What better way to develop a love of cooking in your kids than spending an afternoon together and let them learn alongside you?
One of our favourite childhood memories is helping out mum in the kitchen – everyone has a favourite recipe that always reminds them of home. So why not pass on the tradition and make an afternoon of it with the kids? Try these ten easy recipes from Stockland favourite Bridget Davis - The Internet Chef and you may just discover the next Masterchef is right in your own kitchen!
Eggy cookie cutter bread
Eggy bread is a wonderful way to introduce kids to the kitchen. It uses a small frying pan, cookie cutters so the kids can choose their own special design and the use of a little supervised heat.
You will need 1 slice of bread, 1 egg per child plus a small knob of butter. Allow the kids to get creative and choose their favourite cookie cutter. Help them use it to cut the design into a slice of day-old bread.
Heat a small frying pan on medium heat with a small amount of butter and add the bread. Break an egg into the middle of the bread and cook gently for a few minutes before carefully flipping the bread and cooking for a further 2 minutes on the other side.
Easy drop scones
These simple scones can be made in a couple of easy steps. They only need a few ingredients and kids love the smell and feel of freshly baked scones.
In a large bowl, gently mix together 3 cups of self raising flour with 1 cup of pouring cream and 1 cup sparkling lemonade. Bring together with your hands to form a soft dough and then drop handfuls of the dough into 12 lightly sprayed muffin tins.
Brush with a little milk and bake in a hot oven set at 225C for 10-12 minutes. Cool the drop scones lightly before smearing with butter and jam to serve.
Three-ingredient peanut butter cookies
Cookies are a fabulous way to get kids cooking and this recipe is easy and fun to make. Plus, it only takes a few minutes to turn out a batch of delicious homemade cookies.
In a bowl, stir together 1 cup of peanut butter with 1 cup of caster sugar. Add 1 egg and stir to combine. Heat an oven on bake at 180C and line a baking sheet with baking paper. Place heaped teaspoons of the mixture on the baking sheet, allowing space between the cookies for them to spread a little. Bake for 6-8 minutes and allow to cool on the baking sheet before carefully removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Easy peasy apple pies
This is great recipe for an at-home afternoon tea which will have the kids feeling very proud of their sweet effort. It’s a simple recipe that requires both stovetop and oven work and some simple supervised cutting as well. Serve warm with a dollop of ice cream and it’s a dinner party worthy dessert.
To make 6 individual apple pies you will need 1 packet of sweet pastry, 3 granny smith apples and ¾ cup of caster sugar. Firstly, get the kids to peel the apples and with or without your assistance dice the apples into small cubes. Place the apples and sugar into a pot and add 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1 teaspoon nutmeg. Bring the apples to a gentle simmer and cook until tender.
Roll out half of the sweet pastry until it’s about 3mm in thickness and cut into 6 squares. Lay each square over a muffin tin hole that has been sprayed with some olive oil spray and gentle push the pastry into the hole. Top with a couple of tablespoons of the apple mixture and bring the pastry up to form a little cup. Brush the pastry with a little beaten egg and sprinkle over a little brown sugar.
Place the muffin tray into an oven set at 190C and cook for 15-20 minutes. Serve with whipped cream or a little ice cream.
Bread dough and easy dinner rolls
Making bread from scratch is one of the most rewarding activities that you can do in the kitchen. It involves measuring, kneading and the rise and fall of the yeasted dough. For kids, seeing dry ingredients turned into a loaf of hot golden goodness has almost magical properties.
Firstly, you need to activate the yeast by sprinkling 1 tablespoon of active dry yeast over 1 cup of warm water. Sprinkle over 1 tablespoon of sugar and leave the mixture for 10-15 minutes till it bubbles. In an extra-large bowl, mix together 2 ½ cups of flour with 1 teaspoon salt. Make a well in the middle and add the yeast mixture with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. With clean hands and sleeves pulled up, knead the dough for at least 5 minutes until it is elastic and spongy.
Cover the dough in the bowl with a clean tea towel and allow the dough to rise in a warm spot in the kitchen until it has doubled in size (about 45 minutes). Knock the air out of the dough and portion the dough into 12 equal portions. Now, break each portion into 3 and roll into small balls. Place 3 balls into a muffin tin hole sprayed with a thin layer of cooking oil and allow the dough to rise again until it doubles in size.
