It’s rare that I’m in the kitchen and little daughter is not. Since Nick built Josephine’s learning tower around her first birthday, she loves nothing more than to be up at counter level and in on all the action. The kitchen is the heart of the home and all that.
She watches everything we do from this height, and she’s learned many skills this way. She practices cutting with her little knife and cutting board from Nana. She opens Mama’s tea bag and puts it in the mug. She pours water with a tiny pitcher. She loves to mix (within the limits of how much mess Mama can tolerate). And she’s gotten quite good at opening up an egg. All of this through lots of practice.
Which brings us to baking! I adore baking–infinitely more than cooking–and it’s been so fun to have an accomplice. At eighteen months, I’m already grateful for how much she loves “helping me” in the kitchen (in quotes for two reasons: the first is obvious–sometimes it’s less helping and more practicing patience; the second is this is what she really says rather than “helping you”. Love the process of learning pronouns!). I hope this bodes well for lots of baking time together over the years.
We currently bake together several times a week. Generally once during the week and on Saturday mornings we whip up pancakes or waffles together. I measure; she pours. I crack; she opens. I whisk; she stirs. I pour; she “sees”. We make a good team in the kitchen and baking teaches many things: Measuring and math. Practicing patience. Cleaning up. Following directions. Learning new skills. All the things. And at the end, you have a delicious treat to enjoy together!
We love healthier eating around these parts, so I adapted the Joy of Cooking peanut butter cookies this week when daughter requested “tookies!”. Here’s our version if you’re inspired to bake some treats with your kiddos (or the neighbor’s kiddos or grandkids or you know, any fun young apprentice you can entice into the kitchen).
Elizabeth & Josephine’s Peanut Butter Cookies
(adapted from Joy of Cooking)
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 cup of peanut butter (this one is my favorite)
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
3/4 cup almond flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup hazelnut flour (you can really use any combo of flours, but this what I found worked best)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Mix it all together. Then roll it into balls (recommended 1 inch, but we prefer fewer larger cookies) and put on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Press with a fork in a perpendicular pattern to make the classic peanut butter cookie design. Bake at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes–until golden brown. Enjoy when they’ve cooled enough!