Chewy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

 

The tiny tots whipped these chewy, chocolate chip, oatmeal cookies in about 20 minutes. Baking with kids is a great way for them to learn about counting and numbers. To avoid big messes we have them sit at the table in their booster seats and bring all the ingredients to the table. Then they each get a turn and thus we are also working on our waiting our turn. All great skills for the tots to learn about. I got the recipe from here, I have also pasted it below. We added 3/4 cup of raisins too! Happy baking!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2C unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2C granulated sugar
  • 1/2C light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4C all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2C old fashioned oats
  • 3/4C chocolate chips, plus extra for topping

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream together butter with granulated sugar and light brown sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Mix in egg and vanilla, followed by baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Scrape the bowl as needed. Mix in flour, followed by old fashioned oats. Mix until just combined and no streaks remain. Stir in chocolate chips.
  3. Scoop dough using a medium cookie scoop, spacing 2-3 inches apart on prepared baking sheet. If desired, top off with additional chocolate chips. Bake for 10-11 minutes. Allow cookies to rest on the pan for 3-5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. Store in an airtight container.

DIY Easter Craft!

IMG_6240We hosted a bunny hop this past Sunday and it was so much fun! The kids loved the Easter Egg Hunt the best, surprise, surprise! The craft and cookie decorating were definitely enjoyed too. The kids made these adorable little dioramas.

IMG_6241For time purposes we painted the boxes blue beforehand and then the kids got to decorate it however they wanted. This is a great little craft to do with various ages and a perfect little hostessing gift if you’re going somewhere for Easter dinner this weekend. Almost all of the materials were purchased from the dollar store. All you need is:

Brown Box

Blue paint

Glue

Cotton Balls

Small little yellow ducks/sparkly eggs

Pipe Cleaners

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Sesame Street Cupcakes!

ImageA very special little boy we know turned 1 recently and we decided to make these cute little cupcakes for him. There were so many Sesame street characters to choose from but personally I really like these three in particular. In order to make these delicious cupcakes, first pick a recipe and make 12 cupcakes, I used chocolate as you can never go wrong with chocolate cupcakes, simple yet yummy!

ImageHere’s a list of the other supplies you’ll need:

Wilton Tips: #3 (for black icing) #17 (for yellow icing) #233 (for blue and green icing)

Icing Gels: Golden Yellow, Sky Blue, Moss Green and Black

Food Paintbrush

Water

Marshmallows (8 mini ones or 4 regular size ones)

1 batch of Royal Icing (divided into 3 bowls plus some extra leftover)

Fondant: red, brown and pink (about the size of a golf ball of each)

To make the right colours I used Wilton Icing Gels. I used Moss Green, Sky Blue and Golden Yellow. For Cookie Monster and Oscar I used the Wilton Icing Tip #233 to cover the cupcake in “hair”. For big bird it was a little bit more complicated than that (but not much, I promise).

I used two mini marshmallows to make his beak, you could also cut one big marshmallow in half. I used the royal icing like glue to affix the marshmallow to the cupcake and then with Wilton tip #17 I covered the marshmallow in yellow “stars”. Image

 I left the inside of the beak white and mixed a couple drops of water and Wilton Icing Gel “red” together. I used a paintbrush specifically for food and I painted the inside of the beak red. Once everything had set, I covered the entire cupcake in yellow “stars” to look like “hair”. Then using fondant I made a tiny pink tongue and his eyeballs, I made his eyelids out of pink and blue and simply placed them on top of the eyeballs.

ImageCookie Monster and Oscar were done with very similar techniques. Cookie monster was first covered in “hair” with Wilton Tip #233 and then I made two large circle for his eyes, I added black dots using Wilton Tip #3 and drew on a mouth. I broke some mini cookies into smaller pieces and stuck them in his mouth.

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For Oscar, I covered him in “hair” just like Cookie Monster and then made his eyes out of fondant. I used the black icing to make his eyes and mouth. I made his eyebrows out of brown fondant and his tongue out of red.

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Voila! Not only were they yummy but they’re also fun to make and even more fun to give away!Image

Ice Cream Birthday Party!

This past Sunday we had the pleasure of hosting a fabulous birthday party for a very special little girl! The theme was an “Ice Cream Shoppe” and we had so much fun coming up with creative ideas. The guests got to make Ice Cream Cone Necklaces out of Scupley and Beads.  Then in the kitchen we made mini cupcakes which we iced and then put into cones. Here’s a great recipe for mini cupcakes. Once they’ve cooled down we used royal icing and sprinkles to decorate them and then just simply placed the cupcakes into the cones.

The party ended with a grand feast of Ice Cream Cake (no real ice cream was used in the making of the cake)!

The cake was made from “traditional birthday cake” recipe and then iced with buttercream icing. We used two separate pans for the cake and once baked we cut each cake into two and filled them with buttercream icing. So really, the cake was made up for 4 layers altogether. We used fondant in various colours  to make the circles that are around the cake.

We added the cones at the very last minute as we didn’t want them to get soggy from being refrigerated. For the cones, we simply used a serrated knife and very gently cut them in half and then pushed them into the cake. They were the perfect height so the outside rim sat almost right on the cake. Using the buttercream icing we did the swirls and added a cinnamon heart on the top for the cherry! It was such a fun birthday party and we were so pleased to host it!

Tiny Tots Program at Seasons!

