Putting theory into practice–my review of
Baking Class by Deanna Cook, Storey Publishing, $18.95 retail
Cooking, especially baking is often a child’s first experience in the kitchen. From the fun of pushing hands into sticky bread dough and punching it down, to the delight of helpng to make cookies and then eating them warm from the oven–baking is a tried and true bonding experience for parents, and grandparents with progeny of both sexes.
Baking is also a wonderful bit of pre-academic training in math and science. Of course, when it comes to my book, Rosa and the Red Apron, cooking for someone else and giving gifts (not just receiving) is also part of the equation.
However, when it comes to the practical of teaching a child to bake, the occasional family celebration will not do it. Fortunately Deanna Cook, widely published author of award-winning children’s activity books, has crafted a collection of fifty recipes, sweets and savories, complete with pictures showing the various steps in preparation process.
She has included incentive stickers and some templates for decorative work using powdered sugar. She offers recipes for ordinary faves like chocolate chip cookies and cupcakes, and introduces children to the delights of scones. Then, the tackles the savory side of things with breads, pizza , corn bread and even cheese crackers.
I admit that I will be borrowing her cranberry orange scone recipe myself this Thanksgiving –its one of only a few I have found that do not use buttermilk.
I was not able to obtain permission to reprint it here–if I do, I will share it.
But if you are looking to interest a child in baking, then do take a look at this book–I think it would make an excellent gift for a child in the age five to 12 range–someone new to the kitchen or just showing interest. Pair it with their very own rolling pin or apron or mixing bowls. Oh, and if they are at that younger age, maybe take a look at pairing Cook’s how-to book with a copy of Rosa and the Red Apron. The buy links for each book are below (PSSSSS on Amazon there is a discount on Baking Class!