How to use a rolling pin creatively
Rolling pins are for more than just baking. Here’s how else you can use the kitchen tool.
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I can’t remember when I started baking.
It was sometime in elementary school. My mother oversaw messy projects that included brownies, chocolate chip cookies and angel biscuits, and resulted in a few blue ribbons for baking from the Allen Parish Fair.
I’ve loved baking since, so when my friend Michelle Spitzer asked if I would bake with her 10-year-old daughter Gabrielle, I was excited about sharing that love.
Gabrielle, 10, started baking during the pandemic. Stuck at home with younger brothers Jonah and Asher, she turned on the oven.
I learned to bake by reading recipes from an old cookbook with a broken spine and butter-splotched pages. Gabrielle follows the teachings of YouTube and Instagram Reels.
She’s made a cake with M&Ms hidden inside, so when it’s sliced, the candy spills out from the center.
She’s perfected the “burger” cake, with two yellow cake layers as buns, a round brownie as the burger and fondant layers for the lettuce and tomato.
Family friend Alexis Kiel David taught her to make a perfect, braided loaf of challah.
And Gabrielle made her own cake to celebrate her 10th birthday.
I chose something significantly less complicated for our bake date: my go-to oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.
Gabrielle took the assignment seriously, carefully measuring brown sugar and sifting the flour.
We ended up with 3½ dozen golden-brown cookies.
Michelle said she’s enjoying her daughter’s newfound hobby.
“I’m not a baker,” she said, “but I am a really good eater of baked goods. I love watching the creations she makes.”
You can watch them, too, by following her on Instagram @kidskitchen4u.
I think it’s awesome that Gabrielle has embraced baking. She may not be learning the way I did, but somethings about baking will always be the same.
Cookies will always taste best when warm and gooey, straight out of the oven, and younger siblings will always jump at the chance to lick the bowl.
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1¼ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
½ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2½ cups oats
12 ounces chocolate chips
1 cup pecans, chopped
Position two racks in the top third of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugars until creamy. Add eggs, milk and vanilla. Beat until well combined.
In a smaller mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Add flour to the wet mixture and stir until well combined.
Gently stir in oats, chocolate chips and nuts.
Refrigerate cookie dough for 20 minutes.
Spray cookie sheets with non-stick spray. Form dough into golf ball-sized balls and place about 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets.
Transfer one pan to the middle rack and the second one to the rack just above it. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through.
Remove cookie sheets from the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to baking racks to cool completely. (Or eat them while they’re warm.)
Cookies can be baked in two batches, or the remaining dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or placed in an airtight container and frozen for up to 3 months.
Makes 4 dozen cookies.
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