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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Baking, Baking, and More Baking!

We have been busy baking!!!  We even packed my KitchenAid mixer in the car to make the trip to Evanston with us :)  HA HA HA!  Josh did not hesitate in making pretzels as soon as we arrived.  We made plans to hang out with our cousin, Beth, and she asked if I thought Jackson would like to bake while we were over.  Of course he would!!!
Beth pulled out the book Pretend Soup by Mollie Katzen and we made popovers with Jackson!  I have seen this book before, but never appreciated the special tips it includes for cooking/baking with toddlers!  The first thing Jackson did was use a pastry brush to "paint" the cups in a muffin tin with melted butter.
The milk jug was heavy, so Beth helped support it, but by placing a measuring cup IN a wide, shallow container Jackson was able to do most of the pouring since the mess would be contained.
We used the same technique for the flour and put the whole bag of flour in the dish.
Beth showed Jackson how to level off the measuring cup with a knife.  The book also showed a good technique for cracking eggs on a more independent level.  Jackson had a BLAST!  Each recipe in the book is written in pictures so Jackson could check to see what the next step was.  This book would make an excellent gift with an apron, cooking supplies, or baking mixes!
This past Sunday was a baking marathon at Mimi and Bampa's house!  We had hoped to head into the city to the Field Museum, but then we remembered there was a Bears' game, and that just didn't sound fun to fight all the traffic and parking issues...  So, we baked!  We started with Better than Crack Brownies, which turned out AMAZING!  I had been eyeing this recipe on Pinterest for a few weeks, and I thought it was the perfect thing to bake to take to the Cocallases when we went for dinner the next night!  I think the key is purposely under-cooking the brownies a bit so they are really gooey...
Next we made more pretzels, this time doing half kosher salt and half cinnamon sugar--excellent decision!  Then we made Cinnamon Chip Scones with chocolate chips instead of cinnamon chips :)
After he was finished being my helper, Jackson turned down his apron, put on his shades, and had a little dance party to some Christmas music--isn't he hilarious looking???

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