Monday, January 06, 2014

Mommy Mondays: Baking with Babies

I've mentioned before that Thatbaby is a fantastic kitchen helper.  It's a great way to keep him busy when I've got a lot in the kitchen to do, but it also works to give him a "job."  Toddlers love jobs.  Not so much jobs they have to do like "pick up your toys" but real grownup things.  Which is why you'll find that many toddlers love to imitate cleaning with brooms, vacuums, even washing dishes.

Obviously you can't send your toddler into the kitchen with a vegetable peeler and bag of potatoes and expect them to make french fries.  So how do you involve your child in the most dangerous room in the house?

Thatbaby and I have been doing a lot of baking with the past holiday season.  With that in mind, here is a recipe for how to make peanut butter blondies with your toddler, including steps on how to include them!

Peanut Butter Blondies
 2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp butter, room temp
1 1/3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
  1. Have all ingredients ready to go before beginning.  Turning to get your sugar from the canister is an almost surefire guarantee that you will end up with eggs on the floor.
  2. Preheat oven to 350.  Have your toddler help you spray a square pan with baking spray.  They LOVE this.  If your little one doesn't have the dexterity or strength to push down the sprayer (Thatbaby doesn't), have them press down on your finger while you depress the sprayer.
  3. YOU crack the eggs into an electric mixer.  (I learned this the hard way -toddlers hit those eggs a little too hard and they end up all over your kitchen floor).
  4. Have your toddler pour the sugars into the electric mixer.  Make sure the bowl is very close to them, so they can dump the sugars right in without them getting all over the counters.
  5. Have your toddler spoon/scoop the peanut butter into the bowl.  This is a good time to let them "lick something."  If they're busy with the peanut butter spoon, you can more easily dissuade them to leave the beaters alone.
  6. Have your toddler hold a measuring spoon over the bowl as you pour the vanilla into the spoon, then they can turn over the spoon into the bowl.
  7.  Thatbaby loves to turn on the electric mixer himself.  He is very skilled and can even follow directions as to "slow speed" or "fast speed."  However, if you're not comfortable with this, have them help you, by placing their hand atop yours as you turn the mixer on.  Beat well.
  8. Let your toddler pour the flour, baking powder, and salt into a separate bowl.  Help them to give it a quick stir, and then dump it into the electric mixer with the rest of the ingredients.  Turn the mixer on slow speed and mix until thoroughly combined.
  9. Thatbaby always wants to help me pour the batter into a pan. This ends up not being very helpful at all.  So my solution is to have him "hold the pan steady" on the counter as I pour the batter.  After, I give him a spatula and let him help smooth it out to all corners.
  10. Let your toddler sprinkle the peanuts over the surface of the batter.  You press them lightly into the batter (toddlers aren't great with that light pressing).  Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool before cutting.

3 comments:

  1. LOVE this post! I'm hoping to involve my little guy in the kitchen more. I dream of a day he can use the coffee machine.

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  2. I plan on involving my future kiddos in the kitchen! This is great.

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  3. Love this variation on a typical recipe. I just got a book (that I'm supposed to review) that has drawings of all of the components. When E is old enough, I'll use it with her. For now, she likes to help stir and put ingredients into the bowl. I just need to get a good system going for safely bringing her to counter height.

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