Cookbook Review: Baking Kids Love
I’ve been thinking a lot about cookbooks aimed at kids lately. My 3 kids have been cooking a lot, and I have an extensive collection of cookbooks here at home. My kids cook out of grown-up cookbooks a lot, which I think is good. I have hated every “kids” cookbook my kids have ever gotten their hands on. They’re all full of gimmicky recipes for mediocre food. I am not going to sculpt ghosts out of my kids mashed potatoes so that they’ll eat them. I’m not going to cut letters out of raw sweet potatoes and then roast them (after having thrown away all the non-letter bits). A broccoli floret is not a tree – I don’t get why it would be more appealing it you pretend it is. I guess what I’m trying to say is the majority of these cookbooks focus on presentation and really lack on quality of food, and ease of preparation. So I’ve decided to look around at what’s out there and let my kids take a whack at them. I’ll let you know what we find, what we like and what we hate.
The First Review is Baking Kids Love, which is published by Sur La Table – a cook’s nirvana of a store. One just opened up around the corner from my house and I am both thrilled and frightened at the possibilities.
This is an attractive cookbook, with nice photos of appealing food. Most recipes have one picture of kids cooking the recipe. There is an ingredient list and a tools list on the side, then clear, numbered, step-by-step directions. There are also tips on some recipes . The Secret Ingredient cookies included a tip that the dough could be portioned out and frozen for later use – which my daughter did and loved. The book has inspired my kids to try the recipes with no prompting from me – but then it’s a baking book full of cookies, cakes and pies.
The recipes we have tried include: Secret Ingredient Cookies, Peanut Butter Cookies, Banana Cake, Popovers, Oatmeal Cookies, Freeform Apple Tarte.
All of these recipes were easy enough for a kid to make and yielded delicious results. The Secret Ingredient cookies might be a bit of a challenge without an extra large mixer – the book suggests mixing by hand, which would be a challenge, but do-able. The Peanut Butter Cookie recipe can be made in a Kitchen Aid. My 8 and 5 year olds needed no assistance with the recipes. I wouldn’t say this is much different than an adult’s cookbook: good recipes clearly explained with good pictures. I’d definitely use it myself.