While it may get a little messy, getting the whole family involved with baking is a great way to spend quality time together and make a thoughtful, homemade gift that shows how much you all care. Here, Alliance Online, leading suppliers of catering and kitchen equipment, share the top treats you can make with the kids.
One of the most useful, reliable recipes to go for when cooking with your children is the classic traybake. Both making the mixture and assembling the final product is simpler and more fail-safe than the more complex recipes out there, which can help you have a much calmer cooking experience and (hopefully) less mess!
The other great thing about tray bakes is the variety available. From brownies and American-style sheet cakes to traditional flapjacks and indulgent rocky road, there's a recipe to suit everyone. If you love chocolate, then a gooey brownie recipe with an added twist like salted caramel, coconut, or marbled with white chocolate is the perfect treat. Or, if you want it to be fruity, go for a batch of chewy flapjack packed with raspberries, nuts, and honey.
What's more, if the kids want to get creative with their baking, then a simple chocolate or vanilla sheet cake takes little time to whip up and bake. Once cooled they can let loose with the icing, mini marshmallows, sprinkles, and even edible glitter.
Particularly useful for any impatient little chefs, no-bake desserts are a great way to start introducing your kids to the kitchen. Not only this, but these recipes can reduce the risk of any burns or injuries from a hot oven by keeping things in the safer realm of the fridge (or freezer).
One of the most popular no-bake desserts is a classic cheesecake, so if you love these light, creamy desserts there's a whole host of recipes to choose from. However, other recipes can range from tarts, trifles, or even a dessert 'lasagne' layered with digestive biscuits, Oreos, cream cheese, and cherry jam. Let your imaginations run wild!
Generally, cheesecakes and tarts only require a handful of ingredients but if you're feeling particularly adventurous, they can be made as complicated or elaborate as you choose: think timeless flavours like zesty lemon, summer berries, or sweet milk chocolate. The kids will no doubt love bashing biscuits with a rolling pin to make the crumbly cheesecake base (just be sure to supervise this part).
Biscuits and cupcakes
It’s no secret that the best part of baking is decoration. Their relatively simple recipes mean that cupcakes and biscuits act as the perfect canvas for children to get creative and make something unique. Be sure to stock up on buttercream, food colouring, and extra finishing touches like icing flowers. You could even make the cakes and biscuits yourself and set up a decorating station for the kids to do the fun part.
Investing in a good set of cookie cutters can help your kids make fun shapes much more easily. Heart-shaped biscuits — made with a plain shortbread or a mild vanilla biscuit — can look particularly impressive when coated in melted chocolate, while still being a relatively simple recipe. Dip the biscuits halfway into the melted chocolate and then into desiccated coconut or rainbow sprinkles for a final flourish.