Thursday, November 30, 2017

Tips to make baking with kids EASY! (mini tart recipe)

The holidays are coming :)

In our house, baking and decorating is a really fun activity that we can all get together and enjoy. Of course everyone likes the taste testing but it is really nice working together as a team!

Don't get me wrong. Baking with the kids can be challenging. It can be hard to keep them engaged long enough to get the actual baking done. Unless you are willing to sacrifice your kitchen being completely coated in flour which works great and has definitely happened in our house. Let's be honest, it seemed like a good idea at the was not!

So here is a special recipe my daughter and I made together. Mini blackberry cream and chocolate tarts with homemade crust.

And of course a list of my tips and tricks of how we got it done.

I know, I know I said the whole flour explosion thing. But if you don't let them get hands on and feel included in what you are doing, they will lose all interest. Everyone knows it's no fun to just watch.

I measured a portion of the flour and put it into a small cup. I gave my daughter a spoon and had her spoon by spoon add the flour into the mixer. This kept her occupied long enough for me to prepare the blackberry cream filling and the chocolate pudding while she was happily doing her job.

I used instant chocolate pudding and the blackberry cream filling is only a few ingredients. Very easy and fast to make. Again, my little ones are only going to remain engaged for a short period of time so make sure to pick something that is relatively fast and not too involved. If you have older kids you can definitely go for something more elaborate.

My daughter really loves baking. She gets very serious and concentrates so hard on what she is doing. If you know your kids realllllly aren't interested at all...don't torture them. Throw on a movie, give them a snack, and enjoy the peaceful alone time.

Homemade Crust - makes about 24 mini pies

2 1/2 cup of flour
1 1/4 tsp of salt
1 cup of butter
6 to 8 tablespoons of cold water

1. Mix the flour and the salt.
2. Chop the butter into small pieces. Add gradually to mixer.
(You will have to scrap the sides of the bowl from time to time. Mixture should appear crumbly.)
3. Slowly, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time. (When dough just about comes together, it is ready.)
4. Grease muffin tin. Using fingers, mold the dough inside each muffin tin to make mini tarts. Poke with fork to avoid air pockets.

5. Bake tarts for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
(Halfway through use a fork to push and mold and pop air bubbles.)

After tarts have cooled for a few minutes use a very thin utensil and carefully pop them out of the tins.

I put them in cups after they baked just to keep them a little nicer. 

*Let cool completely before trying to fill them*

Blackberry cream filling - Just combine all ingredients.

4 ounces of cream cheese
1/4 cup of sugar
1 tsp of lemon juice
5 blackberries

Chocolate instant pudding filling - Just make according to directions. (Usually just adding 2 cups of milk)

Another "kid" tip. I couldn't find any of my baking tools to make the filling look prettier. I actually used the medicine syringe that comes with infants Tylenol. No seriously, it worked great.

Some tarts are all chocolate pudding filling. The ones with the pink swirl are all chocolate filling with just a swirl of the blackberry cream on top. The pink flowers on top are mostly blackberry cream but have a small layer of chocolate underneath as well.

I love making the mini and personal size desserts for the holidays. Serving is so much easier. If the guests are already stuffed from all the other eating and drinking, the whole pie doesn't have to go to waste.

I always need my professional taste tester to make sure the dessert is delicious enough to serve.

Enjoy! We sure did!