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Baking with Children: Favorite Recipe

July 30, 2008


Photo from my vacation!

Photo from my vacation!

We are home again!  And while when I am here too long I can only think about traveling, when I am away too long, I can only think about home.   Our full trip was almost two weeks and it was nice to come home, check on my garden (still growing), my to do list (still growing), and think of fun summer things to do in our area where my bed is (blackberry picking is high on our list this week).  I was also anxious to get back to my posting here.  We came back a bit too late to get my TWD up today (check tomorrow– I did get all the ingredients today and they await me in the morning) but not too late to get up another post about baking with children– one of my favorite topics.


My Baking Boy a couple years back

In my last post about Baking with Children I mentioned one of my favorite cookbooks for children, the well-known classic, Pretend Soup.  And my favorite recipe in that book?  Popovers.  Hands down one of the most satisfying baking you can do with young children. I’ve made this recipe now multiple times not only with my children, but in their preschool classrooms where it never fails to be a hit.  

The great thing about this recipe is that it is broken in to steps making even the prep work managable for the kids.  The children get to “paint” the muffin tins with the melter butter, and just as Katzen promises, some children “love” this and will do this for quite a while, making for some very buttered tins!  

The format of the cookbook is a bit lengthy with grown-up hints, the recipe itself, and then simplified pictorial directions for the children to follow.  I can’t obviously recreate that here, so I will do my best to give enhanced directions.  The best bet is to check out the book itself, at the library or at a bookstore.


adapted from Pretend Soup by Mollie Katzen & Ann Henderson

best eaten slightly warm, with jam

This recipe will work in a toaster oven and in mini muffin tins.


2 TBSP butter, melted (to “paint” with)

2 eggs 

1 cup milk

1 cup flour

1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 375.  Have the children paint the insides of the muffin cups with the melted butter (you may need more than the 2 TBSP depending on how much they enjoy this part– don’t rush them!  Focusing on the process instead of the product is very important for young children)

When they are ready, break the eggs into the mixing bowl (try my trick for the small bowl for each or Katzen’s listed “break them on the bottom of a big bowl and let the egg run out into the bowl”).  Once you have all the shells out of the egg, add the milk and beat well.  Add flour and salt and whisk until blended.

Pour the batter into the muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 full.  You can put the batter in a small pyrex measure cup to let the children help fill them on their own.  Bake for 30 minutes without opening the oven (if using mini muffins it will be less– you will need to watch them, but this is part of the fun of popovers!)  

Remove from pan and prick with a fork to let steam escape (truth be told I don’t think I usually remove them from the muffin pans– lazy, I guess).  Katzen suggests having your child wear an oven mitt when they prick the muffins to protect them from the steam.

Eat one.  And another.  Add a little jam to the next.  Maybe time for a glass of milk, or a mug of tea.  Now one more.


Get them youngun's in the kitchen!

Now get them young'uns in the kitchen!

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