Family Sunday Sessions: King Arthur Baking’s Jam Blossoms

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“If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do matters very much.” –Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis

Let me be painfully honest here, Saints: baking with children can be equal parts wonderful and frustrating.

Wonderful because it’s time to hear their funny stories (this time was mostly about Roblox and friends) and truly connect with them while making something delicious (or, as my little ones call it, “unboxing a recipe”). I love seeing their baking knowledge expand before my eyes.

It can be frustrating because I’m usually left alone to complete the task and to the clean up the mess. And also because my children love to play with ingredients and all I can see is {insert flying emojis here} when they do that.

But they are high-energy children, they want to learn to bake, and we enjoy spending time together, so we sometimes find fun, accessible baking projects to do.

We’re not making carrot cake together, folks. Usually, it’s cookies or some kind of all-in-one cake recipe that will teach them a smidge about baking science but not be so difficult that they get frustrated or bored. If the ingredients list exceeds 10, I don’t even attempt it with my children. Not yet!

This is what we’re not doing. Not yet.

This weekend, I wanted to make one of my childhood favorites: thumbprint cookies. Remember those? The shortbread cookies with the raspberry thumbprint in the blue tin? I would gorge on those when that blue tin came into the house. Long after the blue tin became a repository for errant sewing supplies, I would occasionally peek inside and pray for just one thumbprint cookie.

King Arthur Baking’s jam blossoms are a take on those cookies. Here’s the recipe.

Y’all. I am so happy that we did this together. This experience reinforced for me how much I truly do enjoy baking with my babies.

Shhhhhh…she is very serious when she works.

The children did most of the heavy lifting for this recipe so that I could take plenty of pictures.

The Prep:

First, because it’s spring and there’s never a bad time to add lemon curd to anything, I decided to use curd for some of our cookies. The children decided that they wanted strawberry preserves.

My daughter immediately started the top oven before she did anything else. My son…tried to start the bottom oven. Two more inches and my mini chef will be ready!

They…weren’t thrilled to do mise en place (the technique where you fully prepare all of your ingredients before starting to bake), but when it was all said and done, they understood. For more on mise en place and why it’s helpful for bakers of all ages, click here.

No pictures of completed mise en place, Saints. The children wanted to keep rolling! #OuiChef

In the Mix:

We mixed everything except the flour until it was very smooth. Note: once the flour goes into a cookie recipe, you should only mix until the flour is incorporated if you want to avoid tough cookies.

A Hot Time (Also, We Lost One):

Cookies on the pan and into the oven! The recipe says to bake for 10-12 minutes, but we (I) turned them halfway. This is not a knock on the recipe! My ovens each have a “hot spot” so I always turn cookies in order to encourage even browning.

This is the part where my son decided that he was bored and wanted to wash dishes. That is a bubble in his hair. My tiny hard worker.

Finishing Touches:

My beautiful sous chef made the glaze for the cookies all by herself. Bravo, Little One.

Cookies out of the oven! Fillings on top! I could eat a bowl of this lemon curd from Sally’s Baking Addiction with a spoon. Seriously. I had to halve the recipe yesterday so that I could avoid doing just that.

Last step. Both of them had developed an acute case of “boredom” by this point.

We did it!

These were so easy to make with my children. We laughed, they bickered (just a little), and maybe they learned one new thing about baking. If not, we had fun, so that’s really the ultimate win. It was definitely time well spent and I’m already thinking about our next baking adventure.

Thanks for reading!

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