Friday, August 10, 2012

S'mores Chocolate Pancakes for Saturday Breakfast!

One more S'more for National S'mores Day! I hope you have had as much fun as we have with this sweet holiday! 

Here's a great Saturday or Sunday morning breakfast... when you have a day to wake up slow and not have to be out the door in a hurry! The kids will love these S'more Pancakes! Here you go and happy, S'more!

Chocolate Pancakes
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons butter
1 egg
1 1/2 cups milk

Marshmallow Syrup
1 cup marshmallow creme
2 Tablespoons water
Graham cracker crumbs (topping)
Mini-chocolate morsels (topping)
Whipped cream (optional topping)

Get out a large bowl and let the kids measure all of the dry ingredients and dump them into the bowl. Grab the whisks and let them whisk away!

Let the kids break the egg into a small bowl and whip it a little (this is another thing kids love to do and learning how to whip, not stir, it is a bit challenging for them but it's great for the motor skills... so keep encouraging them).

They will love this next part... it's almost like a mini-science project! Have them take a wooden spoon and make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Melt the butter in the microwave. Add the slightly beaten egg, the melted butter and the milk in the well. Whisk all of the ingredients together until mixture is well combined and smooth.

The adult helper should lightly grease a griddle or a skillet. Make sure the griddle or the skillet is hot before cooking the pancakes.Use a 1/4 cup measure and pour about 1/4 cup of batter onto the hot surface in rounds. Let pancakes cook unti bubble begin to form in the batter and flip the pancakes. Cook until lightly browned on both sides.
Note: Since they are chocolate, keep a close eye so they don't burn or dry out.

Stir the marshmallow creme and water in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on High for one minute (just until it will pour).

Top the pancakes with the marshmallow syrup, graham cracker crumbs and chocolate morsels. For an extra special topping a squirt of whipped cream makes it very special and makes everyone want s'more!

Keep cookin' with the kids and be sure to stop back for s'more great recipes and fun at KidsCooking411!
Jan McCracken, Culinary Coach

Icy S'More Shake...

We're having a great time celebrating National S'mores Day! On a hot day, how about a cool version of S'mores? You got it! And I tried this out on my grandkids and they did a bang up job both preparing the Icy Shake as well as slurping it down :-)

What You Need:
1 cup chocolate ice cream
1/2 cup light cream
3 Tablespoons marshmallow crème
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Mini marshmallows (garnish)
Crushed graham crackers (garnish)
Mini-chocolate morsels (garnish)
Whipped cream (optional)
Creamy peanut butter (optional)

Make It:
Get out the blender. Let the kids measure and pour the chocolate ice cream, light cream, marshmallow crème and vanilla extract in a blender Blend until smooth.

Pour into glasses and top with marshmallows. If you want the marshmallows toasted, then place them under the broiler for 20-30 seconds only (yes, the adult helper needs to do this, please).

If you opt for the whipped cream, then add a squirt or a dollop and then garnish with crushed graham crackers and chocolate morsels.

Note: Make this a really special treat and use special tall glasses.  Put a shallow line of creamy peanut butter on a piece of waxed paper. Roll the lip of the glass through the peanut butter and then roll it in graham cracker crumbs. The kids will love it!
Makes 2 shakes

I'll be back with s'more a little later...
Happy cooking with kids,
Jan McCracken, Culinary Coach

Take Along... S'mores Trail Mix!

Happy National S'mores Day! I'm going to be posting several recipes today in honor of this special "sweet day!" :-) 

I think this recipe is the easiest one that I've ever posted! With that said, I think that it might become a special treat for the kids to take along for a snack at school or on a play date!

What You Need:
15 ounces Teddy Grahams
16 ounces miniature marshmallows
12 ounces mini-chocolate morsels
Note: Make as much or as little as you like on this one... it's just the combo that is "s'more!"

Make It:
Let the kids dump everything in a BIG bowl and stir it until it's well combined with a BIG spoon. Then have them use individual zippy's, enough for just one serving.

Note:  If they want to give this away to friends and playmates another fun step would be to let them decorate the little zippy's!

