In her introduction to “Kid Chef Bakes, The Kids Cookbook For Aspiring Bakers“, author Lisa Huff explains the goal of this book. With it, she hopes you will be able to learn more about the Kitchen Tools and Appliances you will need for baking. You will also master baking skills like Measuring, Mixing, and so on, and discover a world of Sweet and Savory Baking Recipes.
After that very brief introduction, the book is then divided into two basic parts. Part One is “Welcome To Baking School“ and Part Two is all Recipes.
The first section in part one is “In The Baker’s Kitchen“. Here kitchen rules are explained along with details about what is included in a “Baker’s Pantry”, complete with a list of “Seasonal Ingredients”. “Baking Equipment”, such as “Cookware and Bakeware” and “Other Tools and Utensils”, is also described.
Another section covers “Knives and Other Sharp Tools”. This includes a description of various “Cutting Styles”, “How To Use A Knife”, and the all-important “Knife Safety”. “Using A Stove” and “Using An Oven” are explained followed by a “Baker’s Dozen Tips”.
Chapter 2 covers “Baking Skills”. Starting with “Lesson One“ the basics like measuring liquids and dried ingredients are covered, also butter, when to use and at what temperature, and greasing pans. The lesson ends with a recipe tutorial for “Very Berry Granola Bars“ which uses your newly acquired skills.
“Lesson Two“ starts with “Cracking And Separating Eggs”. This is a not to be ignored skill which everyone must master, and covers everything from the temperature of the egg to the best techniques on how to separate eggs. The lesson ends with a recipe tutorial for “Little Meringue Clouds“.
“Lesson Three” covers “Mixing And Folding”. It describes the various types of mixing, like beating, creaming, folding, etc. as well as mixing wet and dry ingredients separately. Lesson Four ends with a recipe tutorial for “Cinnamon Buttermilk Muffins”.
With “Lesson Four”, you will learn “Creaming Butter And Sugar”. This is an important step for anybody who wants to make cookies. This lesson also includes information on how you can tell if your baked goods are done. The recipe tutorial here is “Vanilla Cupcakes With Chocolate Fudge Frosting”. The How To Frost And Decorate details are covered after the recipe.
“Lesson Five” is “Making Dough”. Starting with cutting in the butter, it goes on to include information on rolling dough and tips for baking crusts. It even includes a small section on pie fluting. Not surprisingly the recipe tutorial for Lesson Five is Pie Dough.
“Lesson Six” covers “Yeast Dough”. From water temperature, through to kneading, rising and proofing, everything is covered. There is a section explaining what yeast is and how it works and another on storing baked goods. The recipe tutorial includes the first non-dessert recipe “Homemade Pizza Dough“.
“Melting Chocolate” is “Lesson Seven”. Starting with how to use a double boiler, it even covers how to make your own double boiler and using bars of chocolate. A small section on microwaving chocolate is included as well. “Brownie Bites” are the recipe tutorial included.
That concludes the lessons section and brings us to the recipes section. Chapter 1 of recipes covers “Muffins And Breads“. As with all of the recipes in the tutorials, they each contain Prep Time, Cook Time, Yield and a list of tools or equipment needed along with very easy to follow instructions.
“Cakes And Cupcakes” are the next series of recipes, starting off with a recipe for Sprinkle Cake Pops that looks like a lot of fun. Next is “Cookies And Bars”. Some of the options here will be pretty impressive when you feed them to your friends and family.
With “Pies, Tarts, And Pastries” you’ll be able to make full-size pies and even little key lime pie bites. There is even a profiterole recipe which would only take about 1/2 hour.
The last set of recipes covers “Savory Baked Goods”. These are your non-dessert recipes including a Breakfast Strada, Cheese Puffs, Garlic Knots and much more.
About half of the recipes include a picture, many full-page. Where applicable the recipes will be noted as nut free, and some include Tips or Substitutions To Try, as well as Helpful Hints, Pro Tips, or Troubleshooting Tips to keep you on your path.
Appendix A at the back of the book is “Baking For Every Occasion“. This gives inspiration for which recipes might work best for particular occasions, like a Bake Sale, Mothers or Father’s Day etc.
Appendix B includes Conversion Charts for Volume Equivalents (both liquid and dry), Oven Temperatures, and Weight Equivalents.
A Glossary of terms follows, with a Resource List (complete with website addresses), and both a Recipe Index and Full Index with ingredient cross-references.
Anyone Can Become A Baker
I would not recommend jumping straight to the recipes and diving in. After carefully reviewing each lesson and trying the lessen tutorial recipe, anybody could learn to become a baker with this book. The lesson tutorials are well detailed, without being overwhelming. They each give you enough information without overloading.
For the included recipe I have chosen “Thick And Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies”. Enjoy!
Thick And Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 3 1/2 cups Flour, all-purpose
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- 1 cup butter, unsalted, melted, and slightly, two sticks
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 12-ounce bag Chocolate chips, mini
- medium bowl
- large bowl
- hand mixer, electric
- plastic wrap
- 2 baking sheets, or one large
- Parchment paper, optional
- Wire rack
- Mix the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Cream the butter and sugar.
In a large bowl, Beat the melted butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until well blended and light and fluffy, about two minutes. Beat in the egg and egg yolks, then beat in vanilla until well blended
- Beat the ingredients.
Add the flour mixture to the butter and sugar mixture, and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until blended. With spoon, stir in the chocolate chips.
- Refrigerate the dough.
Drop the dough in large (3 tablespoon) lumps on a large baking sheet or two baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between cookies. Cover the dope with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least two hours or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Bake the cookies.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes on ungreased baking sheet or baking sheet lined with parchment paper, or until lightly browned around the edges, rotating the pans halfway through cooking. Cool slightly, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
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