Whether you’re looking for breakfast ideas before the kids head off to the bus stop, back to school treats to pack in their lunch boxes, after school snacks for kids, or a treat to wrap in a care package for your college student, I’ve got ideas for every palate (yes, even the most persnickety will find something here!).
If you’re looking for a project for your little ones, baking is an excellent way to teach children about math and science, but also about what it takes to make delicious food and how a recipe comes together. My sons love to be in the kitchen—Charlie even had a baking business one summer when he was younger and Henri recently started his own cooking channel on YouTube. I could not be more proud! You can also see me bake with my (very much grown up) sons in my new show, Zoë Bakes on Magnolia Network.
Snacks for Kids
People often use my easy bread recipes from the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day series to bake with kids and it really couldn’t be easier. They will love watching the dough bubble up on the counter as they wait for it to rise before biting into a slice of bread they’ve made themselves. We even have a new book out (available for pre-order now and out just in time for the holidays!) that includes the best of all of our recipes over the years. Put it on your holiday wish list now! It’s called The Best of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.
Cake is another perfect idea for kids, check out my newest book Zoë Bakes Cakes for tons of easy cake ideas kids will love to make with family and friends.
Of course, who can resist a perfect cookie (especially children!)?! Do you remember my lovely friend Sarah Kieffer’s book, 100 Cookies? There are so many delicious recipes in this book that are perfect for baking with kids. Sarah also has a brand new book out now called Baking for the Holidays but the recipes are really great for any time of year. Grab a copy as we head into the holiday season and let your kids help make a plan for cookie swaps and incredible pastries for all your upcoming festivities.
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder that seems like a lot, but intentional
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted and slightly cooled
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar plus more for top of cookies
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter Skippy or something else like it, not natural-style
- 1 egg room temperature
- In a bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the melted butter, sugar, brown sugar, and peanut butter until smooth. Beat in the egg. Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
- Using a 1-inch cookie/ice cream scoop, portion out the cookie dough and line them up on a baking sheet. They can be tightly packed, because you'll be refrigerating them. Once they are chilled you can easily move them apart onto multiple baking sheets. I do this with most of my cookie dough, then I toss the chilled balls of dough into a plastic bag and freeze them. It is a great way to have cookie dough at the ready for a fast onset craving.
- Refrigerate the dough for at least a couple of hours or overnight. Once you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment and position the dough balls on the sheets so they have plenty of room to be smushed down.
- Generously cover the dough balls with sugar.
- Using a glass, smush the cookies until they are about 1/2-inch thick. If the dough is sticking to the glass add more sugar next time.
- Make the crosshatch pattern with the tines of a fork. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes (or up to 12 if you like a crisper version).