As I mentioned in my post about making a recipe book, Em, 7, has just started to become interested in cooking independently. She has long been a great helper in the kitchen and has helped with beating, stirring, breaking eggs (she’s a bit of an expert at this!) and more recently, vegetable peeling and chopping.
She was really keen to try something on her own and we decided that some simple biscuits would be a great starting point. She has quite a few kids’ cookbooks, but I find that for kids starting out, these often contain quite complex recipes that are hard to read and keep track of for beginners.
I remembered I had read an easy recipe on the side of a roll of baking paper and so I fished it out of the cupboard and wrote the recipe down for her on a piece of paper.
I edited it a little, taking out any unnecessary words and putting each step into simple point form. It’s quite a skill to follow a recipe step by step and I just hate the way so many kid’s recipes contain words and steps that aren’t really needed. It just sets kids up for failure and gives them the sense that it’s all too hard. Taking the time to break a recipe down for your child can mean the difference between her completing the task on her own or giving up when it gets too overwhelming.
I edited the recipe so it looked like this:
- 125g unsalted butter
- ½ cup caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tspn vanilla
- 1 ½ cups sifted self-raising flour
- Pinch salt
- Preheat oven 180 C
- Melt butter in saucepan
- Cool slightly, then add sugar
- Beat in egg, vanilla, flour and salt
- Roll dough in walnut-sized pieces and place on tray
- Flatten with fork
- Bake 15 mins
- Ice when cool
It’s the recipe from the “Select Baking Paper” by Woolworths, so thanks Woolies!
I wrote it out in quite large print on an A4 piece of paper so it was easy to read and to follow and got Em started by helping her to melt the butter. I’m not quite confident yet that she can manage hot things safely, but she decided when she thought it was melted enough.
Once the butter was done, I left her to it, but hovered around to be there if she needed anything. She had a few questions, but for the most part, she measured, poured and stirred everything else herself according to what she read in her recipe.
She did a fantastic job practicing reading skills, independence, self-help skills, life skills and problem solving, as well as receiving a strong sense of self-achievement, which is a great boost for her self-esteem.
The biscuits turned out beautifully for a first go. A tasty, home-made treat to share with the whole family. YUM!!