over the years I have made dozens of cut out cookies from gingerbread in the winter time to sugar cookies any time of year.

I have been able to make good enough breads and loaves, using both a bread making machine to fully from scratch by hand, and somewhere in between by using my super duper stand mixer. We have a couple of favorites, and I plan to experiment a little bit with some of the recipes I have here in my box to make them tastier, healthier and all around better.

I have tried to make cakes and cupcakes and I have never heard any complaints…but until they say “wow, that’s just like grandma used to make” to me it won’t be good enough.

Gingersnaps

Gingersnaps

I have made pie crust from scratch a total of twice in my life, and plan to try it again and again until I also perfect that recipe (of course using the tried and true recipe found on my shortening or lard packaging) and have made home made pumpkin pie the family couldn’t seem to get enough of (topped of course with real whipped cream) and even a sweet potato pie that no one could tell wasn’t pumpkin.

I really hope that over the next months I can begin to share my passion for baking, especially cookie making and decorating. I also hope to share my learning experiences as I go along trying out new recipes and methods I find along the way.

“Ice cream” for Cupcakes

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a couple of the decorated cupcakes..they didn't last long!

a couple of the decorated cupcakes..they didn’t last long!

I love to make things fun for everyone, whenever I can. With cupcakes, it’s almost hard to make them more fun, but this time around I decided to bring back an old classic of baking them into ice cream cones. (thank you to my friend for posting the idea on her FB page that reminded me of this gem).  Now, you can do this the easy way and just go buy a prepackaged mix and pour the batter into the cones and bake as directed for cupcakes. But at our house I like to experiment (really) and decided to make my own cake batter.

filling the cones

filling the cones

As usual, I took a recipe from a book I have, this time from the one provided to me when I bought my handy dandy mixer. It’s like having a second set of hands in the kitchen with me. I used an easy yellow cake recipe, modifying it slightly to use 1/2 whole wheat flour and flax seed as a replacement for some of the eggs.

When I have the children helping, I sometimes like to gather all the ingredients first and measure some of them so all we have to do is add what we need to the bowl when we need it. With my little helping hands cracking eggs and pouring the sugar, we added all the ingredients to the mixing bowl and watched as it worked hard.

When the batter was mixed, we all took turns spooning the batter into ice cream cones that my sweet DD had picked out at the store earlier. I think I filled them too little, just over the first ledge in the cone. next time I will try filling them just slightly more, to about 1.5 cm below the rim. I placed them in a muffin tin to help keep them balanced and baked them the same way I do cupcakes.

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They turned out great, and even though the decorating and eating took a couple of days (we decorated this time as we ate) they were a big hit.

Definitely trying this one again with different sorts of cones and batters.

Happy cooking!

mmmm3

Cooking with kids-Pancakes

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ladybugs

ladybugs

The kids ask me to make pancakes so often I have the recipe memorized and doubled. I also ALWAYS make sure to  have the ingredients  on hand to make them  at all times.

I recently decided that the children should all learn to make the pancakes now, from beginning to end. Of course, my sweet DD wanted to help me first, and so it began. I had her gather all the ingredients that I needed- eggs, oil, milk, flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.

DD mixing up batter

DD mixing up batter

I use a very simple recipe, and basically for every cup of flour used, you use a cup of milk. (I have only ever used 2% or instant powdered cows milk making it, so I don’t know how they would turn out if I used other milks, or milk-type products)

I measured the wet ingredients, and the dry ingredients this time and let her mix them up herself. After a little mixing, I showed her how to test the pan for readiness by making cold water spatter on the pan. When the water dances,  it’s hot enough.

This time, I let her watch carefully while I poured the batter onto the hot pan and waited while the little bubbles formed on the top, letting us know it was time to flip them over. I then flipped them, and let them cook the rest of the way and removed them from the pan myself.

yummy way to learn letters!

yummy way to learn letters!

 

I think next time, she might be ready to pour the batter herself, and after trying that if she wants to I’ll let her flip them. Yes, at the young age of five. And with any luck, her big brother will learn to make them in one go, and I’ll get a nice pancake breakfast for mother’s day, sans mother’s help.

Baking with kids can be challenging,  but in the end the “training” will be worth it.20140102_094156