What do you get when you cross 8 boys, four cookie recipes, 40 minutes work time and the third last day of school? If you were thinking “complete chaos”, you would be wrong. This week my Petits Chefs baked four different types of cookies in under 40 minutes (then spent the next 20 minutes while the cookies baked and cooled cleaning up the lab, learning how to stack the dishwasher and talking other groups through the recipe they prepared). When they were baked they took home a selection of each type of cookie (as shown above) although I can’t guarantee how many of them actually made it home with the boys!
I always question my sanity when I undertake projects like this (hello, there was one full day of school left!), but it was the boys’ choice. I asked them what they wanted to do in the last week of cooking club and they said a cookie swap. I told them we could do that as long as they baked the cookies as well. You’ve never seen such motivation to eek out the last piece of dough as boys faced with bringing less cookies if they waste the dough!
I was fortunate to have the help of my amazing assistant, Emily, as well as the fabulous @Adell Shneer (who’s worked with the boys on many occasions!) who came along to help and also gave the boys some of her own beautifully decorated cookies to add to their collection!
So, what did we make? First up, the Spéculoos (a gingerbread-y type cookie that’s popular in Europe and often served with coffee in cafés) that didn’t make it into In the French kitchen with kids (too many recipes, not enough pages…). I love this recipe and it’s so easy and tasty – I’ll be posting the recipe here soon!
Something’s going on with the dough here – it’s normally not this crackly when it’s initially rolled out. The boys managed pretty well (I didn’t really have time to troubleshoot!). And they turned out really well (and were gobbled up!)
I wanted something chocolatey and easy so Dinner with Julie’s Chocolava Cookies seemed like the right thing to make!
But they also turned out wonderfully – not too sweet, but rich and chocolatey!
The last recipe I chose to make was something colourful – Smitten Kitchen’s Confetti Cookies. The boys LOVED making these!
Was there a lot of mess to clean up? Yes! Were there sprinkles all over the floor? Yes! Did we need a lesson in correctly packing the dishwasher? Yes! Did some boys sneak tastes of the raw cookie dough? Yes! Was I exhausted at the end? Yes! Was it worth it? Yes!
Happy Holidays – I hope you get to bake with kids sometime soon – it will definitely bring a smile to your face!
MY BOOK! In the French kitchen with kids is out now! Click here for details and how to order!