Oct 8, 2012

Baking Cookies With Young Children

Welcome back to week 2 of Fall Lessons For Young Children. This week we're making cookies! I had such a picture in my head of sitting down at the table with my two boys and happily making cookies one afternoon. They were going to be having so much fun that they would listen closely and follow instructions well. We were going to have so much fun! Then we actually did embark on making cookies together. Reality... Not always so picturesque. I hope you enjoy our pictures and real behind-the-scenese anecdotes from this experience!

If my children were more familiar with cooking in the kitchen or, perhaps, older, I probably would have chosen a more seasonal flavored cookie recipe such as pumpkin cookies or even just sugar cookies in shapes of acorns, leaves, and squirrels. There is always next year. This year, being it was our first time (read: I was finely brave enough) making cookies together, I decided to try our favorite tried-and-true peanut butter cookies recipe.

Just as a reminder, my three kids are Sean (4), Logan (3), and Ella (2). Some tips to follow before you begin cooking:
  1. Have everyone wash hands.
  2. Discuss basic directions of recipe and safety rules.
  3. Allow kids to help with age-appropriate tasks.

Sean got to scoop the peanut butter into the bowl (pre-measured by me). It was actually a tough (sticky) task and I helped him out some. It was a muti-tasking experience for me as I helped scoop out peanut butter while simultaneously attempting to prevent the other two kids from digging into the other measured out ingredients!
Logan pouring the sugar (pre-measured by me) into the mixing bowl.

Sean got his first lesson in cracking eggs. I asked him to tap it gently on the table and then to dump the egg in the bowl. Even though I was right next to him, part of the egg white got dumped on his pants and we had to pause to clean that up. I think "gentle" was a tough one to figure out for a four year old boy. ☺ We had to dig a few pieces of shell out of the bowl too but, hey, that happens to me too sometimes!

Logan pouring the pre-measured (by me) baking soda into the bowl. At this point I am having to remind him not to taste the peanut butter because there is raw egg in it!
I let Sean help me measure the chocolate chips. I cautiously allowed him to pour about half before we switched and he held the measuring cup while I poured. ☺
Chocolate chip snitching is starting to get bad... Logan got to dump the chocolate chips into the bowl.

Both boys took turns stirring the cookie dough. More taste testing happened despite my trying to explain why they shouldn't. I was extremely distracted by a screaming two year old...
She got a chance to stir too but, due to poor planning on my part, cookie making was going on around dinner-time which meant - even after having a late lunch that day - a very cranky two year old.
About the time I start actually allowing them to touch the dough, things were really getting out of control. Both boys kept wanting to lick their fingers (we're talking completely clean every evidence of cookie dough off their fingers!)! It quickly became apparent that the task of forming the cookies on the tray was going to need to be done by me. Did I mention there was a sneeze by my three year old that probably landed on the bowl of cookie dough? Yeah, I really would've preferred that I didn't know that either. I tried to just forget it. ☺ I finished filling the tray and put it in the preheated oven.

The boys didn't seem to mind that I took over dropping the dough on the cookie sheet. I sent them to wash (in the sink ☺) their licked-clean fingers. After we put away the ingredients and put the dirty dishes in the sink, there was a clamouring of children starring in at the cookies in the oven.

We turned out some surprisingly tasty peanut butter cookies despite one very cranky two year old and two boys who kept trying to eat the raw dough. I think we got about two dozen cookies!
Some tips to make your cookie making go more smoothly than ours:
  1. Don't embark on cookie making at a meal time.
  2. Do offer a snack before hand so taste-testing may (hopefully) be kept at a minimum.
  3. Do keep a wash cloth on hand for a quick clean up of spills.
  4. Don't expect perfection.
Seriously, the kids just enjoy being involved in the process and are super excited to try out the cookies they helped create! Overall, my boys really enjoyed their first cookie making experience!  
I found our favorite peanut butter cookie recipe here at Our Gluten Free Family.
Here is our favorite recipe:
1 c. creamy peanut butter
1 c. organic white sugar
1 egg
1 t. aluminum free baking soda
1/4 c. mini GF/DF chocolate chips (the original recipe calls for 1/2 c. but I cut the amount because these chocolate chips are rather spendy and we enjoy these cookies just as much with the reduced amount!)
We just dump all the ingredients in a bowl together and mix well until combined. Dump in teaspoon fulls onto a parchment-lined cookie tray. Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 10 minutes. Allow to cool for about five minutes on the tray before moving to a cooling rack. Store in an air tight bag or container.
Fall Lessons For Young Children: 1) Leaf Rubbing.
Shared at:
The Chicken ChickPhotobucketHomemakers Challenge
Beautiful Thursdayshttp://www.yourthrivingfamily.com/



  1. Your kids are so cute! It's definitely challenging cooking with little ones, but it makes for such nice memories!! :)

  2. Thanks! I am sure that the more often we cook together and I really take the time to involve them that our experiences will get smoother, LOL! They sure had lots of fun especially when it came time to eat!

  3. So much fun..nice memories!

  4. I can totally relate to this, thanks for having the patience to photograph the experience and for sharing it on the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week!

    I hope we see you back again next Monday!

    The Chicken Chick


Share your thoughts! I'd love to hear from you!