Baking is an inexpensive family activity that provides opportunities for families to share baking traditions, recipes and family heritage that can be handed down through each generation. February is Bake for Family Fun Month, and the Home Baking Association encourages families to spend time together in the kitchen. Enjoy foods from your own kitchen and try some of these recipes from recipe central at https://food.unl.edu/recipe-central. Below are some tips on how to get started.
Baking tips from the Home Baking Association:
- Do some prep work. Prep by reading and trying the recipe first. Add 20 to 30 minutes to explain, show and guide beginners and 15 minutes for intermediates or experienced bakers. Divide it into two sessions if needed, or pre-measure or prepare some steps beforehand.
- Keep it clean. Remember to wash hands and countertops before starting and cleaning up after you’re done. Provide separate towels for hands and dishes and frequently wash pot holders. Aprons or large T-shirts are great for keeping clothes clean during the baking process.
- Take it one step at a time. Read the recipe, gather ingredients, and make sure nothing was left out. When short on time, or working with beginning or young bakers, prepare some steps ahead or do some steps one day and complete the mixing or baking the next.
- Use the right tools. Pour liquids (water, oil, milk, honey, corn syrup) in a clear liquid measuring cup placed on the countertop. Read amount at eye level. Use standard dry measures for dry ingredients (flours, sugar, cocoa, brown sugar, cornmeal). Use measuring spoons for small amounts less than ¼ cup (4 tablespoons).
- Do a safe kitchen checklist. Turn handles of pans toward the center of the stove so sleeves or people passing by won’t catch on them and spill. Keep cupboard doors and drawers closed unless in use. Use only dry hot pads or oven mitts because heat goes through damp mitts. When stirring or checking for doneness, tilt the lid away from you so steam is released away from your face.
- Oven ins and outs. Before preheating, make sure the oven racks are in the right place for the pans and recipe. Preheat the oven as the recipe directs. Place pans in the oven so they do not touch each other or the oven sides. Do not place pans on racks directly below or above another pan. Keep clean, dry oven mitts or pads close by.
- Baking can be a learning experience. Children and adults learn a lot together in the kitchen. The results of cooking or baking together contributes to stronger relationships at home and in groups and children learn time management, team skills, following directions, and problem solving.
- ½ cup butter or margarine, softened
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 1/3 cups old-fashioned oats
- ¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Wash hands with soap and water. Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Break egg into a shallow dish. Wash hands with soap and water after cracking raw egg.
- In a medium-sized bowl, mix together butter, egg and vanilla.
- Add remaining ingredients. Stir together until mixture is well blended. (Note: you may need to use your hands to finish mixing dough.)
- Shape the dough into walnut-sized balls. Wash hands with soap and water after handling raw cookie dough.
- Grease a cookie sheet, placing dough balls 2 inches apart.
- Bake cookies for 11 to 13 minutes. Once done, cool on a wire rack.
Be creative! This is a fun recipe to have kids adapt and create something new. Try adding different types of dried fruit, nuts or flavors of baking chips. Here are a few additional ideas to get you started:
- Peanut butter (½ cup)
- Peanuts (1 cup, chopped)
- Cinnamon (1/4 teaspoon)
- Flaked coconut (½ cup)
- Chopped pecans or walnuts (1/2 cup)
- Serving Size (1 cookie):
- Calories 141
- Total Fat 6g
- Saturated Fat 3.5g
- Sodium 103mg
- Total Carbohydrates 21g
- Fiber 1g
Home Baking Association. 2020. Bake for Family Fun. Accessed at: https://www.homebaking.org/bake-for-family-fun/.
Home Baking Association. 2020. Getting Started. https://www.homebaking.org/getting-started/.
Home Baking Association. Safe Kitchen Checklist. Accessed at: https://www.homebaking.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/2013_safekitchenchecklist-2.pdf.
Home Baking Association. The Thrill of Skill and Ten Tips for Baking Success. Accessed at: https://www.homebaking.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/thrill_ten_steps-2.pdf.