Do you remember Easy Bake Ovens? They still make them, though I don’t know if they still are pink or have pink trim (they probably do). My son wanted one for Christmas/Hannukah last year, and I said, “No, Hon.” But not because it is marketed as a “girl toy”. It’s because we have a really great Cuisinart toaster oven with convection feature and “we don’t need no stinkin’ Easy Bake Oven” that probably has a light bulb to bake miniature cakes!
Instead we gave him this bake set I got a long time ago at FAO Schwarz when he was a baby and had completely forgotten about. I always dreamed of baking with him even before he could talk. Lucky for me, seven years later, he loves to bake! So I was really happy when I rediscovered this set buried in Denis’ closet.
It irritated me that it was marketed only to girls, but luckily, Jamie didn’t seem to notice or care. At least the packaging wasn’t all pink and magenta… We quickly dumped the box, and I put the utensils in a bag to be stored in my baking cabinet.
The Boutique Bakery set includes a spatula, a whisk, a rolling pin, mixing bowls, a wooden spoon, a muffin tin, three bread pans, cookie cutters, toothpicks (for testing) and muffin liners — all mini sized!
To test out the set, we first made a Mini Chocolate Loaf. I used Anna’s recipe from Cookie Madness and halved it. Instead of ganache, we just covered the loaves with chocolate chips. We baked it in the Cuisinart and I let him press the buttons to set the temperature.
The Mini Chocolate Loaf came out out beautifully. The crumb was moist, the flavor great, and because it was so small, it was the perfect size for all three of us.
Then, the last week, I discovered a half batch of cookie dough buried not in our closet (yikes!) but in our freezer from the holidays! Do you see a pattern here…? I thawed it in the refrigerator, and when Jamie had a play date with his friend, Lucas (who also loves to bake) we used it to make cookies. The child sized rolling pin was perfect for rolling out their doughs. I had them working on parchment paper and covered the dough with saran wrap to keep it from sticking. Then they cut out shapes using the mini cookie cutters from the bake set. I chilled the dough for awhile, then baked them.
For decorating, I was too lazy to make frosting, and I was planning to use Nutella instead, when I discovered someone had been eating it late at night so we didn’t have enough… So we improvised and used raspberry preserves instead. It actually tasted quite delicious in place of frosting or Nutella!
Though it isn’t really baking per se, Jamie requested that I share his most recent sweet creation on my blog. I aspire to avoid being one of those parents who think everything their kid does is amazing, so I don’t put everything up that he wants me to, believe me! But this one was kind of cute and it ties into this theme of cooking not being a girls only activity. And he came up with the whole thing independently of me (I was otherwise occupied with my daily Ken Ken!)
I present to you — Jamie’s Candy Sushi:
I guess it says something about our household that we have a ton of random candy lying around — mostly due to Denis who has a wicked sweet tooth! We keep it in a container with the marshmallows. So the other night, Jamie asked if he could have a marshmallow, an orange jelly candy, one Lindt truffle, and two chocolate sticks. Typing it all out, it sounds like an outrageous amount of sugar, but they were all pretty small! The next thing I knew, he was cutting the marshmallow, truffle, and orange candy into pieces and making a “tableau” as he called it. It turned out to be dessert sushi.
I’m so glad I have a little baker who shares my passion for creating yummy things in the kitchen!
Chocolate Mini Loaf
Adapted from Cookie Madness
I halved the recipe, used milk in place of buttermilk and omitted chocolate ganache.
- Preheat the oven to 325F. Spray one 3×5 inch mini loaf pan nonstick spray (I also lined the bottom with parchment paper).
- Combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt in small yet deep mixing bowl and stir very well. Add the soft butter and mix with the flour mixture. Stir in the milk. Stir mixture vigorouslyfor about two minutes, scraping sides of bowl, until smooth.
- Mix the lightly beaten egg, vanilla and cooled coffee together in a small bowl or measuring cup. Add to the batter in three parts, stirring gently with a spoon until mixed. Stir in half of the chocolate chips. Then sprinkle remaining chips on top. Bake on center rack at 325 F for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan set on a wire rack for about 10 minutes, then carefully turn from pan.
Adapted from Jamie
1 Lindt White Chocolate Truffle
1 Orange jelly candy or other soft candy, cut into pieces
2 chocolate sticks (Pocky would work too)
1. Cut marshmallow and truffle in half.
2. Scoop out some of the filling from the truffle and set aside.
3. Top marshmallow with candy pieces. Then top with filling from truffle.
4. Eat with chocolate sticks