Letting kids help out in the kitchen is the first step toward teaching them to cook on their own. One great thing about kids is that they naturally want to help out, especially when the job seems fun and new. Even the smallest of your kids can find jobs to do in cookie baking: dumping ingredients into bowls, smashing down balls of dough, and other simple tasks. If you’ve got school-age kids, they can be equal partners with you when making these five simple, tasty recipes.
The World’s Biggest Cookie
This tasty version of the classic chocolate chip cookie is baked in a pie pan or skillet, making one very large and thick cookie. Serve it warm with ice cream for dessert, and pack small wedges of leftovers as a treat in their school lunches the next day.
1 cup light brown sugar
¾ cup softened unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 egg plus one egg yolk
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups all purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch pie pan with nonstick cooking spray (butter flavored or plain)
- Use a stand mixer or handheld mixer to beat the butter for one minute, then cream in the brown sugar. Mix this on medium speed for one minute.
- Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract. Mix this until it’s all combined.
- Mix together the flour, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt in a separate bowl. Beat the dry ingredients into the wet mixture slowly until completely blended. The dough will be very thick.
- Stir the chocolate chips into the dough until it’s evenly mixed.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until the cookie is golden brown. Allow to cool in the pan.
For extra variety, use milk chocolate chips, cinnamon chips, chopped walnuts, or chopped pecans, substituting them for part of the semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Super-Easy Nutella Brownie Cookies
This recipe makes a small batch, so if you’re watching your kids’ sugar intake, this makes a nice treat without leaving cookies around for days. These soft treats taste like a combination of brownie and cookie, soft and chewy.
1 extra large egg
½ cup + 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup Nutella
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Mix all four ingredients together in a large bowl with a sturdy wooden spoon.
- Have your kids form balls about the size of a walnut, and place them 2 inches apart on the baking sheets
- Bake for 10 minutes, and allow them to cool completely before eating
Cake Mix Cookies
This simple recipe allows kids to choose their own unique cookie flavors. He loves lemon? Check! She’s a butter pecan fan? You can do that, too. The cookie flavor depends only on their imagination.
½ cup vegetable oil
1 15-ounce box cake mix, any flavor
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Measure the oil in a measuring cup and add the eggs on top of it. Stir the mixture with a fork until it’s well blended.
- Pour the dry cake mix into a large bowl. Add the egg/oil mixture and stir with a spatula or wooden spoon until it’s thoroughly mixed. The batter will be stiff and glossy.
- Scoop the dough by tablespoons onto two cookie sheets, placing 12 cookies per sheet
- Bake for 12-14 minutes until they look puffy. They won’t look done when you pull them out of the oven, but they will flatten and firm up once they begin to cool
Be careful not to leave the cookies in the oven too long, because they dry out and get hard very easily when over-baked.
Filled Cookie Cups
Sometimes you want to bake some cookies with your kids, but you don’t want to measure out a ton of ingredients. These fancy-looking cookies look like they took all afternoon to make, but they’re simple enough for even your smallest kids to help with.
1 package cookie mix
Eggs and oil according to cookie mix package list
Miniature peanut butter cups or chocolate-cover caramel rolls
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Mix the cookie dough according to the package directions
- Spray a mini-muffin tin with cooking spray
- Allow your kids to make 1-inch balls of the dough, and drop one into each muffin space
- Bake for 10 minutes and remove immediately. The cookies will look puffy and not quite done.
- Push one unwrapped candy into the center of each cookie. The center will squish down, forming the cookie into a cup shape that cradles the candy
- Allow the cookies to cool completely before removing them from the pan
This recipe is also great for getting rid of dozens of tiny candy bars after Halloween.
Classic Cut Out Cookies
No cookie-baking year with kids would be complete without making and decorating cut out cookies. Between the fun of using cookie cutters to the pure artistic creativity of using frosting and candy decorations, no cookie allows your kids more free expression while making a sweet treat. Plus, this cookie is a natural gift for proud grandparents.
2 ounces room temperature cream cheese
1 cup (two sticks) room temperature unsalted butter
1 large egg
1 cup sugar
½ teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest
3 cups flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper
- Cream together the butter, cream cheese, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl with a hand-held mixer. Beat them for several minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy. Mix in the egg, extracts, and lemon zest.
- Mix together the dry ingredients, then add them to the egg and creamed mixture, one cup at a time, until completely blended. You will be left with a soft dough.
- Divide the dough into two balls, and roll each one out ¼ inch thick between two sheets of parchment paper. Stack the layers together with parchment between them and refrigerate them on a cookie sheet for at least one hour
- Cut cookies out of chilled rolled dough and place on prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 8-12 minutes until lightly brown. Cool on the pan for five minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Frost with commercial frosting or your favorite frosting recipe, and let your kids go wild with the candy decorations
Do your kids enjoy cooking and baking? Find cooking camps and classes on ActivityHero that will help them expand their skills.