Saturday, January 23, 2010

Mummy, Do Cookies Grow on Trees?

My younger boy, who is five, watched Tiger and Pooh some days ago. The episode was very entertaining and had the usual learning ideas that children should take away.

I can’t remember the exact details now, but Tiger found chocolate cookies ‘growing’ on an oak tree in the 100 acre wood and so everyone thought that the best way to have more cookies was to take one from that tree and plant it. And after some time, everybody should get their very own chocolate cookie tree!

Yesterday, as I was sending my son to school, he asked about cookies and how wonderful if he could have a chocolate cookie tree. He loves chocolate and suggested planting a cookie tree!

This gave me an idea that he should learn where cookies come from. It was about time I showed him and maybe along the way, he’ll learn a thing or two.

Here’s what I did:

1. Look for a simple chocolate chip cookie recipe

2. Next build a shopping list and go shopping for the ingredients

3. Start baking

4. While baking I showed my little one where flour comes from and salt and sugar and chocolate. If possible you either have your computer and the internet handy or prepare pictures beforehand. For older children (6 and above), slip in where the ingredients come from and how it gets here

This will take a bit of effort, a little homework on our part and also because he is not going to believe you immediately when you say that flour comes from wheat and sugar comes from sugar cane and so on.

Here’s a simple family recipe for chocolate chip cookies (I try to keep the recipes simple if the agenda is to teach my kids during that cooking time):

Shopping List

1 3/4 cups flour, 1/4 tsp salt, 3/4 tsp baking soda, 3/4 cups unsalted butter or margarine, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1 egg, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 1/2cups chocolate chips (or more if you like) and of course one last ingredient which you can’t get from the store is lots of hugs and kisses.

You should get about 30 cookies from this recipe.


Preheat oven to 375F

Place the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in a large bowl and beat until combined. Add egg and vanilla to the butter mixture and beat. In a smaller bowl, combine flour, salt and baking soda. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture little at a time. (during this time, chat your kids). Get your kids to stir in the chocolate chips. Mold the cookies onto the cooking sheet. Let your kids enjoy this with their little hands – it will be their creation. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes 10. And of course, great time to tidy up and for kids to understand this part too and sharing the responsibility.

Teaching Kids Where Cookies Come From while Cooking is the Best Way to Teach Kids, Dont you think? And you get to eat your product too!

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