So it was raining and damp and grey out today, which meant that the kids and I were housebound. Normally, that’s not such a bad thing, but every now and again, cabin fever turns into cabin mania. I could no longer handle the shrieks and screams and the “That’s mine!” and “She’s opening her mouth at me!” (errrr….what?) for any longer. We had to take on a project, or perish in a heap of tears and tangled My Little Pony manes.
I have often used this recipe, Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins, when I want to make a muffin in a hurry. It is simple and easy, but because it has the right ingredients, it is fabulous.
I will quickly write out the recipe here, but feel free to slip over to Allrecipes.com if you’d like to see it for yourself.
Banana Chocolate Chip Mini-Muffins
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sale
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup mashed bananas (I used three medium sized bananas)
3/4 cup chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat oven to 350, grease two mini muffin tins (total 24 muffins).
Mix dry together in one bowl; mix wet together in another bowl.
|That’s okay, baking doesn’t really have to be precise, does it?|
This is a 1 1/2 inch scoop (typically known for ice cream purposes). It is, in a word: awesome. My mother-in-law gave it to me two Christmases ago, and it is one of the most-used gadgets in our kitchen. It is the perfect size for scooping out cookie and mini-muffin batter. What’s even better is that it delivers the product without having to use a spoon or a spatula, or even more FoodSafe: a grimy toddler finger.
Here is a pan of mini-muffins that I scooped out in under a minute. See how every one is uniform? Super cool and mess-free.
But here is why I love the scoop so much: a four year old “scooping” the batter all by herself.
And then a two year old, also “scooping solo”.
Here is the girls’ handiwork. I swear upon my KitchenAid that I didn’t touch the pan at all. I might have wanted to step in and say, “Okay, okay… my OCD says I need to take over now”, but I didn’t need to. They did it all by themselves.
|The girls ended up with one little runty muffin, but we still love him.|
Muffins, fresh out of the oven. The recipe linked above is for full-sized muffins. These mini-muffins take about 17-18 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
And finally, success! A little snack on a rainy day for me and my mini-Chefs.
Baking (or cooking) with the kids isn’t always smooth – well, it’s more like riding a trotting camel- but it’s worth it when you see the pride they have in doing something all by themselves.
If anyone has any other ideas for fostering independence in not-so-very-independent little ones, please share! I’d love to hear them!