Cooking with Kids : Brownies Hack!

Cooking with Kids is an ongoing series where we share recipes that are easy enough to make with a little kid.  If you’re new to the series, here’s our first post that provides our detailed tips for cooking with little ones; subsequent posts are less detailed, but each contains recipe-specific ideas for working with your little ones in the kitchen.

Ugg, our first Cooking with Kids post was exactly two years ago this month! Look at that wee little two-year-old Alex! I can hardly handle it. I’m also realizing that there have not been nearly enough of these posts, and we really have to get Luc in on the action.

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Putting my nostalgia aside, this post is definitely a hack in the whole Cooking with Kids series. We aren’t making anything from scratch and you may say that we’re barely cooking, BUT I think this simple cooking exercise has some serious independence value for impressionable kids.

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Brownie Backstory : A couple of weeks ago, we accidentally discovered that there’s a big difference in how ingredients are listed on the back of brownie boxes. We are serious fans of Ghirardelli brownies, and always keep an extra box or two in the pantry for emergencies. But Calder, reminiscing about his childhood, picked up a box of Duncan Hines (regular, not fudge, but I’m linking to the fudge. because, fudge). Anyway, when I started to make the brownies with the boys, I was pleasantly surprised by the back of the box.

Rather than just listing the ingredients, Duncan Hines includes pictures of the correct number of eggs that you need, as well as photos of water and oil above the appropriate measurement. Normally, this isn’t a big deal, but if you have a kid that’s learning to follow instructions on his own, this is awesome!

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Alex was able to count the number of eggs needed, and match our measuring cups to the appropriate fractions on the box. So, while he still needs my help to crack the eggs, and while he doesn’t quite grasp the concept of fractions, he just gained a lot of independence when it comes to preparing the brownie batter!

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Next time you’re planning on baking brownies with your young kids, check the back of the box before you buy it. Pick up a box with the photos, and teach them how to interpret those photos, count the eggs, and match up the fractions for measuring out the water and oil… and then, if you walk on the wild side like us, don’t forget to let them lick the bowl!

Happy baking! xo

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