Cooking With Your Kid

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Have you seen all those articles that say that if you get your kid(s) in the kitchen, they'll be more invested in trying the foods they make?  That they'll suddenly become more adventurous and maybe even like to eat <gasp!> a wide variety of foods? 

Well, in my case, it's hogwash.  My daughter has been cooking with me since she was 2-years-old, and since then, she probably eats fewer foods.  This is a child that used to eat EVERYTHING with gusto.  Then at 2, the list of foods she'd eat got progressively smaller and smaller.  I used to scoff at picky kids and figure that it was nurture, but we are living proof that it's not always the case.  She was, for a period, on that dreaded American "beige diet" - it's mortifying, I know.  It's interesting that all this time, she has clamored to be cooking with me, yet she has no interest in tasting the final product.  I keep at it though.  I'm stubborn.

But I digress. 

There are some things she loves to make and eat.  They're all in the dessert category, surprisingly enough.  Yesterday we made a great and easy s'mores bar cookie recipe.  The Brownie troop leaders (of which I'm one - no snickering) and their kids got together to plan some meetings, and I offered to bring dessert.  What's more Girl Scouty than s'mores?  This is a nice recipe for a 6-year-old because there are no electronics involved in the preparation, save for the oven.  It's just a smash, stir, dump, press, spread, sprinkle operation. 


Smore's Cookie Bars

1 pouch Krusteaz sugar cookie mix 1.5 c. graham cracker crumbs 1 c. unsalted butter, melted 3 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips 4 1/2 c. mini-marshmallows


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Put several whole graham crackers (approximately 7) in a large zip-top bag and squeeze the air out.  Pulverize the crackers with a rolling pin/meat mallet until they form a fine crumb.  In a large bowl, stir together cookie mix and crumbs. Stir in melted butter until a soft, crumbly dough forms. Press into a 13×9-inch pan that's been coated with cooking spray.

Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until set. Immediately sprinkle chocolate chips over crust. Let stand 3 to 5 minutes or until chocolate begins to melt. Spread chocolate evenly over crust.

Set oven to broil. Sprinkle the marshmallows over the melted chocolate. Broil 4 to 5 inches from heat for 20 to 30 seconds or until the marshmallows are toasted. (Watch closely; marshmallows will brown quickly.) Cool 10 minutes or longer.

Serve warm or room temp, and store any remaining bars tightly covered - those marshmallows will get hard & chewy if you don't.