Friday, May 22, 2015

Lemon Raspberry Streusel Muffins

Lemon Raspberry Streusel Muffins
with Lemon Curd
 --- Kids In The Kitchen ---

Streusel Topping:
1/3  Cup  Sugar
1/4  Cup  Flour
2  Tablespoons  Cold Butter

2  Cups  Flour
1/2  Cup  Sugar
2  teaspoons  Baking Powder
1/2  teaspoon  Baking Soda
1/2  teaspoon  Salt

8 oz.  Lemon Yogurt  -or-  3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice and Plain Yogurt to fill a 1-Cup measure
1/2  Cup  Oil
1  teaspoon Lemon Peel, finely zested (optional)
2  Eggs
1  Cup  Fresh Raspberries -or- frozen, unthawed Raspberries
Butter or Lemon Curd for serving

1.  Wash your hands thoroughly with Soap and Water.  Read this recipe through completely and gather your ingredients.
2.  Ask an Adult to help preheat oven to 400*.
3.  Line a Muffin Tin with baking cups.
4.  In a small bowl, mix together the Streusel Ingredients with a pastry cutter until the Butter is the size of small peas.  Set aside.
5.  In a medium bowl, mix together the five Dry Ingredients; set aside.
6.  In another medium bowl, mix together the four Wet Ingredients, then stir the Wet Ingredients into the Dry Ingredients just until blended.  Then gently stir in the Raspberries.
7.  Using a cookie scoop or soup spoon, fill the Muffin cups 3/4 full.  (This will make about 14 muffins.)
8.   Using a teaspoon, carefully sprinkle the Streusel onto the Muffin tops.
9.  Ask an Adult to help you put the Muffins into the 400* oven; bake for 11-13 minutes.
10.  Ask an Adult to help you remove from Muffins from the oven.
11.  Cool in the Muffin Tin for 5 minutes; carefully remove from the Tin.
12.  Serve Warm, with Butter or Lemon Curd.
13.  Don't forget to clean up your dirty cooking bowls!

"Train up a child in the way he should go:
and when he is old,
he will not depart from it."
Proverbs 22:6 

Teaching children to cook.  This takes fortitude to endure!  I am of the mind that children should must be taught to cook.  I cannot think of anything more disheartening than going off to college or getting married and only knowing how to make toast or top ramen.  

But oh my.
The mess time and patience it takes to teach a child this skill!

I personally believe that the best time to being teaching cooking is when the child can both fluently read AND understand simple fractions.  In other words, she should be able to read the recipe and not get 1/3 and 2/3 mixed up.  Most children have mastered these two skills by the end of Third or Fourth Grade.  Yes, there are kitchen terms like 'dice' and 'cube' which you'll need to teach, but the most important things, in my opinion, are the basic skills of reading and math.  A close second to this come safety.  Never forget safety.

When teaching safety skills, begin with Heat and Sharpness.  Most kiddos have the heat down; that is, they know that the stove and oven are hot.  If you are allowing your child to cook at the stove, my first bit of advice is to never leave the room.  My second piece of advice is to make sure you use an appropriately-sized step stool.  A nine-year-old isn't quite tall enough to safely stir a hot pan, but is much too big to stand on a chair.  Accidents can happen if she isn't the right height.  If you have a double wall oven, use the lower oven.  Teach your child how to properly use hot pads.  I, personally, don't let my kids use oven mitts because I feel the mitts make hands too clumsy to safely grip hot pans.  Also, I like to keep the stove turned down slightly lower than what the recipe calls for; this might make it take a bit longer but it does help reduce the risk of bad burns.

Knives and graters and vegetable peelers and mandolines.
All can be so very sharp.  Unfortunately, the easiest way to demonstrate how sharp a knife is, is to accidentally cut yourself.  Not the best object lesson, but unfortunately it happens.  Please, as a parent, you know your child's hand/eye coordination best of anyone.  Use proper judgement.  Use a knife  properly sized for smaller hands--I like to begin my children with a paring knife.  And always, always, always use a cutting board.

What kind of recipes are the best to start kids out on?  My children seem to have a short-frame attention span: they don't want to wait for bread to rise,  a cake to cool before frosting, or beef to marinate and then roast.  I like to start them out on a one-pan-in/one-pan-out recipe: a recipe that has a single pan and a short bake time, like Muffins or Bar Cookies.  Easy to mix, quick to bake, fast to cool, and even faster to eat!  Yum, Yum, Yum!

Happy Cooking,
and even Happier Eating! 

  Far Above Rubies, page 51.

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