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Kids in the Kitchen

We’ve all been there with the mishaps that occur with kids make in the kitchen, from cookie batter splattered all over the kitchen ceiling to sugar and cinnamon swapped in a cake. But along with the memories and the confidence we’re building, these recipes actually nurture our families too! Enjoy these recipes (both sweet and savory) that our kids enjoy creating.

Homemade Granola

My nine-year-old daughter, Miri, keeps our freezer stocked with homemade granola. Yummy to eat plain or add to yogurt. Here are the two versions we like.

  • 5 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups oats
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds

Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C).

For cinnamon granola: Combine maple syrup, coconut oil, and cinnamon in a small pot. Melt over low heat, stirring.

Measure out the oats, almonds, and sunflower seeds into a ziplock bag. Pour the melted liquid into the bag and shake to coat the oats.

Pour the oats onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread with the back of a spoon or an offset spatula. Bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool, then break into small pieces. Store in the freezer for freshness.

For chocolate flavor, omit the cinnamon and add 3 Tbsp cocoa powder instead. After the granola has cooled slightly, add a chopped bar of pareve Rosemarie chocolate. Enjoy!

—Chaya Perel Nojowitz, graphics


Chocolate Chip Cookies with Add-ins

My grandchildren only ever seem to want to make chocolate chip cookies.

I use a standard recipe, but instead of the 2.25 cups flour that most recipes recommend, I use 2 cups flour and 0.5 cup cornflake crumbs, which gives the dough a nutty taste. My purist grandchildren only want to add chocolate chips, no nuts, but I love nuts. So half the batter stays plain, and after they go home I add walnuts or pecans and sometimes Craisins to the other half.

—Barbara Bensoussan, columnist


Kitchen Helpers

My kids make homemade pasta, sushi, and beef carpaccio. Then there’s the simple baked fish with spices, fish sticks, tuna melts, pizza…

—Chaya Suri Leitner, recipe contributor


No-Egg Chocolate Cake

This recipe is perfect for those under bar/bas mitzvah, since it requires no egg checking, if this is your minhag. My kids make it all the time and experiment with different silicone baking shapes, toppings, icings. Can be doubled easily (fraction lessons the fun way). Always comes out great.

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3½ cups flour (we use white spelt)
  • ⅔ cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 Tbsp white vinegar

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).

Mix all the ingredients together except for the vinegar. When the batter is smooth, add the vinegar and mix until incorporated. The cake will rise, so leave room if making cupcakes or baking in an unusual-sized pan.

—Faigy Peritzman, columnist


Light Cheesecake

This is the most kid-friendly cheesecake ever. Recipe by my mother-in-law.

  • ½ 16-oz (450-g) container cottage cheese
  • 1 8-oz (225-g) container whipped cream cheese (light)
  • 2 eggs
  • splash of vanilla
  • ½ cup sugar, or ¼ cup sugar + ¼ cup xylitol

Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C).

Combine all ingredients and beat until no lumps remain. Pour into a pie crust. (I used a premade one for this.) Add any toppings you want. (I don’t even like the combo of chocolate and cheese, but hey, kids!!)

Bake 30 minutes, until the center is slightly soft. Shut oven, crack open door, and leave inside for 1 hour.

—Rivki Rabinowitz, editor, Family Room


Carrot Muffins

I always used to let my kids make carrot muffins.


  • 4 eggs
  • 21/2 cups sugar
  • 4 baby jars of carrots or 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup oil
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda

Whisk eggs and sugar in a bowl. Add the carrots. Add the remaining ingredients, whisking well after each addition.

Fill your muffin tins two-thirds of the way and bake at 350°F (175°C) for 20 minutes.


—Rivky Kleiman, recipe columnist


Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars

These are the best-ever, one-bowl, no-mixer chocolate chip oatmeal bars.

  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1½ cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).

Combine oil, eggs, sugars, and vanilla in a large bowl, mixing well. Add dry ingredients and mix until well incorporated. Spread into a parchment-lined 11 x17-inch (28 x43-cm) baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes. Cut into squares while still warm.

—Chavi Feldman, recipe columnist


Very Versatile Biscotti

This recipe is so easy and versatile, and freezes so well! Sometimes I freeze the shaped dough and sometimes I freeze the baked cookies. (Recipe from Allrecipes.com.)

  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped almonds

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).

Mix together eggs, oil, sugar, and vanilla until well combined. In another bowl, mix the flour, salt, and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until a dough forms.

