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Holiday Baking with Kids

Simple Recipes + Imagination = Fun Memories


  • Tambi Lane Photography

Whether holiday baking is a family tradition for your clan or not, these simple recipes and tips are designed to inspire even those who have never dared anything homemade or sprinkled a single Christmas cookie!

• Let the kids help set up equipment and measure out ingredients
• Bring on the sprinkles, frosting, chocolate chips, anything colorful for decorating
• Let the kids DO as much as possible – stirring, dipping, sprinkling, frosting and maybe even licking the spoon (no licking if raw eggs are involved of course)
• Plan on a MESS but involve the kiddos in clean-up

Banana Cranberry Muffins

Adding cranberries to this moist banana mix makes for a delicious, festive-looking muffin. Adding a simple frosting makes it even better and provides a canvas for kids to get creative with decorations.

12 muffin tin liners
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup mashed banana
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup fresh cranberries, rinsed & chopped
1/3 cup white chocolate chips, optional
Easy Cream Cheese Frosting (see adjacent recipe)
Sprinkles, candies, various decorations

  • Tambi Lane Photography

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place muffin tin liners in muffin pan.

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl.

Whisk eggs in a separate bowl.

In a large mixing bowl, mash bananas completely. Add eggs, yogurt, oil and vanilla; beat to combine.

Add half of the flour mixture and mix gently. Mix in remaining flour until completely combined.

Fold in cranberries and white chocolate chips. This batter will be thick and sticky.

Spoon it into the muffin tins, filling all the way to the top.

Bake 18-22 minutes until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

Cool in pan for 5 minutes then transfer to a rack to cool completely before frosting.

Even though these are terrific unfrosted, adding the frosting is fun for decorating purposes. If you choose not to frost them, you can sprinkle colored sprinkles either on top of the batter before baking or onto hot muffins when they come out of oven. The sprinkles melt into the muffins and create fun patterns. *Makes 12

  • Tambi Lane Photography

Thumb Print Cookies

Kids love these cute cookies because they get to use their own thumb to make them AND they're filled with yummy jam!

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Jam (we like strawberry)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Beat together butter and sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla. Add flour and salt; mix until fully combined and dough comes together in a ball. Chill for 30 minutes in fridge.

Form dough into perfectly round small balls and arrange on cookie sheet. Use thumb to make indentation in center of each ball. Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes then pull out of oven. If indentations look shallow, press them down a bit more and then fill each with a bit of jam.

Bake for an additional 3-4 minutes, or until jam melts slightly and edges of cookies are lightly golden.

Remove from oven; let cool for a few minutes on cookie sheet and then remove to rack to cool completely. Makes 1-2 dozen cookies

Pretzel Kisses

Be very careful with the hot baking sheet; it's a good idea for a grown-up to hold the baking sheet with potholders while the young ones press the M&M's into place.

Mini pretzels
Hershey's kisses
M&M candies

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place pretzels in rows on baking sheet.

Place Hershey's kiss on top of each pretzel.

Carefully slide baking sheet into the hot oven and monitor carefully for 2-3 minutes until the kisses start to soften. Immediately remove the baking sheet from oven. While kisses are still warm, gently and carefully place an M&M on top of each kiss. Let cool completely on the baking sheet.

  • Tambi Lane Photography

Easy Cream Cheese Frosting

One 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Beat in butter until smooth and combined. Slowly beat in sugar to combine. Stir in vanilla.

*Makes 2 cups of frosting

Donna Britt is the creator of the Food.Life podcast and host of Central Oregon Daily's Taste This Food series. Follow on Instagram &
@allthingsfoodbend &@donnabrittcooks

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