Baking with Kids: Tears, Tribulations, Comfort, and Creativity

Last weekend I popped out of bed so excited, “I’m changing my post schedule for the week!  The SuperBowl is coming up and we should make football food!”  This was no problem because for Monday, I had already planned to post my vegetarian “wings” and now I was inspired to make a big football shaped brownie for Friday’s post in lieu of a 5 Nerdy Things post I have been trying to get down to actually 5 things (sometimes my nerdiness overwhelms even me).

I got the kids dressed, explained my INGENIOUS plan (to bake brownies in the shape of a big football and ice it to make the lines and laces), and off we went.  We had other groceries to buy so we went to the store and while we were there, picked up brownie mix and icing.  (I know I should make them from scratch, but that wasn’t the point I just wanted to make them look cute.  Besides one time a friend of my parents made us brownies using this Ghirardelli mix and they were so good, I’d almost rather make my brownies that way.)

We got home.  The kids were hype.  I had transferred my contagious excitement to them as they mixed and stirred.

We took pictures of the ingredients, forgetting the chocolate icing, and then taking a picture of it again later.

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They stirred and stirred.

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They poured.

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They happily licked the bowl and spatulas.

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Then I baked and I took it out of the oven to cool down.

This is where the subtitle comes in to play.  I know baking with a 4 and 9 year old brother-sister duo, you can expect something to happen – an argument over who gets to lick which part of the bowl, who stirs what, who will ice which color, even possibly an overzealous finger being stuck in the brownies and getting burned (hasn’t happened but I’m sure it could to somebody)- but no, not in this case.

Not in this case at all. In fact, I’m pretty sure I should never attempt to bake without my children. Ever.

See, once the brownies cooled down, I ran my knife around the edges to loosen the brownies.  It felt like I was just smudshing the brownies (I think that’s a cross between smudging and smushing AND more importantly it’s the only word that adequately describes what was happening) . FU…DRUCKERS!!! I screamed. We did NOT spray the pan before pouring the mix in.  EV.ER.Y.THING stuck.  The brownie fell one odd shaped morsel after another.  What landed on the plate actually looked like the shape of a football.

” That’s how you were going to turn it into a football?” the littles asked incredulously. “Nooooooooooooooo” I whined. It was supposed to come out like a circle we were going to cut out the diameter to create a strip one or two inches wide and then put the remaining together and it would’ve been an oval.  “How are we going to ice a pile of crumbs?!?” I slumped in frustration.

Then, my little genius asked, “can I do something with it?”

Be my guest! (I thought they were just going to eat it to be quite honest.)

But instead she enlisted my Hunky Monkey and I as her sous chefs.  We got out the white icing, melted and stirred chocolate chips, and listened for our next assignment.  He was to roll the crumbs into football shaped balls, I was to dunk them in the melted chocolate, and then she drew little laces on them.

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She rescued my football flop and created the cutest (yummiest) bite size chocolate footballs.

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Pretty sure this is why I had kids.  Because I should never be allowed to bake on my own.

These kids are definitely the best part of me.

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