As a recovering OCD mom, I’ve learned how to let go a little and enjoy having my kids help in the kitchen. Of course there are times when all 3 of them are arguing over who gets to add which ingredient, or who gets to stir. And every single time, there is a little extra flour or other cooking ingredient spread across the counter (or floor), but thats all a part of their learning experience, right ? I actually do still cringe a little on the inside when I see every single measuring tool or bowl being used, or when the mess seems to have reached the living room, but I have to say that my kids LOVE being in the kitchen and in the end, that is well worth it!
There have been times when my husband and I come home from a short dinner date, only to walk into our home smelling of warm baked cookies. I think my daughter now enjoys when we leave so she can make whatever she desires, without worrying that I’ll be watching over her, making sure she cleans up right away.
During our most recent night out, Cayden had made some cookies and then with the left over dough, used an 8×8 baking pan to make some bars. We came home shortly after they were pulled out of the oven and although they smelled amazing, Cayden was a little disappointed that the bars were still a little “gooey” on the inside. What she didn’t realize is that with a lot of bars and brownies, especially those using allergy safe ingredients, they simply need to sit just a little longer outside of the oven in order to firm. By the time they had cooled, these bars were amazing and as a result, I think I ate at least half of the pan myself.
I share this with you, not to brag on my kids baking abilities, or to confess my love of chocolate chip bars, but simply because including your kids in the kitchen is empowering. Not just because they learn how to read a recipe, but because they are learning how to cook and bake foods for themselves and others with a restricted diet. I know its not world changing for some, but in our world, it makes a HUGE difference! I encourage you to have fun in the kitchen, regardless of the little messes, and use these opportunities to continue educating on food allergies. You never know how many people you’ll impact one day, just because you made a treat everyone can eat.
Cookie Bar Bites
Crisp edges and a soft chewy center, these allergy safe bars taste nothing less than their classic counterpart.
- 2 1/4 C. All purpose gluten free flour
- 1/2 tsp Xanthan gum
- 1 TB. arrowroot
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 C. Vegan butter (we use Earth Balance Soy Free)
- 1/2 C. Date Sugar (or Light Brown Sugar)
- 1/2 C. Sugar
- 1/4 C. water
- 1 TB. pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 C. dairy free chocolate chips (Enjoy Life is our favorite)
- Preheat oven to 350. Lightly spray 2, 8x8 baking pans and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, xanthan gum, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- Using a stand mixer, beat butter, sugars, water and vanilla until fluffy. Slowly add in the flour mixture. Once blended, add in the chocolate chips.
- Divide batter evenly among prepared baking pans.
- Bake 15-20 minutes, or until edges are golden.
- Let pan cool before cutting to allow for bars to set.
Can make these into 2" cookies. Simply scoop 1 TB. onto prepared baking sheets (use silpat or parchment) and bake 10-12 minutes, until edges are golden.
Serving Size 24
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.