Chocolate cake, peanut butter icing, Hershey Kiss. What could be bad about that?
What’s a mother to do? When your 2 year old comes up to you unexpectedly and sweetly says, “Want. Cupcakes. Mommy??”, there’s only 1 thing to be done: bake some cupcakes! Baking and cooking are something that Zach loves to do! I know, I know, sugary, fat laden sweets are probably not the best thing for him, but that’s what shipping them off to Daddy’s office is for!!
Besides, baking teaches him things like counting, following directions, patience and reward for hard work. Since we had a surplus of Hershey Kisses in the house, I decided to incorporate them into our baking plan. After googling “Hershey Kiss Cupcakes”, I found THIS blog, with a picture of a peanut butter blossom cupcake. Perfect. I love me some peanut butter blossoms, so this idea was great.
Here are the recipes we used, both are so simple (which is perfect when you have a 2 year old assistant to count, dump and stir):
Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake
Peanut Butter Frosting
After the cupcakes cooled completely, we frosted them. I don’t have any fancy frosting bags, so I just slathered it on with a butter knife. I actually thought it made the frosting look like cookie dough on top of my cupcake, which was sort of appropriate. Then I sprinkled a tiny bit of granulated sugar over the top, to give them that sugar-coated peanut butter cookie look, and then I had Zach place an unwrapped Hershey Kiss on top. That part was a bit dangerous, as Zach would have preferred to eat the kisses, instead of leaving them on the cupcakes.
The reward: eating them!
Tips for the 2 year old assistant: I use a small measuring cup, to maximize on the “dumping” he gets to do. I also make him count how many scoops/dumps go into the bowl. So with the 1/4 measuring cup, you have to count 7 “dumps” to get the 1 3/4 C of flour called for. Dumping is great fun for a 2 year old. I also let him stir the dry ingredients. He had to stir until the mixture turned all brown. Once the batter was complete and measured into cake pans (at this point in time he had started to get a little bored and was busy loading dog food into his Tonka trucks ::sigh::, so I did all of that), I put them in the oven. Zach had now noticed that we weren’t immediately getting to eat the goodies he just dumped and stirred. So I explained to him we had to let them cook first and turned on the oven light so he could see inside while they baked. You would think watching cupcakes bake would be like watching the paint dry, but no. Watching cupcakes puff up and get bigger creates wild anticipation and excitement for a 2 year old. After the cakes came out of the oven and cooled enough to remove from the pan, we split one to taste (and then each had another 1/2 when they were frosted).
Tip for Mommies: Yes, baking with your toddler can be a messy venture. You will most likely end up with flour and some other things all over your counter, your Kitchen Aid stand, your 2 year old, etc. It’s OK. It all cleans up.
Bonus Lesson Learned: Today Zach learned what a mustache is. As in, the chocolate mustache on his face from eating a spoonful of batter. Yes, it had raw egg in it. Yes, I let him lick the spoon anyway. No, he did not get sick.
A glimpse into the facial hair future? Chocolatey mustache.