Summer vacation. For most, it probably means that the kids are home more than they are usually, but not in my case, as my kids are with me at home year round. But what summer vacation does mean is their friends are home, and it's a little too hot to play outside in the middle of the day. So the kids get together with their friends, and as parents, we look for fun things for the kids to do indoors with their playdates. Today, we decided to make cookies. I'd originally considered making chewy chocolate chip cookies, but, as luck would have it, we were completely out of chocolate chips, so that was a no go.
Instead, I decided to make lemon poppy seed cookies with the kids, as it had only ingredients that I had in the house. I made a whole activity out of it, not just having them make the cookies, but actually figuring out the recipe.
None of the kids could read, but I wanted them to start learning how to understand and follow a recipe. (Mike can't cook; I want my kids to inherit my kitchen skills.)
On a whiteboard, I drew this recipe in a way that kids could follow along (with only a bit of help from an adult). For example, instead of writing "2 cups" I drew two cups next to a picture of the ingredient. For teaspoons I drew little spoons, and for tablespoons I drew big spoons. For 3/4 of a cup, I drew a cup and divided it into 4, and filled in three of those parts.
This way, the activity lasted a little longer, and was more educational than if I had just told them what to measure. And the kids got a kick out of figuring out the recipe for themselves.
This recipe is a terrific one because it is egg free and vegan, can be made either with gluten or gluten free, and is very easy and quick to make.
1 cup sunflower oil or coconut oil or any mildly flavored oil2 cup sugar
3 tablespoon lemon zest
3/4 cup water
4 1/2 cups gluten free all purpose flour mix or 4 cups whole wheat or all purpose flour
3 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoon poppy seeds
1. Mix the oil and sugar.
2. Add the lemon zest and water. Mix.
3. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix.
4. Add the poppy seeds. Mix.
5. Put little balls of dough onto a lined cookie sheet. These cookies don't really melt or spread much during cooking, so shape them into nice looking cookies.
6. Bake in a preheated to 350 oven for 9-11 minutes, or until they just start browning a drop on the bottom. If you cook them too long, they'll become rock hard, so watch them carefully.
7. Eat once they cool off.
Do you bake or cook much with your kids? Do you usually tell them what to put in, or do you have them figure it out themselves?
Ever had lemon poppy seed cookies before? Does this look like something you'd try out?