About Earth Day according to Wikipedia:
Earth Day, celebrated April 22, is a day designed to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth's environment. It is held annually during both spring in the northern hemisphere and autumn in the southern hemisphere. It was founded by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in in 1970 and is celebrated in many countries every year.
Awareness is key to learning about anything and everything for children. So let's make Earth Day this year a day of "America the Beautiful - Let's Keep it that Way!" Here's a great opportunity to talk to the kids in the kitchen about Earth Day and how they can help with something very simple like by not being a litter bug. If you want to go into more detail, have at it!
Meanwhile, the kids can stir up this delicious Mud Pie treat as a symbol of the "mud of the earth!" Anything this yummy will make an impression and in the future they might just associate "Mud Pie" with Earth Day and give a bit more thought about it.
Here's the ingredients list for our Earth Day Mud Pie:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup baking cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1/4 cup hot fudge sauce or topping
1 small container frozen whipped topping (thawed in the fridge)
2 to 3 "more" tablespoons hot fudge topping (optional)
2 to 3 tablespoons caramel topping
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Have the kids grease bottom and sides of a 9 x 1 1/4-inch pie plate. (They love smearing butter around a pie plate)!
Let the kids measure out the following ingredients and dump them into a mixing bowl: sugar, butter, flour, cocoa, vanilla, salt. Now, stir until well combined.
Have them break the eggs in a separate bowl (just in case there's a little eggshell in there) and beat the eggs with a fork. Add the eggs to the dry mixture and stir some more! Stir in the nuts.
As an adult helper, how about you hold the pan and hand the kids the spatula? Let them scrape the mixture into the pie pan.
Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until edge appears dry and toothpick inserted halfway between center and edge comes out clean (center will be moist). Immediately prick holes in pie with toothpick. Let the kids watch while you do this as the pie pan is too hot for them to work with!
Spread 1/4 cup fudge sauce over top. Set aside to cool completely, about an hour.
While cooling, clean up the kitchen and then reward the kids with some fun Earth Day coloring pages. Go here and print them out for free: http://www.dltk-kids.com/crafts/earth/mearthposter.htm
When the crust is cool it's time for the yummy part! Place the thawed whipped topping into a bowl and show the kids how to "whip it up!" Spread over fudge sauce.
Drizzle with 2 to 3 tablespoons fudge sauce. Muddy the pie up really good and add a drizzle of caramel topping with the fudge topping as the crowning "mud" on top of the pie! Cover and refrigerate for a short time before indulging... the kids are gonna love it!
Have a Yummy Earth Day!
Jan McCracken, Culinary Coach for Kids