Cooking with kids: hide and seek muffins

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Since Little Bread Dude started showing an interest in cooking, I’ve thought about how cookbooks could be structured to appeal to kids.  Obviously, there would have to be a lot of pictures.  It seemed like an obvious cookbook market expansion area.  After all, Master Chef Junior is such a hit, it seems like there should be cookbooks out there for the pre-reading set.

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I guess I had that thought floating around in my head when I went to a Master Food Volunteers demonstration a few weeks ago.  One of the volunteers was someone I’d met before at another volunteer outreach event; the two of us began talking about kids and cooking since she has a son who is older.

When I asked about cookbooks for kids, she recommended Pretend Soup by Mollie Katzen and Ann Henderson.  I checked it out on Amazon and immediately ordered a copy.

I’ll do a more in-depth review in a later post, but I just want to say: this cookbook is beautifully written and wonderfully executed with pictures, advice, and hilarious kid quotes.

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Then came the waiting.  I knew if I just gave the book to Little Bread Dude, he would like it well enough.  But if he DISCOVERED it on his own, that would make all the difference as to whether it was perused and then set aside, or if it became a bedtime favorite read at night under the covers with a flashlight.

I was not wrong.  It took probably four days for him to discover it on our entryway table, but he was totally hooked once he did.

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I let LBD pick the recipe he wanted to make.  He picked the hide-and-seek strawberry muffins.  We didn’t have strawberries so we used frozen blueberries and blackberries instead.

Most of the steps are illustrated.  He was mostly able to figure them out himself (he did mix up the bag of flour with sugar).

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He was able to do basically all of the steps himself.  I melted the butter, spooned out the batter into the muffin tin, and took the muffins in and out of the oven.  He measured all the other ingredients, did the stirring, set out the muffin liners, and placed the berries on top.  He’s getting better at more complicated measuring techniques, like leveling off the top of the measuring cups when measuring the dry ingredients.

I was so proud of him!  Usually he does not like cracking eggs but he did those too.  The recipe has lots of advice to parents to make it a less stressful experience, such as using the biggest bowl possible so there’s less mess 🙂

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we ended up making some mini muffins with the leftover batter, but by that time LBD had already eaten the leftover berries so they were plain.

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Tasting the muffins required a costume change

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He pronounced them good!  More importantly, he was very proud of himself.  This will be a cookbook I’m sure we’ll pull out again and again.

Hide and Seek Muffins

For 12 muffins, you will need:

1.5 cups flour

1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

2 eggs

4 tablespoons butter, melted

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup frozen or fresh berries

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Line muffin tin with liners.
  2. In a very large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the milk, eggs, melted butter and vanilla.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir 20 times with a spoon.  Decant the batter into the muffin tin until each cup is 1/2 way full.  Add the berries on top.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the top feels solid and a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool 10 minutes before eating.

I highly, highly recommend this cookbook for anyone with a kid who knows, wants to know, or thinks they know their way around a kitchen!

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