**This post has been sponsored by Cook By Colours to bring you this experience. All opinions are 100% our own!**
My husband & I are blessed to be raising our son with our best friends who have a son just 3 weeks younger. We committed to family dinners together on Sunday nights recently, and our ideas of what to do to entertain our two year olds have been lacking. They are usually fully recovered from naptime when we get together, which means they are looking right at the four adults in the room for permission on what they can do for entertainment. This past Sunday night, we got brave and let them help us make dessert after dinner. Normally, this would be a fairly crazy idea with toddlers, but our discovery of the
Cook By Colours cookbook made the process easy(ier) and actually really fun! (Or you can get Cook By Colours here!)
The Cook By Colours cookbook is great for kids who can’t read yet but who are old enough to take on some simple cooking tasks with supervision from Mommy or Daddy. The cookbook comes with a complete set of measuring cups and measuring spoons which are color coded to match up with the illustrated recipes from the book. Instead of using a traditional recipe calling for 1 cup of flour and a forth of a cup of milk, it may say “1 red cup flour and 1 green cup milk.” So easy! This was especially perfect for our boys who are currently learning their colors. (PS – they have MASTERED yellow!) More than just cooking, the cookbook also illustrates to kids how important it is to always start by washing hands and ending with cleaning the counter top.
So, let’s get started! We were planning to have dinner first then prepare a recipe from the book for dessert. We needed something that didn’t take much time, and we didn’t want to shop for the ingredients if we didn’t have to. So, we chose the Peanut Butter Cookies! They only called for 30 minutes and we had every ingredient on the list – so far, so good! After we cleared our dinner plates, we got the boys posted up on the counter and started laying out the ingredients and measuring cups. My lovely best friend also had vibrantly colored mixing bowls, so we spent a couple minutes practicing colors (again… only YELLOW was correctly pointed out, so we have work yet to do).
Time to get messy! To make it a little more fun, I assisted my friend’s son and she assisted mine. We switched off steps with each of the boys, and they each LOVED holding the measurement cup of ingredients and dumping it into the bowl. We did have a dip of a finger into the raw batter and an attempt to eat said raw batter, which resulted in a loud “NOOOOO” from me and a couple of scared tears from my friend’s sweet, sensitive son. (Aunt Megan still feels so bad, J!)
We did make adaptations from the book to suit our toddler assistants and to speed up time to consumption. The first adaptation we made was using a hand mixer instead of spoon to mix the cookie batter. We just thought we would all be sore mixing peanut butter cookies by hand, so we had an adult use the hand mixer, and the kids took turns scraping the sides of the bowl with a spatula between mixes. Also, we all shuddered at the thought of having our two year olds try to help us ball up the cookies by hand (that, coupled with the raw batter consumption attempt… yikes, still so sorry for the freak out J!), so we opted to use a cookie scoop instead. Once all of the cookies were scooped, we pressed the cookies with a fork and put them in the oven. Side note: Toddlers think you are killing the peanut butter cookies when you press them with a fork. Many tears shed over that perceived massacre.
7 minutes of bake time is actually longer than it sounds when you have promised two toddlers cookies all night, so use this time to enjoy a YouTube Dance Party! Our favorites included:
- “Can’t Stop The Feeling” – The Trolls Movie Version
- “Cake” – Flo Rida & 99 Percent
- “24K Magic” – Bruno Mars
- “Sugar” – Maroon 5
- “Shake It Off” – Taylor Swift
DING. Cookies are ready! We let the boys have a couple cookies each, and they were so excited! Ours were really soft, which we all liked, but others may want them to stay in a little longer than the recipe calls. So yummy, and worth it after all 7 minutes of dancing we did! All in all, we had a great time spending the evening with our friends who we really see as extended family. Neither of us have immediate family in town, so nights like these are coveted by all of us. What a unique way to add some extra fun to our family dinner!
Now, if we can just learn more than the color yellow…