Monday, January 7, 2013

Cooking with Toddlers- Applesauce Bread

I have fond memories of making bread with my mom, way back in the day. She has a great picture of me in an enormous apron with my hands in a giant bowl, covered in flour, with the most serious look on my face. I think I was about three.

Kai will be three on his next birthday, and he loves to cook with me. And Saturday morning Guy decided to clean the entire kitchen before I woke up (husband of the year award? I think so!) so I decided to do some baking with Kai. Because nothing says "cook something" like a clean kitchen.

I first decided to make pear muffins.

Mmm, pears.

After all the pears were eaten, I decided to make butternut squash and applesauce muffins. Butternut squash is yummy too... and all of the muffin tins were in the dishwasher...

So, we ended up making applesauce bread with raisins.

More cinnamon!

Kai's favorite jobs are stirring, pouring, and shaking in the spices. I like my muffins and such on the flavorful side, so I'm pretty happy just handing him the spices and letting him shake away.

Stir, me hearties!
I wish that picture had turned out less blurry, but I love his expression so much that I'm posting it anyway. Note how the kitchen is getting progressively less clean in each picture...

Cooking with Kai is very frustrating and rewarding. Today he was naming all the ingredients as I got them out- he knows the spices, baking soda, baking powder, and he says "Egg! To crack-crack-crack!" But he wants to do more than he's completely capable of just yet, and I have to sneak behind his back to give the ingredients a good mix because he wants to do it All By Himself. He's developing a real sense of care and precision- I had to encourage him to really go for it with the spices. And of course...

Nom, nom, nom

The eating part is so much fun!

Applesauce Muffins/Bread (Adapted from Deceptively Delicious)

1 1/2 cups white whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup ground flaxseed (or just add more oats)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
Cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves to taste

1 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg
2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp vanilla
1/4 cup raisins, soaked in hot water (reserve 1/4 cup of the water)

Preheat the oven to 400 (for muffins) or  350 (for bread).

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix the wet ingredients in a smaller bowl, including the 1/4 cup of raisin water. Mix them together with a minimum of strokes. Pour into a greased 8x8 pan, or 12 muffin tins. Bake until a knife comes out relatively ungoopy- 18-20 minutes for muffins, 40 or so for the bread.

You could add nuts if you were a nut person, but I am not. Nuts in baked goods- Sacrilege!

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