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.
The story of my life with sweets started with an auspicious meeting with Twinkies. I would never presume to create anything as iconic as the original, but these homemade Twinkies are freakin' delicious.
These no-bake chocolate pepita crunch bars are a candy and a brownie all in one. There is no baking, so they are a perfect holiday treat to go along with all the cookies you’ll be trading at your cookie swaps this season.
"Morning, sunshine!" That's what this Peach Rye Cake says to me and what a joyous way to start the day. Sure, it's cake and can be served with ice cream as a dessert too, but the rye and honey evoke more of a morning muffin vibe, so I am suggesting this with a dollop of yogurt to start your day.
The perfect popover is crisp on the outside, tender and airy on the inside and at its very best when served right from the oven. This is a super easy and yet very impressive recipe, that even a first time baker can master and feel like they've made magic. Recipe is from Sarabeth's Good Morning Cookbook.
I've spread Nutella on just about everything, but one of my favorites is freshly baked banana bread. In an "aha! moment" I decided to swirl the nutella right into the batter and bake them together. I'm not claiming to have discovered this combo, but I believe this may be the tastiest pairing ever there was.
These bars from Edd Kimber’s book, One Tin Bakes, are rustic in their beauty, but magnificent in flavor. Plus, they’re super simple to make. This will become a favorite recipe. One you’ll bring to every school function, picnic, family gathering and the treat you snuggle on the couch with.
These are the brownies I made for a care package for my son, Charlie, and his roommates at college. I made four different kinds because each of the boys wanted their favorite brownie. It's an easy way to please a crowd!
What could be better than picking your own apples and making baked goods and applesauce with your bounty? When making applesauce, I like to use a variety of apples, so the sauce has a mix of tart, sweet, firm, and softer apples. It makes the applesauce taste better and have a more interesting texture.
This chocolate microwave mug cake is one of those cakes you’ll rely on when you need to indulge at midnight. Just you, Donna Summer and a crazy-satisfying mug of chocolate cake. I added Caramel-Peanut ice cream to the top, because who eats chocolate cake at midnight without ice cream?
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.
1tbspbaking powderthat seems like a lot, but intentional
1/2cupunsalted buttermelted and slightly cooled
1/2cupgranulated sugarplus more for top of cookies
1/2cuppacked brown sugar
1cupcreamy peanut butterSkippy or something else like it, not natural-style
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).