Simple Recipes for a Kids’ Baking Day
Giant Snickerdoodle, Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Biscuits, Chocolate Graham Crackers and Mini Brownie Bites
In the year since COVID changed our lives, we have spent more time than ever at home.
Keeping kids engaged and active, whether during downtime from virtual school or on long weekends void of birthday parties, sleepovers and fun, can be exhausting. And even though some parents are especially great at being the ultimate cruise directors – finding new parks, day trips and outdoor adventures – even they sometimes just want a day of rest.
That’s where having fun in the kitchen can be a great way to spend time with your kids. If you plan ahead a little, the rewards will be even greater.
Consider one of our recipes, which are kid-tested and approved, and have everything sitting out and ready to go before you call the kids in to cook. Rather than calling them helpers or telling them they’re going to help you in the kitchen, give them responsibility and a title. “You are going to be a chef today!” (Chefs’ hats and aprons will give you bonus points.)
One fun thing my kids have loved is playing Chopped Jr. in our kitchen. We keep it simple, giving each kid a cake mix, and then they use whatever they can find in the kitchen to decorate their cakes. They love presenting their cakes to the very discerning judges – mom and dad.
Cooking with kids doesn’t have to be as elaborate as making layered cakes, though. Letting kids learn how to make their first scrambled eggs or bowl of oatmeal is important, too.
Another fun and simple recipe great for kids to make is biscuits. Only a few ingredients are needed, they’re simple to roll and pat together, and the results are delicious, especially with butter and honey.
Here are a few good recipes for a baking day with your little chefs.
What’s better than snickerdoodle cookies? How about one giant snickerdoodle cookie! This recipe, inspired by an idea from the Food Network, is fun to make and even to decorate once it’s cooled. If you’re giving it away to a friend who needs cheering up, transport it in a pizza box just for fun.
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk the flour, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl until combined.
- Beat the butter, ½ cup granulated sugar and the brown sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla until well combined. Reduce the mixer speed to low. Add the flour mixture and beat until just combined.
- Combine the remaining 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and ½ teaspoon cinnamon in a small bowl. Pat the dough together into a ball. Roll in the cinnamon sugar until well coated, sprinkling the cinnamon sugar on the dough as you go. Put the dough in the center of an unliked baking sheet. Press into an 8-inch round, about ½-inch thick. Sprinkle any remaining cinnamon sugar over the dough.
- Bake until the cookie is cracked in the center and light golden brown around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the pan to a rack and let the cookie cool completely on the pan. Cut into wedges.
Bake these biscuits in a cast-iron skillet for nice color.
Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Biscuits
- 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ cups cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 cup cold buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Using a pastry blender or two forks, but in cold butter until mixture is crumbly. Stir in cold buttermilk until a shaggy dough forms.
- Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Pat dough into a 10-by-8-inch rectangle, and cut into fourths. Stack each piece on top of each other, and pat or roll into a rectangle again. Repeat procedure three more times. Pat or roll dough to ¾-inch thickness. Using a 2 ½-inch round cutter dipped in flour, cut dough. Reroll scraps as necessary, and place on pan. Freeze until cold, about 10 minutes.
- Place biscuits in a 12-inch cast iron skillet. Bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve warm.
We love this recipe from Weelicious. Cut the graham crackers into shapes using your favorite cookie cutters.
Photo Credit: Weelicious
Chocolate Graham Crackers
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup butter, chilled and cubed
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup water
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a food processor or mixer, combine the first seven ingredients. Add butter to the mix and pulse until it resembles coarse meal. Add honey and water, and continue to mix until it all combines.
- Remove and shape the dough into a flat disk, and place between two pieces of parchment paper. Roll dough out until it is ¼-inch thick. Cut into crackers or shapes with cookie cutters.
- Place cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake for 15 minutes. Cool and serve.
OK, this recipe is so easy it’s almost embarrassing. But it’s one that kids will absolutely love to make and eat.
Mini Brownie Bites
Makes 4 dozen
1 package fudge brownie mix (for a 9-by-13-inch size)
48 chocolate kisses
- Prepare brownie mix according to package directions for fudge-like brownies. Fill paper-lined miniature muffin cups two-thirds full.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 18-21 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Immediately top each with a chocolate kiss. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
Natalie Mikles is a mom of three. She writes about food, sharing recipes for busy families and picky eaters. She has been recognized for her food columns as well as features on families and issues affecting local children. She loves pizza and movie nights with her family.