Kids’ Whimsical Cooking: Apple Cake

maggie faith 1st grade photoMy name is Magnolia. I’m Addie’s sister. I am 6 years old. I helped my nana make an Apple Cake.

I like that it smelled good. My favorite smell was the cinnamon. I liked that I could mix it with my hands. I washed them first so they were clean. I licked the bowl clean. It tasted really yummy.

I think this would be a good project for kids to do with their grandmas or their moms or dads.

I hope you like my recipe.



First, peel the apples…

peeling apples


Then pour in the ingredients….

pour sugar


Mix (I used my clean hands)

Mixing with hands

Don’t forget to lick the spoon…..

licking the spoon


Apple Cake

2 c. flour
2 c. sugar
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1 c. shopped walnuts
1 c. vegetable oil
2 t. vanilla
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 c. brandy
4 c. chopped apples (peeled)

Mix all ingredients and press into a greased 9 x 11 baking dish. Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until center bounces back when touched. Serve with a dollop of fresh whipped cream.

Nana’s Notes: I have offered this recipe before, but it’s worth repeating. It is quite an easy recipe for kids with adult supervision. Magnolia was envious of her sister Addie always being featured in my Kids’ Whimsical Cooking feature, so voila! My little protege.

Kids’ Whimsical Cooking: Fresh Summer Guacamole

Addie and guacNow that it is summer time, I try to make snacks that include fresh fruits and vegetables. This time I made guacamole. Guacamole is a fast nutritious snack that can be made in less than 10 minutes. Today I made a big batch of guacamole that I will share with my family later tonight as part of dinner. I encourage you to try making guacamole sometime with your family. — Addie



guac ingredients

Homemade Guacamole


2-3 ripe avocados

Juice of one fresh lime

¼ c. salsa, or to taste

½-1 tsp. garlic salt

4-5 shakes of hot sauce, or to taste

Tortilla chips


Cut avocados in half, remove the pit, and scoop into a bowl. Mix in all of the ingredients (except for the tortilla chips), and mash together with a fork until fairly smooth.

Enjoy with tortilla chips.


Nana’s Notes: Homemade guacamole can be “doctored up” any way you want. I like to add jalapeno and cilantro to mine. Look for nice ripe — but not too ripe — avocados, and enjoy this healthy snack.

Kids Whimsical Cooking: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Addie cookiesHello everyone. Its been a while. I’ve got a new and exciting recipe for you all… peanut butter cookie bowls filled with mini Reese’s peanut butter cups. These  small little snacks both look and taste delicious. I would use them for party desserts. I hope you get a chance to make these irresistible treats. – Addie

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies, courtesy Ree Drummond, Food Network



One 16.5-oz. package refrigerated peanut butter cookie dough

1 bag of 24 miniature chocolate peanut butter cups

Special equipment: mini muffin pan


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Slice the cookie dough into 1-in thick slices, then into quarters. Place one quarter into each cup of a greased mini muffin pan. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes.

While the dough is still warm, push a peanut butter cup into each muffincup and let cool in the pan.

When the cookies are cool, use a spoon to remove them.

L-R: Alastair's friend Tate, Alastair, Magnolia, Dagny, Addie, Addie's friend Fiona, all helped make the delicious cookies.

L-R: Alastair’s friend Tate, Alastair, Magnolia, Dagny, Addie, Addie’s friend Fiona, all helped make the delicious cookies.

Nana’s Notes: I watched The Pioneer Woman program on Food Network when Ree Drummond made these delicious cookies. She said she has made them using peanut butter cookie dough from scratch, and her family doesn’t like them as well. These cookies can be made using any kind of cookie dough paired with any kind of small candy, i.e. sugar cookie dough with chocolate kisses or chocolate chip cookie dough with Rolos, and so forth. Also, on her Pioneer Woman web site, she suggests you not bake them the full 9 minutes, but instead pull them out just as soon as they begin to brown, about 6 or 7 minutes, and immediately insert the candy. Let them cool in the muffin pan. The candy turns soft and gooey. Yum.

Kids’ Whimsical Cooking: "Snow" Made Ice Cream

Hey this is Addie and I made Snow Made Ice Cream. This is a great sweet snack that looks, tastes, and smells like regular ice cream. As long as you keep stirring and chilling, your treat will turn out right.

This snack only works if you have snow. Half and half, sugar, vanilla, and snow are the essential ingredients to the mix. (You may use candy to flavor up your ice cream.) I am sure you have those ingredients in you cabinets. I hope you try making this fun snack.

Snow Made Ice Cream

3 c. loose clean snow
2 T milk or half and half
1/4 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla extract

Mix all the ingredients and adjust sugar and vanilla as needed. Continue to stir until mixture resembles ice cream.