Although the recipe calls for chocolate chips and almonds, we add anything we want into the dough. Orange-infused Craisins, regular Craisins, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, chocolate chunks, white chocolate chips, you name it!

Divide the dough in half and form two logs on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake until lightly brown, roughly 25 minutes. Remove the cookie logs from the oven and slice into 1-inch (2.5-cm) cookie sticks. Lay the cookies on their sides and return to the oven for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy!

—Sarina Laghaei, ad design


Basic Muffins with Add-ins

My children make this muffin recipe at least once a week. They always add in their own fillings. It works with virtually anything — blueberries, cranberries, chocolate chips, chocolate chunks, coconut, pecans, coffee, cocoa, Craisins. They’ve even made it into individual strawberry shortcakes!

  • 2 eggs
  • 1¼ cups sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla sugar
  • 2½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • ½ cup oil
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • pinch salt
  • additions of your choice (see below for some options)

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.

Using a whisk, mix together eggs, sugar, vanilla sugar, baking powder, orange juice, and oil in a large bowl until combined. Add flour, boiling water, and salt. Whisk until batter is smooth.

Gently fold in the addition of your choice until evenly distributed (see note about adding blueberries or cranberries).

Divide batter evenly into prepared muffin cups, filling them almost to the top. Bake for 25–30 minutes, until golden.


Blueberry: Mix 1.5 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen) with 1 Tbsp of flour and add to the batter.

Cranberries: Mix 1 cup of frozen cranberries with 1/4 cup of sugar and add to the batter.

Chocolate chips: Fold 1.5 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips into the batter.

Cherry pecan: Fold 1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans and 3/4 cup dried cherries into the batter.

Note: When using blueberries or cranberries, you may prefer to fill the muffin cups with batter before adding in the fruit, then simply push the berries in with your finger. This prevents the berries from leaking color into the batter.

—Estee Kafra, recipe contributor


Easy Pound Cake

My kids love baking something for Shabbos, and this is our newest go-to recipe. I may or may not have some swaying power because this type of cake is hands-down my favorite! Special shout-out to my friend Shana for the recipe.

  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 11/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Mix everything together. Pour into a well-greased Bundt pan. Bake at 350°F (175°C) for 45–50 minutes, checking for doneness with a long toothpick.

—Chanie Nayman, editor


Chocolate Cookies with Butterscotch Chips

Esther Ottensoser ran this recipe years ago as part of a Purim set. They’re simple to make, different from the standard chocolate chip cookie, and always delicious. A few years back, I gave someone a few and she told me it was like eating brownie cookies, and that’s how I think of them ever since.

A few months ago, when my nine-year-old, Aliza, wanted to bake, she made these, and they were a hit! Since then she’s been making them nonstop, and whenever we give them to someone they ask for the recipe. I always direct them to Aliza…

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 pkg butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Mix together all the dough ingredients except for the chips. Mix in the butterscotch chips (or colored, or chocolate, or any flavor you want) until incorporated.

Shape cookies into balls and flatten slightly. Bake for 8–12 minutes, depending on size. We like them chewy, so I wait until the bottom is set and the top is just set. Let cool and enjoy!

—Rachel Bachrach, associate editor


Tuna Balls

My kids always enjoyed being in the kitchen with me. They would crush the cornflakes (and the floor got its share too!), and make (interesting-shaped) balls out of the tuna mixture. Sometimes I would write their initials on the parchment paper near their tuna balls so they could eat their very own creation. Some very pedantic kids put on disposable gloves before they did it. That always gave me a good laugh!

  • 1 can tuna fish
  • 1 egg
  • ⅓ cup bread crumbs
  • 2–3 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 small onion, diced, or 1–2 tsp onion powder
  • cornflakes, for coating (approximately 1 cup)

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).

Mix together all ingredients except for cornflakes. Form into small balls. Place cornflakes in a bowl and roll tuna balls in the cornflakes until completely covered. Bake for 30 minutes.

Variation: You can add seasoned salt, garlic powder, etc., if you prefer a stronger taste. You can also sauté the onion for added flavor.

Note: I always double the recipe, as it doesn’t make all that much. I use minimal (low fat) mayonnaise, and less bread crumbs, and it comes out fine. If you prefer a very smooth texture, mix all ingredients together in a food processor.

—Brynie Greisman, recipe columnist


(Originally featured in Family Table, Issue 779)

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