Kids in the kitchen
I love to bake and the kids love to help. I also like the fact that as well as having a lot of fun baking, Miss4 is learning at the same time. She is learning science and chemistry by exploring the different textures of the ingredients and what happens when the different ingredients are mixed together and/or cooked. She is learning about measurement and volume and at the same time is gaining confidence and self esteem, by letting her attempt measurements etc herself. Miss4 also enjoys baking as she feels all grown up and just like mum. Baking is also a good time to teach children the importance about hygiene and food prep, which is the first step in our baking process.
Today we decided to try a new recipe –
- 250gm packet malt biscuits
- 125gms butter (melted)
- 1/3-1/2 can sweetened condensed milk
- 125gm licorice allsorts, chopped into small pieces
- Half a cup of coconut (optional)
- 1 and a half cups of icing sugar
- 2 Tblsp cocoa
- 2 tsp melted butter
- 2-3 Tbsp hot water
Crush the biscuits in a food processor (Miss4 enjoyed using a rolling pin to crush the biscuits). Pace crushed biscuits, melted butter, coconut (if using) and sweetened condensed milk into a bowl and mix well. Add licorice allsorts. Press mixture into a 30cm rectangular slice pan and allow to set before icing with chocolate icing. To make icing, combine icing sugar, cocoa, butter and hot water in a bowl and mix until smooth. Spread over slice.
We enjoyed making this recipe as it had an added bonus of being preschooler safe as there was no need to use a hot oven. Miss4 also enjoyed crushing the biscuits with a rolling pin instead of using a food processor. For a smaller child it is useful to use a stool or chair like we did to bring them up to a good height for the bench.
I chopped the licorice allsorts into small pieces as we only had a very sharp pair of kitchen scissors which I wasn’t too keen on letting Miss4 use. However if you think your preschooler is quite capable, or you have some blunt scissors your preschooler could possibly attempt this step.
Miss4 helped to poor the ingredients into the bowl and then mixed the ingredients all together. She then helped to press the mixture into the prepared pan.
Miss4 then placed the slice in the fridge to set. When set Miss4 helped to make the icing by helping to measure the ingredients and mixing it together. She then spread it on the slice and again she had to practice her patient’s skills as we waited a while for this to set.
Once set we cut the slice into pieces. Once daddy arrived home Miss4 was as pleased as punch to show him her achievement and offered him a piece, and as you can see even Big Hugs Elmo Enjoyed his piece of Licorice allsort slice.
In addition to baking and cooking being a great learning experience for your toddler or preschooler, I have also found that if you have a fussy eater, getting them involved with the baking and cooking process increases the likelihood of the child tasting and eating the end product and extending their palate.
This blog was written by Phillipa McNeish for the Kidspot Hasbro Month of Play promotion.
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