Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Two Boys and a Gourmet Girl

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Emily invited me to come over and teach her boys how to bake. Emily and I have known each for a few years and have even travelled to India together. There is nothing like an international trip to make you bond with another person, especially when you experience squatty potties together.

Her boys, Will and Jack, were already familiar around the kitchen and they came prepared with aprons, a chef's hat and a Star Wars spatula. What more do you need, right?

There is just something about a kid in an apron that makes me weak in the knees.

On the agenda were Monster Cookies and chocolate-dipped Oreo pops with sprinkles. Sprinkles make everything better, except vacuuming.

We first tackled the Monster Cookies, making them from scratch. These boys dove right in! They measured, scooped, dipped and stirred. They asked fantastic questions like "How many teaspoons are in a tablespoon?" and "Can I eat whatever chocolate chips are left over?"

I replied with "four (which I later realized was three)" and "of course you can, just as long as you share with me." Hey, chocolate chips are my favorite food group. I have a hard time parting with them.

Once the dough was thoroughly mixed and tasted, we began scooping. Will was very precise with his measuring, making sure each cookie was about the same size. I made sure they were spaced evenly apart so he didn't end up with one ginormous cookie. Which, you know, would still be delicious.

Jack, on the other hand, decided that one ginormous cookie was the way to go. You can see his in the picture above.  All you need is one or two more of those and you have lunch.

To top it off, Jack sprinkled sunflower seeds all over his big cookie. That kid is after my own salty/sweet heart.

After those were in the oven, we brought out the Oreos. I wanted to show them that you can take something already baked and make it even better.

But here is where things began to fall apart.

First, the pop sticks we used caused the Oreos to break apart.

Next, the food coloring I used to color the white almond bark caused it to freeze up, leaving us with huge chunks of chocolate gunk. Not ideal for consumption, let alone dipping.

Thankfully, some of the white chocolate had been set aside and the boys just rolled with it and dipped their Oreos by hand, using copious amounts of sprinkles to finish them off. Emily, in all of her culinary genius, had yellow dipping chocolate and melted it down to help cover the rest of the Oreos.

As much as I wanted this lesson to be flawless, and the perfectionist in me was secretly crying inside, this was an excellent example of how baking does not always turn out perfectly. It is a work in progress. And even a messy cookie can still be a delicious one.

I think Jude liked them, but the jury is still out.

Overall, these kids blew me away by their questions, attention to detail and love for all things butter and sugar. And I loved hanging out with them! There is nothing more fun than to see kids enjoy being in the kitchen and wanting to learn something new. I was totally impressed.

Bravo, boys! I think you're ready for your own TV show. 


  1. Oh Sarah, you have just summed up all three of my dear nephews and their distinct personalities in one amazing blog post. Can't help but love those guys. They told me they had a blast cooking with you! You are awesome :)

    1. Gretchen,
      Those boys were so much fun!! Seriously, I just laughed all the time. Being an aunt is a pretty good gig, especially to those three. :)

  2. Those kids are so precious! You are an awesome teacher, sis!


    The Seester