Happy National S'mores Day!
Keep on Cookin' with the kids,
Jan McCracken, Culinary Coach

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Ooey Gooey S'mores Bars

I hope you and the kids are having fun celebrating S'mores this week! Here's a quick and easy recipe with all of the magical ingredients of S'mores!

What You Need:
1 (1-pound 1.5-ounce) pouch sugar cookie mix (I use Betty Crocker®)
1 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 12 squares)
1 cup butter or margarine
3 cups milk chocolate chips
4 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows 

Make It:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. About 12 squares of graham crackers will make about one cup of crumbs. Have the kids place the graham crackers in a zippy bag and roll with a rolling pin until they have fine crumbs. Kids love rolling, stirring and whisking!

Use a large bowl and let the kids dump in the cookie mix and the graham cracker crumbs. Whisk dry ingredients together until well blended (or until the kids are tired of whisking)!

Place butter in a small bowl and melt in the microwave.  Stir the melted butter into the dry ingredients a soft dough forms. Let those "little hands" press into an ungreased 13x9-inch pan until flat (it doesn't need to be really smooth).

Bake about 18 minutes or until graham cracker crust is set. Remove from the oven (adult helper needs to be very close here)... immediately sprinkle chocolate chips over crust (depending on the age of the kids, determine who does this step). Let stand 4 or 5 minutes or until chocolate starts to melt. Using the back of a large spoon, spread chocolate evenly over crust.

Set oven to broil. Sprinkle the marshmallows over the top of the chocolate. Broil about 6 inches from heat for only about 20 seconds... watch carefully as you want the marshmallows to just be toasty and they will continue to cook a bit when removed from broiler).

Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Serve warm.

If you want to have a super sweet treat, serve with a scoop of marshmallow ice cream (vanilla works too)!
Makes 24 bars

Ooey Gooey Yum!
S'more Fun Cooking with Kids!
Jan McCracken, Culinary Coach

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Fudgey S'more Monkey Bread!

Let's continue our S'mores Celebration with really ooey gooey and yummy recipe!

Are you ready to get messy? The kids will love it! Make sure they have on aprons or chocolate-proof shirts!

What You Need:
13 refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (Note: This will require 2 cans/one w/8 biscuits & one w/5 biscuits... Grands Homestyle is what I used)
1/2 cup butter
13 large marshmallows
1/2 cup hot fudge ice cream topping
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon dark baking cocoa
Butter for greasing pan

Make It:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a Bundt pan and set aside. Cut all 13 biscuits into quarters; set aside.

Use a large microwave-safe bowl. Let the kids put the  butter, marshmallows, hot fudge topping and vanilla in the bowl. They can put the bowl in the microwave and set it. (Let them do as much as possible, okay?) Microwave (uncovered) on High 1 to 2 minutes, stirring once, until melted. Using wire whisk, stir until smooth.  Note: Please do not let the kids stir the hot ingredients! Set aside to let it cool a bit (the mixture needs to cool enough so it is safe for the kids to work with).

Meanwhile, let them combine the sugar and the cocoa in a medium bowl stirring until well blended (Kids love to stir and whisk!

Spread out some waxed paper for the kids to work on (you won't be sorry)!

At this point, I would advise the adult helper to place 1/4 of the biscuit pieces into the chocolate mixture and gently fold in to coat with chocolate. The add another 1/4 of the biscuits and repeat.

Now hand over the tongs to the kids... they are gonna love this... Remove the biscuits from the chocolate, using tongs,"patiently" letting excess chocolate drip off. Drop each biscuit piece, one at a time into sugar mixture. Spoon the sugar over the biscuit to coat. Then layer the biscuits (one at a time) in the Bundt pan. Repeat until all of the biscuits have been sugared and layered in the pan. If there is any sugar mixture left, sprinkle it over the biscuits.

Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until biscuits are a deep golden making sure they are not doughy in center. Remove from the oven and cool in pan for 5 minutes. Now the adult helper can place plate upside down over the Bundt pan and carefully turn plate and pan over. The kids eyes will be big and round! Remove pan and immediately scrape any remaining topping in the pan onto the top of the bread. Pull apart warm bread and serve with milk! YUM!
Makes 12 servings (yeah, right)! 

S'more getting kids into the kitchen!
Jan McCracken, Culinary Coach

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Celebrating National S'mores Day!

Hello my little foodies, moms, grandmoms and anyone else that follows along with KidsCooking411...

We're celebrating this week and invite you to join in the fun! I'm Jan McCracken (most of you already know that) and I write KidsCooking411. Getting kids into the kitchen at an early age is one of my passions. Another passion is authoring cookbooks!

Friday is National S'mores Day (August 10) and so we're celebrating S'mores with a new S'mores recipe (without the campfire) every day this week at KidsCooking411. Fun stuff, right?

The other celebration is the release of my brand new Kindle cookbook that just went live on Amazon, S'mores Galore Ooey Gooey Recipes (No Campfire Required). It's a fun and yummy read with over 30 recipes with a twist on the flavors and magical ingredients of that campfire favorite, S'mores (see the new cover below). Jump over to my website to read more about the book:
Let's head to the kitchen and whip up an easy dessert to begin our S'mores celebration!

S'more Summer Parfaits
What You Need:
1 (3.9 ounces) package instant chocolate fudge pudding mix
2 cups cold milk
2 cups coarsely crushed graham crackers (about 24 squares)
1 cup miniature marshmallows
4 tablespoons mini-chocolate morsels
Whipped cream 

Make It:
Crush your own crackers as it saves a ton of money! Store bought crumbs are expensive. And besides, the kids will love rolling over them in a zippy bag with the rolling pin :-) This recipe will require about 24 squares or 12 whole graham crackers... give or take a couple.

This is a super easy recipe and with a little supervision and direction, I think you'll agree that the kids can pretty much do all of this one on their own! 
In a bowl, whisk together the pudding mix and cold milk for 2 minutes. Allow to stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set.

Use some parfait glasses or Mason jars and layer the ingredients as follows: Begin with 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs, 3 tablespoons of pudding, 1/4 cup marshmallows and 1 tablespoon chocolate morsels.

Top with the remaining pudding. Refrigerate for about an hour before serving.

At serving time, add a dollop of whipped cream. Sprinkle with the remaining graham cracker crumbs and a few chocolate morsels.
Makes 4 servings 

A cool S'more treat! Be sure to stop by tomorrow for another S'mores recipe!
S'more Cooking with Kids,
Jan McCracken, Culinary Coach

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Tin Can Ice Cream!

In the good ol' summertime... 

Tin Can Ice Cream is so much fun for the kids on a hot summer day! If you have kids over to play, or even a birthday party, a scout or church outing, it can be a really fun participation sport!

Here's what you'll need:
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Nuts, fruits, chocolate chips, cookie crumbs, etc. (optional)

In addition you'll need:
A 1-pound coffee can with a tight-fitting lid
A 3-pound coffee can with 2 tight fitting lids (one for the top and one for the bottom)
Rock salt
Crushed ice

Put all ingredients in a 1-pound coffee can; secure the lid with duct tape. Place the can inside of the 3-pound coffee can. Pack (as equally as possible) the larger can with crushed ice around the smaller can. Pour about 3/4 cup rock salt evenly over ice. Place lids on top and bottom of 3-pund can and secure well with duct tape. Make sure that can rolls evenly back and forth across cement.

Roll back and forth for 15 minutes. Open the large can and dump the ice and the water water. Important Note: Don't dump this salty water on your grass... It will kill the grass in the spot where it is dumped!

Wipe the small can dry and open the can. Stir the cold, ice cream mix, scraping the sides of the can well. Place small can back into the large can and once more add ice and rock salt, packing well. Repeat rolling for another 10 minutes. Be careful when removing the small can and be sure to wipe it down. Take special care around the lid area as you're opening it... you don't want the salt water to get into your ice cream.

Getting kids into the kitchen cooking,
Jan McCracken, Culinary Coach