Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Baking With Children

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Hope you enjoyed yesterdays post on Sugar Veil decorating method.  Today I'd like to switch gears a bit.  With the Summer vacation coming to a close most children are going back to school if they haven't already.  This is a good time to bring in some last minute fun time with them.  If you don't have children of your own take your nieces and nephews or neighborhood children!

I remember when I was in High School, baking with my younger brother was one of the most enjoyable things I ever did!  We made cookies from scratch one day and put all the flour in the bowl at once!  When I turned on the mixer we both ended up looking like The Three Stooges when they were baking and got covered in flour!  It was such a mess but so much fun!

I'm not suggesting you cover each other with flour to have a good time, but why not get out a good recipe; cookies, cupcakes, brownies, etc. and bake with the children?  It'll be one of the most memorable moments they'll have!  After all life is about creating happy memories.  And what better way than sharing some fun and goodies from the kitchen?

I've taken some time to add some favorite recipes below for children.  Until tomorrow, happy baking!

Delicious Fudge Brownies

How many children do you know that can pass these babies up? Yyuumm!

What you'll need:
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)
  1. Cut butter into 1/2-inch pieces and place them in the top of a double boiler with the water barely simmering. (If you don't have a double boiler find a heatproof bowl that that you can fit about halfway inside a medium-size saucepan. A glass bowl or a metal mixing bowl with a handle works fine. Be sure to fill the pan with only 1 or 2 inches of water - your bowl should always rest above the water, never in it.)

  2. As the butter melts, sprinkle the chocolate evenly into it. Leave over the heat for 5 minutes, then stir or whisk it until it's smooth. Transfer the top of the double boiler to a cooling rack and let the chocolate cool to room temperature.

  3. Heat the oven to 350ยบ. Lightly butter a 9- by 9-inch square cake pan (not smaller) and lightly dust it with flour, knock out the excess.

  4. Combine the sugars in a large mixing bowl. Mixture does not have to be completely smooth.  Add the eggs. Beat the eggs and sugar until well blended - about 30 seconds - with an electric mixer set on medium-high speed. Blend in the vanilla extract. Add the cooled chocolate (should still be liquid) and mix on medium speed just until evenly blended.

  5. Sift the flour and salt into a medium bowl, then stir them into the chocolate mixture, about half at a time (so you don't get floured yourself!), until no streaks of flour remain. Stir in the nuts. Then scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth it with a spoon.

  6. Bake the brownies on the center oven rack for 30 to 35 minutes. When done, the brownies will have risen slightly and the top will have a thin, brittle crust. Do not over bake. For the best results, use a toothpick to see if done. Insert into the center of the brownies, should be coated with a little bit of batter. Remember don't over bake or your brownies will be dry.

  7. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool the brownies thoroughly. To get the cleanest cuts, cover and refrigerate the brownies for several hours before slicing (provided you can resist that long). Serve slightly cool or at room temperature. Makes 12 to 16 brownies

Favorite Sugar Cookies








  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Lightly grease 2 cookie sheets.
  2. Cream together sugar and butter. Add egg yolks and vanilla and mix well.
  3. Add flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Stir.
  4. Shape dough into walnut size balls and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Don't flatten them out. Bake 10 to 11 minutes, until tops are cracked and just turning light brown.

Spider Cupcakes (What fun!)

Picture from

 Cake Ingredients:

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 9 inch cake pans.
  2. Use the first set of ingredients to make the cake. In a medium bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla, mix for 3 minutes with an electric mixer. Stir in the boiling water by hand. Pour evenly into the two prepared pans.
  3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to cool completely. 

Icing Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 5 1/3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • You will also need black shoestring liquorish for the legs
  • Also Redhots candies for the eyes
  • Optionally you can use chocolate or brown sprinkles to cover top (see pic)

Directions for icing:

  1. Cream butter until light and fluffy. Stir in the cocoa and confectioners' sugar alternating with the milk and vanilla. Beat until it's a spreadable consistency.
  2. Split the layers of cooled cake horizontally, cover the top of each layer with frosting, then stack them onto a serving plate. Frost the outside of the cake.
  3. Cut and add liquorish strings for legs (8 legs), Redhots for eyes and lastly add sprinkles.

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