Favorite Fall Desserts to Make With Your Child

Hurray, fall is here! Now is that time of year of being cozy by the fire and making plans for the holiday season. No doubt your children are already getting bundled up and ready to drink some hot cocoa. Perhaps they may also like to make some dessert with you. They do?! Well then, here are a few simple desserts you can make with your children!

Acorns

No, these are not real acorns. They’re the dessert kind! All you need is some Hershey kisses, mini vanilla wafers for the tops, and some peanut butter to be used as glue. A tasty treat to make and no cooking required! You can also use them as decorations on cakes or cupcakes.

Rice Crispy Turkey

Basically, you make your own rice crispy but roll it into a ball. Then some licorice, marshmallows, some candy corn and some Hershey chocolates for eyes and design your own turkey! The licorice is for the tail, the candy corn for the beak and wings, and with some toothpicks you can have the eyeballs and use the chocolates for eyes.

Pilgrim Hat Cookies

simple desserts you can make with your childrenFor this all you need are some mini peanut butter cups, orange frosting, and some chocolate cookies. You can use any chocolate cookie you like. Simply put the peanut butter cups upside down on the hats. Maybe use a little peanut butter for clue to keep it there. And then with the frosting design the cookies to look like little pilgrim hats. A very simple treat that kids are bound to love.

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Cookies

You just need to make basic peanut butter cookies. But before putting the cookies in the oven roll them in orange sugar crystals so they look more like pumpkins. Stick half of a pretzel stick for the stem. After they’re done baking and cool down you’re going to need some green frosting. Make a small green leaf beside your “stem” to complete your master creation for a tasty treat. Sure to be a hit when Halloween rolls around.

Cornucopia Snacks

For this snack all you need are some bugle chips, white icing, and Trix cereal. Spread some of the white icing on the open end of the bugle. Then have your children put the Trix cereal on the icing part of the bugle. You can make several of these snacks to your heart’s desire provided you don’t run out of ingredients. These are no doubt going to be popular among the children and adults alike.

These are some of the easiest recipes you and your child can make together. But feel free to experiment! Perhaps using Oreo cookies or different candies in place of using candy corn to get different results from the desserts you make. These are just a few basic ideas to help you get started and enjoying the fall season with your child. We wish you the best of luck and have fun making these awesome treats this holiday season!

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Yogurt & Fruit Pops

Ice Cream

Kids love having a popsicle as a treat, especially during the summer. A store bought pop made of Kool-aide is sugary, has artificial flavors, and provides no health benefits. Why not turn their love for a popsicle into a way to sneak fruit into your child's diet? Fruit is absolutely necessary for optimal health. Low in calories and high in fiber, fruit is a key ingredient in helping to combat childhood obesity, a big concern these days.

Fruit helps protect children from certain illnesses and diseases. Fiber-rich foods keep your child's digestive system working properly and helps prevent heart disease and Type 2 diabetes later on in life. Fruit supplies important vitamins and minerals that can help kids avoid cancer and other diseases. Children around elementary school age need at least one cup of fruit each day, and teenagers should have about two cups.

The best way to make sure children have adequate fruit in the diet is using it to replace sugary treats. A cool popsicle is a real treat for children, especially in hot weather. The trick is to replace choices like Kool-aide with a healthy popsicle. Don't just simply freeze fruit juice to make popsicles. Use whole fruit with ingredients like yogurt and honey to make a delicious popsicle that will be more attractive to kids, as well.

For your popsicles, use about three cups of fresh fruit such as strawberries, blueberries or peaches. Puree the fruit in a blender. If you use strawberries, you can remove the seeds by pouring the pureed fruit through a strainer. Mix the fruit with about 1/3 cup of water, 1/2 cup of plain yogurt, 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of honey. If you have time, mix the yogurt in only half of the fruit mixture, then layer for fun striped pops.

Blackberries, kiwi, citrus and some peaches are naturally tart. In addition to honey, adding about 1/4 - 1/2 cup of sugar will make the pops more palatable. Always taste first so you don't add more than needed. Even with added sugar, these pops will be far less caloric than other sugary treats.

Mix all ingredients well in a blender. Funnel the mixture into popsicle molds and freeze for about 4-5 hours, or overnight. Now you will have a cold, healthy pop the kids will love anytime, especially in hot weather.

 

Real Fruit Popsicles

Fruit ice cream isolated on white

Homemade Treats

Instead of serving store-bought Popsicles to your family, make homemade ice pops from nutritious juices and fruit. Summer is a great time to make freezer pops at home because it is easy and inexpensive to find many varieties of fruit at roadside stands, farmers markets and grocery stores. Throughout the summer months, moms can prepare different recipes of ice pops to freeze for use in the autumn. Once you know the basic recipes for the bases of ice pops, it is easy to puree or chop fresh fruit and make a large batch for future use.

Food Processors

Toddlers often prefer eating smoother textures of foods due to having fewer teeth, leading to using pureed fruit to make homemade ice pops. Pureeing blueberries, nectarines and bananas is simple with the right equipment such as a food processor or blender. You can even make natural fruit juices by using a juicing machine. One of the main purposes of making ice pops at home is using organic produce grown without pesticides. Because popsicles bought at a store contain high levels of corn syrup and artificial flavors, moms can control the ingredients in the homemade versions while still providing a delicious treat for their families.

