Lately, I’ve been trying to get my children involved in the kitchen. I love to bake, and I’m hoping to pass on this love — and some important kitchen skills — to them. One sure way to get them excited about helping in the kitchen is to let them pick a dessert to help make.
We’ve been poring through a new cookbook aimed at kids called The Big, Fun, Kids Baking Book. It has lots of pictures, easy instructions, and over 100 delicious-looking recipes. The first recipe my kids wanted to make were the Milk Chocolate Cookie Cups, and I can see why. They combine the best of both worlds: cookies and candy!
Milk Chocolate Cookie Cups
- 1 stick of unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 8 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
- cooking spray
- 3 to 4 tablespoons heavy cream
- M&Ms, for topping
- Beat the butter, cream cheese, brown sugar, granulated sugar and salt in a medium bowl with a mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla until combined. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the flour until combined. Beat in about one-quarter of the chopped chocolate. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the dough is no longer sticky, about 1 hour.
- Coat a 24-cup mini-muffin pan with cooking spray. Divide the dough among the cups (about 1 heaping tablespoon each); press into the bottoms and up the sides to create cups. (If the dough becomes sticky, dampen your fingers.) Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake the cookie cups until browned around the edges and dry in the centers, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven with oven mitts. Let the cookies cool 5 minutes in the pan. Use the back of a small spoon to gently indent the center of each. Use an offset spatula to remove the cookies from the pan and move to a rack to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, put the remaining chopped chocolate and 3 tablespoons heavy cream in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave 30 seconds at a time, stirring, until smooth. Let stand until thick like hot fudge, about 10 minutes. (If the choclate is too thick, gradually stir in 1 more tablespoon heavy cream. If the chocolate hardens, return it to the microwave.) Spoon the chocolate into the cookies and top with the M&Ms. Let cool completely. Makes 24 cookie cups.