Nana’s Notes: Not to be too nitpicky, but I’m guessing you probably don’t have fresh snow in your cabinets as Addie suggests you might. The rest of the ingredients are likely there. While this is not technically a holiday treat, it is certainly a winter treat. My grandkids absolutely LOVE to make this ice cream. Supervise the collection of the snow as smaller kids can include leaves in with the snow. Make sure they are not using yellow snow! Addie added chocolate chips and toffee chips to her treat.

And hey! I haven’t heard from a single person. Can’t have a cookie exchange without the exchange. Send me your faves.

Kids’ Whimsical Cooking: Flourless Deep Dark Chocolate Cookies

Hey everyone, this is Addie. I just made deep dark chocolate cookies. These are a great snack and dessert for everyone. They also are gluten free. Actually the reason I made these cookies is because my aunts from Vermont are coming for Thanksgiving and one of them is gluten free. The last part is fun and messy when you roll the sticky dough into balls. The only ingredient you may not have is chocolate chips. I hope you will try making these as well as some of my other recipes.


Deep Dark Chocolate Cookies adapted from the Divine Baker

cooking spray
1-1/2 c. bittersweet chocolate chips
3 large egg whites, room temperature
2 c. powdered sugar, divided (plus 1/2 c. for cookie coating)
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 T. cornstarch
1/4 t. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2 large baking sheets with nonstick spray. Set aside.

Melt 1 c. chocolate chips in glass bowl in microwave, stirring frequently, about 2 min. Set aside and let it cool slightly.

Using electric mixer, beat whites in large bowl to soft peaks. Gradually beat in 1 c. powdered sugar. Continue beating until mixture resembles soft marshmallow cream.

Whisk 1 c. sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Then, on a low speed, add these dry ingredients into the marshmallow cream mixture.

Next, add remaining 1/2 c. chocolate chips to lukewarm chocolate mixture (dough will become very stiff).

Add chocolate mixture to cream mixture and blend well. Place remaining 1/2 c. powdered sugar in bowl. Roll 1 rounded tablespoon dough into ball; roll in sugar, coating thickly. Place on prepared sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until puffed and tops crack, about 10 min. Cool on sheets 10 minutes, then transfer to rack.

Nana’s Notes: The cookies really are very good, light and chewy. I didn’t have bittersweet chocolate chips on hand, so we used semisweet, and they were delicious. This particular recipe required a bit more adult supervision because of the egg whites. Still, easy enough!

Kids’ Whimsical Cooking: Snickerdoodles

Hello, this is Addie and I just made snickerdoodle cookies. They are a great snack to enjoy. The only ingredient that may not be in your pantry is cream of tartar. Everyone that has tasted my snickerdoodles has to have another.

I have used these delicious treats for fundraisers, dinner parties, and more. They are fairly inexpensive and take less than an hour to make from start to finish. Also, it is a fun activity to pass the time you would otherwise be using sitting in front of a screen.

I hope you get a chance to make these wonderful cookies. Have fun cooking.

Snickerdoodles from Betty Crocker

1-1/2 c. sugar
½ c. butter, softened
½ c. shortening
2 eggs
2-3/4 c. all-purpose flour
2 t. cream of tartar
1 t. baking soda
¼ t. salt
¼ c. sugar
2 t. ground cinnamon

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix 1-1/2 c. sugar, the butter, shortening and eggs in a large bowl. Stir in flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt.

Shape dough into 1-1/4 in. balls. Mix ¼ c. sugar and the cinnamon. Roll balls in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8 – 10 min. or until set. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack to cool.

Nana’s Notes: You might laugh when you read that Addie serves snickerdoodles at dinner parties, but she has, in fact, hosted two formal dinner parties. She invites all the kids in her fifth grade class to her house. They dress up — boys in ties; girls in pretty dresses. Addie’s brother and two sisters act as wait staff and Addie (with the help of her mom and dad) has prepared dinner. This time she made steak (which her dad grilled), pasta, a fruit salad, potatoes, and pumpkin pie and snickerdoodles for dessert. Last Friday’s dinner party included 20, mostly boys!

Also, a note about snickerdoodles. My brother is a professional baker. Even he is getting excited about my blog! He phoned me earlier this week when he heard I was presenting cookie recipes and gave me this suggestion for snickerdoodles. Add a little cinnamon to the batter to give the cookie a bit of a surprise cinnamon taste. He also suggested making a buttercream, to which you would add a bit of cinnamon, and use it as a filling between two cookies. Snickerdoodle Sandwich Cookies. Yum.

Kids’ Whimsical Cooking: Banana Bread

Hi this is Addie and I wanted to tell you about my latest recipe… BANANA BREAD. Banana bread is a great snack especially during this time of year. Banana bread is a fun snack to make and I always enjoy taste testing to make sure my work is not poison. Banana bread is not expensive to make and tastes delicious.




