By: Shannon Shull
As one of our fun Easter activities together this year, my li’l angels and I had some sugary fun in the kitchen! We brought out a cookbook that I had bought years ago, which inspired us to want to get creative with some sweets. If you ever get the chance to check out this particular recipe book by Karen Tack & Alan Richardson, you will see why it’s called “Cupcakes, Cookies & Pie, Oh, My!” This book of super cool baking creations is from the creators of the New York Times bestseller “Hello, Cupcake!” I think the pictures alone in this book are enough to spark anyone’s interest and capture your imagination! Leading up to our special baking “date,” the kids and I scoured over the cookbook choosing our favorite recipes that we wanted to try out. My daughter made a list of each of our favorites and we voted in order to decide what we wanted to create on our day of baking and making artistic desserts.
I also came across a really cute creation on http://www.JustaPinch.com and had saved a picture of this Kit Kat dessert creation called Redneck Piggy Pool. My 7 yr old son, Sawyer, absolutely loves Kit Kats! So, I saved the picture on my desktop for a couple of months knowing I eventually wanted to attempt this one. A recipe with Kit Kats was the main enticement that helped me to get my son to actually participate and join us in the kitchen! When it was time for the Kit Kat dessert making, my son was in the kitchen in a flash ready to play and, of course, sample along the way! And now, because I couldn’t get my hands on any fondant (much less had a clue at first what it was!), instead of making little piggies to go in our mud bath, we put pink Peeps in our chocolate puddin’, Kit Kat fenced in, mud bath! We all thought our little ‘Peep show’ creation was very appropriate here at Easter time! 😉
Naturally, my creative 9-year-old girl, Mina, loved every bit of the baking and creating. In fact, the child is quite the artist in her own right, and I must admit, her creations were WAY better than mine! She’s got quite the knack, so we will certainly make sure to do more of this kitchen fun in the future so she can really tap into her artistic baking talents.
A big thanks goes to my mother, my babies’ grandmother, a.k.a. “MamaMe,” who opened up her kitchen and aided us in our fun quest to produce some of these neat treats. We destroyed her newly remodeled, lovely kitchen! Cupcake and brownie crumbs, chocolate, loads of different colored sprinkles, M & M’s, and several different flavors and colors of icing were not only all over the counter tops, but were spilled and splattered on the floor and cabinets! Fortunately, my precious Mama was so excited to have us there playing with her for the day that she didn’t mind the mess one bit! Thankfully, we escaped with only one kitchen injury (I burned my finger from accidentally touching an incredibly hot cupcake pan), and we made out pretty darn well, had a blast, and ended up very proud of our artistic baked creations.
I of course, was overly ambitious in my plans to make lots of cool, culinary creations and discovered that baking – especially baking with children – takes more time than you ever plan for. So we ended up accomplishing only two of the many recipes we’d chosen, but that’s ok! As you’ll see, our edible art did not come out quite as professional and fancy as the pictures in the book, but we learned several lessons and discovered the importance of specific ingredients and baking tools! And for a first go at it, I’d say our artistic sweet treats turned out pretty darn cool lookin’!