Brush the dough tops with a little milk and cook in a hot oven set at 190C for 20-25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack or eat hot from the oven!
Make your own butter
What could be more simple and rewarding than making your own butter? It’s also a lovely way to introduce children to where food comes from and how it is produced. If you're planning on making your own bread (see recipe above) then topping it with homemade butter would be the icing on the cake – so to speak.
You will need a stand mixer for this recipe and a good amount of cling film to help keep the kitchen and each other clean.
Add 3 cups of fresh cream to the bowl of a large stand mixer and place the bowl on to the mixer with the whisk attached. Now for cleanliness of the kitchen and to prevent unnecessary splashes, cover the bowl and mixer with cling film. Beat the cream on moderate to high speed for 10-12 minutes. Then, increase the speed to high and beat until the mixture separates into yellow butter and thin buttermilk.
Strain the mixture in a colander and using clean hands, knead the butter for 5 minutes squeezing out any remaining buttermilk. Transfer the butter to a large bowl and keep the buttermilk for baking. Using clean hands again, knead ¼ teaspoon of salt into the butter. Now roll the butter into logs and wrap in cling film. Allow the butter to set for at least an hour before spreading on hot toast or freshly baked bread.
Chocolate covered.... pretzel sticks, strawberries, cookie dough and other goodies
This is a super fun activity that’s a little messy but well worth the effort required to clean up hands, faces and benches. The concept is simple and kids love the ability to dunk their favourite treats into warm silky chocolate.
Firstly, you need to melt 400g of chocolate in a small metal bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Stir the chocolate frequently until it is completely melted and smooth. Using your imagination and cleaning out your pantry, slice and dice some of the following things that can be dipped into the melted chocolate: Firm bananas sliced into large coins, strawberries, pretzel sticks, cookie dough balls, apple slices, leftover candy canes, extra-large marshmallows, crackers, dried apricots, mandarin segments, or firm kiwifruit slices.
Lay a flat tray large enough to fit into your freezer with tin foil followed with non-stick baking paper. Using skewers to secure the different treats on, dunk the treats into the warm melted chocolate and carefully lay onto the tray, making sure the pieces are not touching. When all the pieces have been coated, place the tray in the freezer and freeze for 30 minutes before eating.
Bring a bit of fun into lunch time by allowing kids to assemble their own pizzas. By using small individual pizza bases you can call them mousetraps – which kids always love. This is also a great way to clean out the fridge and the pantry as well.
Using 1 premade mini pizza base per child, have small bowls of toppings for the kids to create their own specialised mouse trap. Use toppings like diced ham or bacon, pineapple pieces, cherry tomatoes, fresh basil leaves, sliced capsicum, grated cheese, sliced mushrooms, canned spaghetti, leftover roast meat, sliced salami, or bocconcini. Or you can even try a sweet pizza of nutella, sliced strawberries and sliced banana for an extra special treat.
Allow the kids to go crazy with their toppings, ensuring that cheese is the last topping to really trap the mouse! Bake the pizzas in a hot oven set at 225C for 10-15 minutes until golden.
This activity can help pass the time while getting the kids’ creative energy flowing. All you need is a batch of plain cupcakes and different types of toppings before letting the kids go crazy with the decorating.
Set the scene for the decorating by filling muffin trays with sprinkles, hundreds and thousands, silver baubles, jellybeans, smarties and mini marshmallows. Have disposable piping bags filled with buttercream and frostings ready to be squeezed and squished all over their cupcakes masterpieces.
Cookies are always fun to make and using cookie cutters will enhance this fun experience. You can purchase many different cookie cutters quite cheaply so you have a large range available for the kids to cut and design their favourite shapes.
Make a basic butter cookie recipe by beating together 6 tablespoons of room temperature butter and ½ cup icing sugar with an electric mixture until smooth. Add 1 egg and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Add 1 ½ cups of plain flour, ½ teaspoon baking powder and ½ teaspoon salt and fold to combine.
Wrap the dough with cling film and refrigerate for one hour before rolling the dough out onto a lightly floured surface before letting the kids go mad with cookie cutters. Place the cut cookies onto a baking sheet laid with baking paper and bake in an oven set at 175C for 8-10 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool on the sheet for 10 minutes before carefully transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
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