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Build holiday magic by baking with your kids

(NC)—As much as kids love eating up delicious treats during the holidays, there’s something else they love just as much—creating and baking the treats with their own hands. The holidays are a great time for baking in the kitchen with kids, as they can let their imaginations soar and really get into the festive spirit.

“Baking in the kitchen with kids does not have to be intimidating and can be loads of fun, for both adults and kids,” says Trish Magwood, award-winning cookbook author of In My Mother’s Kitchen, and mom of three. “Picking recipes that don’t require baking, like Santa Claus Faces, a holiday version of the beloved Rice Krispies Treats, is often the best way to go, so kids can dig in without any worry or fuss.”

Follow Trish Magwood’s tried and true tips for baking with kids:

• Follow the chef mantra of “mis en place”—Have everything in its place or in simple terms, prepare. Make squares or cookies ahead of time, and once the oven is off and the knives are away, enlist the kids for the fun job of icing and decorating. Put out little bowls of icing, sparkles and candies and relax while they enjoy.

• Kitchen Stools—These are my favourite kitchen essentials because it allows kids to pull up to a counter or kitchen island and pitch in at any time. Kids will feel included, and part of the baking process.

• Equipment—Stock up on multi-purpose, family-friendly baking equipment—trays, easy-to-clean baking supplies, plastic utensils, kids aprons, little bowls, and draw on your kitchen kit for any special baking occasion. Make the fun easy for you too.

• Age appropriate tasks—Gauge tasks and kids ages before assigning jobs. There’s something for everyone in a baking kitchen. Don’t forget fun crafts like card making or box decorating count too.

• Interactive—Get the kids involved and they will learn, take ownership and be proud of their masterpieces. The older ones can plan the menu and write the shopping list while the younger ones can play a game of kitchen hide and seek opening cupboards to see if there is enough sugar or chocolate. Use an interactive, cooking class format, they can even clear and help with the clean up.

Try this fun and interactive recipe with your family and find more fun, holiday recipes like this at www.ricekrispies.ca. More information on Trish Magwood is available at www.trishmagwood.ca or follow her on Twitter @trishmagwood.

Santa Claus Faces

Ingredients:

50 mL (1/4 cup) butter

250 g (1 pkg, about 40) regular marshmallows or 5 cups miniature

2 mL (1/2 tsp) vanilla extract (optional)

1.5 L (6 cups) Rice Krispies cereal

Prepared vanilla frosting

Red cinnamon candies

Miniature marshmallows

Preparation:

1. In a large microwave safe bowl, heat butter and marshmallows at High for 3 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes.

2. Stir in vanilla. Stir in Rice Krispies cereal until well coated. Using lightly buttered spatula, press into buttered 3.5 L (13 x 9″) pan.

3. Allow mixture to cool slightly. Using a round cookie cutter, cut cereal mixture into circles. Decorate with icing and candy as desired. Use a dot of frosting to secure the marshmallows and cinnamon candies.

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