I enjoy giving people my work of art as gifts. This time a few slices will be going to my teacher and maybe I will get a good grade out of it.

Hope you like my recipe.

Easy Banana Bread

1 yellow cake mix
2 eggs
3-4 overripe bananas
½ – 1 c. chococlate chips

Smash bananas in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour into a loaf pan that has been greased and floured. Bake at 350 for 40 min. to an hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

From, via Pinterest

Nana’s note: This recipe cries out to be made by kids, but is also a simple way for adults to use bananas without having to go to the trouble of making a scratch recipe. The recipe calls for 1/2 – 1 c. of chocolate chips. I suggested a half a cup, and Addie looked at me like I had grown a second head. Her quote: “If it were up to me, I would put in a cup-and-a-half.” Personally, I would put in a half a cup so that the banana flavor isn’t overwhelmed, but it’s up to your individual tastes. The recipe is so easy, with only the four ingredients. It makes a great dessert for the kids’ lunchbags.

Kids’ Whimsical Cooking: Play Dough

Hi this is Addie. Today I will tell you about making play dough. Making play dough is a simple and exciting way to have fun. I think the reason you should make play dough instead of buying it is because depending on the ingredients you use it could be cheaper. Some play dough recipes only involve household items such as water and flour. Kneading the dough is fun for kids especially kids 4-8. I liked the experience of making play dough and I think you should try it too.

Homemade Play Dough

2 c. all purpose flour
2 t. vegetable oil
½ c. salt
2 T. cream of tartar
1-1/2 c. boiling water (adding more in increments if needed)
Food coloring (optional)
Few drops glycerine (optional, add mores shine)

Mix the flour, salt, cream of tartar and oil in a large mixing bowl. Add the boiling water. Stir continuously until it becomes a sticky, combined dough. Add the food coloring and glycerine. (I cut it into several sections so I could make different colored dough.) Allow it to cool down, then take it out of the bowl and knead it vigorously until the stickiness has gone. You might have to add more flour. This is the most important part of the process, so keep at it until it’s the perfect consistency.

Now play, play, play!

Notes from Nana: I’m not sure that you save a whole lot of money by making your own play dough, but it really is a lot of fun. I happen to like to make bread (though I’m not good at it, but that’s a blog for another time). Part of what I like about bread baking is the kneading process. I love the feel of the dough on my fingers, and I love how it goes from a mass of powdery floury mess into a soft, elastic dough. Making play dough allows kids to have that feeling. And what is more fun than playing with a floury mess? The kids can choose their colors and watch the dough take shape.

Two other notes: It seems to me that it ends up taking significantly more flour than originally called for, so don’t worry if that’s the case for you. Also, I never use the glycerine, though Addie tells me it is prettier if you do so. I don’t even know where to buy glycerine to be frank. I think it’s pretty without it.

Have fun and enjoy watching the kids make a mess!

Kids’ Whimsical Cooking

My mother didn’t teach me to cook.

Don’t get me wrong. My mom was a very good cook. She just didn’t teach me to cook, or my siblings either. She probably thought it was simply easier to do it herself. She prepared the meals; we did other things. As a result, I was a terrible cook when I first got married. Rice that could have doubled for wallpaper paste. A pie crust that was so hard to roll out that I ended up throwing it on the floor. You get the picture.

As the years went by, I must have learned through simply watching Mom how to do some cooking. I got better as time went on. Now I hardly ever throw a pie crust on the floor.

My 10-year-old granddaughter Addie likes to cook. She has liked to cook since she was a really small girl. She has a patient mommy who has allowed her to cook, and who has taught her a thing or two about cooking!

As I continue with this blog, I thought it would be fun to give Addie the chance to blog on occasion as well. She can talk about cooking from a 10-year-old’s perspective. As part of the process, Addie cooked dinner last night, and man! it was delicious.

Here is her first post:

Hi my name is Adelaide Grace McLain (I go by Addie for short). I am 10 years old and I will be doing blog posts about kids cooking on this blog. I have a passion for cooking and that is why my nana (the one who owns this blog) asked me to share my recipes. I have 3 siblings and so my family is a total of six. My favorite color is yellow and my favorite food is mango. I would have to say that my best dish is fettuccini alfredo which is coincidentally my first blog recipe.

I started cooking when I was about 6 years old. My mom was cooking fettuccini alfredo and I said, “Can you teach me how to cook?” After that, I started making breakfast for my siblings many mornings and coffee for my parents that I would bring up to them in bed.

I hope you like my blog posts.

Fettuccini Alfredo

1 stick of butter
¾ of a pint of cream
Enough Parmesan cheese to make the sauce thick.

Melt the butter in a sauce pan. Add the cream to the butter, stirring the whole time. Add the Parmesan cheese until the sauce is thick (probably around ¾ – 1 c. of cheese). This is what it should look like:

Cook your pasta, and pour the sauce on top.