November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving baking with Carla

I have been meeting with Carla, my favorite six-year-old baker, regularly now on Monday afternoon. I haven’t had time to post about our last week baking so I’m catching up now. I have tried to focus the last couple of experiment on the  fall/autumn theme. I think there are many recipes that are a lot of fun for kids to make. Fall flavors are fun, versatile, and often do not require much sugar addition because of the fruit component. This was the case of last week recipe.

Last Monday we made a wonderful apple pie. I love this recipe for two reasons. First of all, the pie makes its own crust. Yes, really! You don’t have to buy a pre-made crust, nor spend hours in making the pie before being able to eat it. In that way the kid will feel a full ownership on the pie! Second, the recipe is very versatile. You can really use any other seasonal fruit in it, so if you have a lot of fruit that for some reason is going bad you can just use it up in this pie.

The pie turned out so good that Carla and her mom made it again over the weekend for a dinner party they were hosting (in fact substituting pears for apples) and saved me a piece so that I could try it out the following Monday. Isn’t that the cutest thing ever?! If there is one thing I really hope Carla gets out of our weekly meeting is the passion for homemade desserts, the sense of accomplishment, and the desire to share these experiences and the baked goods with other people. The fact that she made that pie again with her mom and for guests was for me a sign I am actually reaching my main goal. I felt so proud of myself and of Carla. And, yes, the piece of pie they saved me was amazingly good!
You can find the recipe at allrecipes.

Last Monday, instead, I wanted to make something a bit more Thanksgiving related and I opted for pumpkin whoopee pies with cream cheese fillings. I have tried to make whoopie pies only once before and I was not really successful at it, so I was a bit insecure in making them. I decided to use a recipe I have seen at Teenie Cakes. I know I can trust whatever I find on Cristina’s blog so I went for it without hesitation.
They were a great success, at least for Carla. 

We have also decided to establish a rating system. We will give three scores to each of our recipes: Carla’s score, my score, and Carla’s mom score. Well, needless to say, the apple pie got an A+ from all of us! The whoopie pies score was:
Carla: A
Sara: B
Carla’s mom: B

The B was mainly due to the fact that neither Carla’s mom nor I are big fans of pumpkin in desserts (and, honestly, after the apple pie we both agree it will be hard to give another A+) but all in all the whoopie pies tasted amazing.

If you have kids or have kids around the house during this long weekend of holiday, spend some time with them and let them keep you (an active – not passive) company in the kitchen. They will love these two recipes.

Have a sweet Thanksgiving!


  1. I love hearing about your baking lessons with Carla. It sounds like she's taking away so much from her time with you and developing a real passion for baking! How adorable that she saved some of the pie she made for you! The apple pie and pumpkin whoopie pies both look delicious. :) I can't wait to hear more about your baking adventures with Carla!

  2. Nothing is better than baking with my kids - 6 yrs and 4 yrs old - they love it!

  3. This time of year you have to have pumpkin everything, its just the way it is! Your whoppie pies look delicious and I am sure your baking with Carla will long be remembered by her and her mom!
    Who knows maybe she'll become a baker, and have you to thank!
    Happy Thanksgiving

  4. Memories of baking/being in the kitchen are so close to my heart. It's beautiful that you're giving that gift to Carla! I'm sure she will grow to be a wonderful baker just like you

  5. I love it!!! My 5 year old daughter loves to cook and bake with me. And I love your idea of having a special day that is always designated to her and you for that special time together.

  6. The pie looks amazing! I'd prefer it over the whoopie pies, although they look pretty nice too. My two older ones love to bake with me, but I have to be mentally prepared to clean up the mess afterwards!

  7. That is so fun that you bake with Carla every week :) I wish my cousins lived closer so I could have fun like this with them! As you know, I love pumpkin so I think I would give these an A as well!

  8. Love the rating system! I have something similar in my family, a 1-10 scale. On sweets, Liv's are usually higher than mine too! I'm so glad you are enjoying your time cooking with her. I loved cooking with my kids when they were little, they loved to bake, especially the stirring part!
    I've never actually had a whoopie pie... somehow it just doesn't seem super appealing, but I have to admit that Teeniecakes were tempting, even for me!

  9. The apple pie looks delicious. I love how you say it didn't need a crust - makes things easier, especially if you're cooking with kids. I'll have to keep that in mind. The rating system is great because there are definitely some recipes that truly are amazing and other ones that are good at best. But your whoopie pies looks delish.

  10. lovely bakes to do with children my children love it when I bake too

  11. That's very cool that you do that every Monday. Move to this side of the country (the RIGHT side) and I'll lend you a 4 year-old so you'll be able to continue the tradition without losing a step!

    (It would be a toss-up....I love pumpkin and apple so they'd both get an A+.)

  12. I want to be in on your baking lessons too! Especially because they involve apple pies and pumpkin whoopie pies. I can't decide which is better :) Hope you had a great Thanksgiving, Sara!

  13. I love reading about for baking lessons with Carla. I'm not a big fan of pumpkin dessert either tho I love all other pumpkin dishes but the crust-less apple pie I bookmarked it and soon try it.
    An award is waiting for you on my blog
    Hope you'll have a wonderful weekend

  14. Last Sunday, I was at a baking class for young kids and it was great: they were all so into the tasks that they were assigned. I like your projects with Carla.

  15. What a wonderful helper! Love getting everyone excited and involved.

  16. I need to start coming over like Carla :). My baking needs help and you make the best stuff! :)


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