By Angie Sutton, www.momsapronstrings.com
I don’t often need an excuse to bake. I love the smell of cookies or bread baking in the oven. It seems to draw everyone in the house to the kitchen island and away from their phones, computers and electronic-pad-thingies. I grab a mug of milk for each of us and we test each batch as it comes out of the oven. We end up too full to eat a proper dinner, but who cares! Every now and then you have to break the rules.
February is National Bake for Family Fun Month. This event, designed by the Home Baking Association, gives you the perfect excuse to whip up some goodies in the kitchen with your kids. Not only are you teaching life skills but you have an opportunity to just “be” with your kids. If your children are like mine, they probably aren’t keen on sitting down and “having a talk.” So the casual conversation that happens over the mixing bowl is the ideal solution.
I try to keep the recipes simple when we bake together. This makes it more of a fun event as opposed to a teaching event. It makes each of us an equal contributor. Okay, and mommy doesn’t have to think real hard and she can have fun too!
Here are a few of the simple recipes my kids picked out to share with your family this month! See more recipes at www.homebaking.org. Pick an afternoon or a snowy day and gather in the kitchen for some low stress family fun!
Pam’s Super Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 c. butter, softened
3/4 c. packed light brown sugar
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1 (3.5 oz.) package instant vanilla pudding mix
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2-1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars.
3. Add pudding mix, eggs and vanilla. Mix well.
4. In another bowl, combine flour and baking soda. Slowly add to creamed mixture and mix well.
5. Fold in chocolate chips.
6. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned.
Apron Strings Notes: We use a cookie scoop for more consistent sizing and because it is easier for the kids than a teaspoon. We also line the cookie sheets with parchment paper for quick clean up.
Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
1/2 c. shortening
1/2 c. peanut butter
1 large egg
1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
Chocolate kisses, stars or hearts
1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Mix sugars, shortening, peanut butter and egg in a mixer until combined.
3. In another bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Slowly add to creamed mixture and mix well.
4. Shape dough into 3/4-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake until set, but not hard, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately push chocolate kisses into the center of each cookie.
5. Remove to wire rack to cool. Chocolate melts as cookie cools.
Chewy MONSTER Cookies
3 large eggs
1-1/2 c packed light brown sugar
1 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp corn syrup
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 c butter, softened
1-1/2 c peanut butter
4-1/2 c quick cooking rolled oats
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 c. baking candy-coated milk chocolate pieces
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs.
3. Add the remaining ingredients in order, mixing well after each.
4. Use a 1-inch scoop for smaller cookies or an ice cream scoop for larger cookies. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake 12 to 15 minutes, depending on the size of cookie.
5. Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes and remove to rack.
Apron Strings Notes: These cookies freeze well so we usually make a double batch.