Avoid Sugar

Several cups of fresh fruit such as strawberries or watermelon will reduce in amount as it is pureed and strained. Straining is vital to remove seeks and fibers that many children do not like. Most ripe fruit is naturally sweet, allowing you to avoid adding sugar. Taste the fruit first for tartness to determine if a small amount of sugar is necessary. You can always use alternates such as coconut sugar or honey. Oranges, limes and lemons make delicious ice pops but usually require a sweetener to make the snacks more enjoyable. Older children may want to have more texture in their ice pops, so you can add small chunks of fruit to the ice pops.

Flavor Combinations

To freeze homemade ice pops, you need containers that are easy to fill with juice and fruit. Special containers are available at stores, or you can improvise with small cups (paper Dixie cups are best) and wooden sticks (or even small plastic spoons). You can use one or more types of pureed fruit and juice to make this delicious treat. Great combinations include orange juice mixed with banana chunks or pureed raspberries mixed with lemon juice. If you have a child who is reluctant to try a new fruit, then add it to their favorite flavor of ice pop. Also, try blending in some plain or vanilla yogurt for a more creamy pop without using ice cream.

 

Start Easter Dinner Now

Serving Easter table with tasty dishes close-up

With Easter quickly approaching, even the most astounding chef is beginning to feel the stress. Instead of racing to get everything prepared the Saturday before, try some recipes that can be made ahead of time, frozen and then defrosted on Easter Sunday.

Gather Your Appetizers

Before diving into the main meal, your guests like to enjoy appetizers. Purchasing ones that are already frozen is one way to cut down the amount of cooking you have to do. For this holiday, you could also make some meatballs in cranberry sauce or Easter bread in advance. If you opt for the braided Easter bread, don't make the eggs until the day before, or on, the holiday.

Warm Soup

As we go more and more into the spring, you are less likely to crave soup, so this holiday might be one of your last chances to enjoy a warm bowl of it. Whether you want to have one last round of butternut squash soup or you'd prefer something lighter like chicken vegetable, soups tend to freeze very well, so you just need to reheat after the appetizers.

Have Some Pizza

On Easter Sunday, many families like to eat a variety of breads, and pizza may be on that your family enjoys. You could make an Easter pizza by rolling the dough into the shape of an Easter basket, an Easter wreath or, if you are really creative in the kitchen, an Easter bunny. You'll have to consider which toppings you want to decide if that portion is make ahead or not. Try to keep it lighter since this is not the main course, and make the crust thin.

Any Italian Dish

Depending on the cultural background of your family, having a full course of Italian food before the leg of lamb may be traditional. Fortunately, most Italian food is make ahead friendly. Baked ziti, lasanga, stuffed shells, meatballs and sausage in sauce, ravioli and manicotti are just a few of the ideas. Sauce freezes well too, so you can make a big tub of it.

Main Course Ideas

Cooking the lamb or ham before and then reheating it is a possibility, but you are unlikely to have as flavorful of a piece. Instead, prepare the lamb/ham the night before, so you just need to pop it into the oven on Easter. It will need time to cool and rest a bit, so you can bake side dishes then. Look for side dishes that are easy to make such as vegetable casseroles, mashed potatoes and pre-made rolls.

Infusing at least some of these ideas into your Easter dinner recipe will make for less of a hassle this year.

 

Molasses Christmas Cookies

13-12-23 Christmas cookies 350x350

One of the all-time favorite Christmas cookie choices is a chewy and aromatic spiced molasses cookie. These delicious cookies are perfect to make ahead of the busy holiday season, and you can make one large batch, keeping half of the cookies to enjoy for now and freezing the second half to enjoy for later.

Molasses Christmas Cookies are a wonderful make ahead cookie variety because the recipe uses natural ingredients and sweeteners. All you need to do is blend 4 1/2 cups flour, four teaspoons baking soda, 1 teaspoon of salt, 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice, and 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves in a bowl, mixing well and then set that aside.Now beat three sticks of unsalted butter with an electric mixer, and slowly add 1 cup of dark brown sugar and 1/2 cup natural brown sugar, until this mixture is fluffy. Then blend in 2 beaten large eggs, 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract and 2/3 cup unsulphered molasses which is,of course, the most important ingredient for that special flavor. Add your dry ingredients to this wet mixture and beat an additional 2 minutes. If you don't want to bother with using cookie cutters in a variety of Christmas designs, you can simply roll the dough into small balls about the size of a golf ball and place them on an ungreased baking sheet about 1 1/2 inches apart.

Get your baking pans ready and your favorite cookie cutters. Chill the dough for an hour to make it easier to work with. Dust your work surface and rolling pin with flour and take a ball of the chilled dough, rolling it out to about 1/4 inch thick and cutting it with flour-dipped cookie cutters before placing the cookie cut-out on your baking sheet. Kids will love to join in this part of the process! Then you can decorate with your favorite colored sugar and/or sprinkles.

This Molasses Christmas Cookie recipe needs to bake at an oven temperature of 375 F for about 10-11 minutes. When you pull the cookies from the oven, they should be lightly browned on the edges and still slightly soft in the center to remain chewy. Cool right on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. This recipe makes about 4 dozen cut out cookies (depending on size), half of which can be wrapped in freezer bags to freeze for later enjoyment.