In September 2013 Seasons will be introducing a new program for 1-3 year olds! We will be running our Tiny Tots program 5 days a week! There are a maximum of 5 spots available per block of sessions. We will be running 3 blocks of session per calendar year. We will provide morning and afternoon snacks, a packed nut-free lunch will need to be provided by you.

Term 1: September 2nd – December 20th
Term 2: January 6th – March 14th
Term 3: March 17th – June 27th

Monday through Friday: 8:30-12:30pm
On Tuesdays and Thursday there will be a full day option 8:30-5:30pm

Daily Schedule:
8:30 – Opening Circle (emphasis on gross motor skills)
9:00am Snack
9:30-10:30am Quiet Time
10:30am Sensory Activities/School Readiness Development
11:00am Gross Motor Play Outdoors
11:30am Creative Play (emphasis on Fine Motor Skills)
12:00- LUNCH

Afternoon Schedule
1:00pm Quiet Time
2:00 Gross Motor Play
2:30 Snack
3:00 Gross Motor Play Outdoors
3:30 School Readiness Development
4:00 Quiet Time
530 Pick Up

If you would like more information about the program please contact us at info@seasonsfamilycentre.com
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Ice Cream Cake Pops!

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How can a dessert get any better than this? Ice cream and cake in one dessert, well actually there isn’t any real ice cream in the dessert, but there’s a cone so that counts for something! This is an easy dessert to make, in fact we made it in our creative treats class with 4 year old kids. Follow these easy steps to make your very own delicious cake pops:

Ingredients:

  • Vanilla Cake (we made ours from scratch but you can also just buy the ones that come in a box and save yourself a lot of time). If you’re looking for a good Vanilla Cake recipe try this one.
  • Buttercream Frosting (we made ours from scratch, here’s a recipe for it. You can also just buy the frosting in a jar though, makes life so much easier, those nifty little premade goods).
  • White Chocolate Melts (amount varies depending on how many cake pops you’re making) for one whole cake you’ll need approximately 1 lb of chocolate melts.
  • Package of Mini Ice Cream Cones
  • Red Icing Gel (just a couple drops) to turn your white ice cream pink (if you so desire)
  • Styrofoam block wrapped in tin foil (we covered these ones in felt just to make them look extra fancy)
  • Cellophane/Ribbon

Method:

  • Crumble the cake into crumbs (kids love this step)!
  • Add about 3/4 of the jar of frosting or if you’re using homemade buttercream about 1 cup. You’re going to roll the cake into balls and want them to stick together with the frosting.
  • Placed rolled cake balls on parchment paper and then put them in the freezer for about 15 minutes or until they are hard.

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  • In the mean time, melt the chocolate (we don’t have a microwave at Seasons so we used a double boiler) if you’re using a microwave, do 20 second intervals as you really don’t want the chocolate to burn.
  • When the chocolate is melted you can pour it into a glass bowl (here’s a little trick to keep the chocolate from hardening: fill a larger bowl with boiled water and then place the smaller bowl with the chocolate inside it. This will keep the chocolate from hardening).
  • If you would like to colour your chocolate, you can do so at this point, just add a couple drops of the red icing gel (or a different colour if you choose).
  • Using a soup spoon, dunk one of the cake balls into the chocolate and cover it completely.  You can then plop it on top of the mini cones and don’t worry if it drips down the side of the cone, just adds a more realistic flair to your creation!
  • We added lots of sprinkles to make it look even more realistic!  You can also add a cherry (a cinnamon heart) for the full effect.
  • For presentation, you can use a styrofoam block that has been wrapped in tin foil. Simply use a knife to cut holes in then push the cones into the block. You can wrap the final product in cellophane and tie with a ribbon. This is the perfect gift for someone’s birthday or just for your own tummy!

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Graham Cracker Gingerbread Houses

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Today was our last Creative Treats class with ICS, its been such a wonderful term! For our last class, we wanted a project that the students could complete in one class, so we made amazing Graham Cracker Gingerbread Houses. The houses are so cute and so easy! Plus without using too many red and green candies, no-one seemed to notice we were making them in March and not December! Follow these easy steps to make your own:

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Ingredients

  • 1 batch of Royal Icing 
  • 4 Graham Crackers (full size) and one split into two pieces
  • 1 zip lock bag (or a piping bag)
  • Lots of candies for decorating!
  • 9×6 piece of cardboard wrapped in tin foil
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Muffin tins are a great way to separate your candies.

Method:

Step 1

Fill your zip lock bag with icing and using your hands push it all to one corner of the bag. Cut a small hole in the same corner of the bag (and by small, we mean very, very tiny, think like a tip of a pencil).

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Step 2

Take a full size graham cracker and using your zip lock bag, squeeze icing along the base and side of the cracker. Place the cracker with the icing side down onto the tinfoil, this will secure into place. Working quickly, take the graham cracker that has been cut in half and attach it to the larger cracker.

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Step 3

Repeat step 2 until you have constructed a four sided house. To attach the roof you need to line the top sides of the house, the roof pieces actually rest on top of the walls. You can put a strip of icing down the middle to make sure it’s really secured. You should wait about 5 minutes before starting to affix candies so that your house does not collapse. If you’re not feeling the roof you could always make a bungalow, just put one graham cracker down flat as the roof!

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Step 4

Decorate 🙂 Use the royal icing to attach the candies to your house. Be creative and remember to have lots of fun.

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The students needed to transport their houses home in one piece, so we wrapped them up in cellophane and added a ribbon. They make the perfect gift!

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Cellophane and ribbon complete this delicious craft!