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Recipes for a cooking experience with my little 4 year old cousin :)

Hello all! I am so excited to hear that my 4 year old cousin, whom I will see during my trip home for the holidays, looooves to cook!
I know she has made chocolate chip cookies and brownies (from the box) but I wanted to definitely make something from scratch with her, and something a little unique or different from chocolate chip cookies/brownies.
Maybe a cake that she can help decorate with homemade icing? Or a different kind of chocolate cookie?
I also thought we could do one savory dish along with the sweet.
Any ideas?
I am brainstorming now, but thought it couldnt hurt to ask fellow chowhounders. :)
I really miss this little girl during the year (I live very far away) so I am looking forward to really having some quality time with her in this way.

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  1. Meatballs are fun- bake them, it's safer than trying to fry them with kids.

    1 Reply
    1. Maybe a fruit cobbler? Or cinnamon buns?

      1. Years back my niece and I made a make from scratch to which we added Tricks cereal. You cannot imagine the excitement she had dumping in that cereal, seeing it come out of the oven and frosting, sprinking and dodadding it and then presenting it to her grandma knowing there was a "surprise" inside.

        She is(gulp) 18 now and STILL likes to talk about it.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Sal Vanilla

          such a cute story. :) simple pleasures!

        2. Homemade pretzels? Pizza? Cut out cookies that she can decorate? Have fun!

          7 Replies
          1. re: arp29

            If I make pizza is it worth it to try to make the dough with her? Or would that be something she wouldn't really be able to contribute...? I know she's only four, but I'd like her to see that everything we make together is from scratch and not a box or package.

            1. re: eviemichael

              I did pizza with my cousins 6 and 9. I made the dough because they were pretty tired from walking around town. I also rolled it out for them because I only have one rolling pin and specific oven space and time constraints but otherwise I would have let them play with it a little. Then I did a top your own pizza from toppings their mom said they enjoyed. Lots of fun.

              I think meatballs and or homemade pretzels and maybe the cake with decorating would be the most fun. Definitely bake them.

              1. re: melpy

                I am starting to think meatballs and either cinnamon buns or cupcakes might be the best balance between pretty easy and exciting. :)
                Thanks everyone for their input!

              2. re: eviemichael

                When I've done yeasted dough recipes with my little cousins (17 year age gap), we had a blast together. We had the yeast/water/honey/sugar mixture ready and at temperature and we added that to the flour. They stirred the mixture until it became kneadable and then I showed them how to knead the dough and they took it from there. For pizza it was fund to have them shape their own crusts. But also I've done cinnamon rolls where they have shaped the dough to a flat rectangle and I spread the sugar/cinnamon out on the dough and they rolled it out. I cut the dough and they placed it in the glass baking dish. Then they mixed the glaze and pour it on top.

              3. re: arp29

                My now 5yo likes to make pizza.

                If your cousin is an Elmo fan, Elmo's Magic Cookbook is a good DVD. It has several segments "cooking" differnt types of food. Very simple stuff like pizza, sandwich wraps that little hands can mimic.

                1. re: cleobeach

                  Thanks for the tip. Does your child participate in making the dough?

                  1. re: eviemichael

                    My kids have been helping make pizza dough for years. We tend to make it in the Kitchenaid mixer and they have always just dumped in the ingredients. But kneading the dough is also really fun. For kids that age, it's just like play-doh. Then, shaping and topping the pizza. It's always a big hit.

              4. How about decorating a gingerbread house? When my kids were in preschool, they would glue graham crackers to a milk carton and use icing to attach candy. You can also buy a kit with prebaked pieces of gingerbread, frosting mix, and candy. You could preassemble the house and let her go crazy with the frosting and candy.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Mimi

                  Depending on how many days you can make the dough and bake it and then assemble and then decorate (one small project each day) the gingerbread house.