Beyond the Gingerbread House: Holiday Baking for Your Homeschool
Holiday season is a perfect time to incorporate some baking classes into your homeschool. There are often extra holiday guests to bake for, and homemade treats make great gifts for friends and neighbors. Baking with your children is a fun, festive way to celebrate the holiday and learn at the same time!
This article from Simple Homeschool offers several compelling reasons to incorporate baking into your curriculum and outlines the way homeschool mom, Jamie, organizes her homeschool cooking course. Holiday baking could be a great way to jumpstart a child’s interest in a more disciplined course through the rest of the winter or spring.
One Time Through describes helpful tips for baking with small or multiple children.
This kitchen safety rules chart from Snack Works is a great list to print and hang in your kitchen as a general safety refresher for everyone in your family.
KidsHealth addresses children themselves with some great ways to be safe while cooking, baking, and even storing the items they’ve prepared.
This handy sugar cookie dough can be used in three ways to make drop, sliced, or cut-out cookies.
Peanut butter blossoms are a popular holiday favorite, and little ones will love unwrapping chocolate kisses to press on the baked cookies.
Spicy snickerdoodles are simple enough for small children to mix and prepare themselves–always with appropriate supervision, of course!
Spritz cookies utilize a cookie press to shape the cookies. The dough can be flavored and colored in multiple ways; and with the simple press and short baking time, large batches can be make quickly.
Peanut butter balls, or “buckeyes,” as they are colloquially called in many parts of the U.S., are simple to roll and dip, and can be frozen easily for storage. Decorative jars filled with them also make lovely and popular gifts!
These holly cookies from Recipe Girl are reminiscent of marshmallow rice crispy treats. Younger children will love to help shape and decorate the wreaths, but an older child or adult should be responsible for the melting process on the stove.
Graham cracker gingerbread houses skip all the tricky gingerbread measuring and cutting, and get right to the fun part–decorating! The author also suggests a cute way to incorporate them into your holiday decor by using them as votive holders for flameless candles.
These four-ingredient cookies from Your Cup of Cake are a great way to use that box of cake mix sitting in your cupboard and are easy and fun for kids of all ages.
Fudge can be tricky, but this peppermint crunch fudge from Real House Moms boasts a no-fail microwavable recipe that makes it easy for young children to safely help with–and it’s too pretty not to add to your holiday table!
These easy Christmas peppermint patties are delicious on their own or dipped or drizzled in chocolate for a little extra pizzazz.
Potato chip cookies are an intriguing blend of sweet and salty, and require smashed potato chip crumbs that little hands will be happy to prepare.
Rainbow ring cookies look beautiful and appear much more complicated than they actually are. This is a great recipe for older children to prep and younger children to assemble.
These Christmas cookie puzzles are a cute twist on iced sugar cookies and are a unique way to gift cookies to friends and neighbors.
These Christmas mice cookies are a simple, no-bake cookie that only take minutes to assemble.
Your children can pick a recipe–or two, or three!–to experience a sweet holiday tradition from a land far away. These can make great additions to a presentation or report about a specific country, or holiday traditions around the world. While some of them do require more patience and are a bit more complicated than the simple, kid-friendly recipes above, children would still be able to perform most of the prep and assembly. More supervision or direction may be needed, especially if the recipes are unfamiliar.
These British stained glass cookies are popularly hung as tree ornaments in the United Kingdom, and make a beautiful, eye-catching treat.
Vanillekipferl are vanilla cookies you would be likely to find at a traditional German holiday celebration. Note that this recipe gives measurements in grams and baking temperatures in Celsius, making it a great tool for a mini math lesson while your student converts the measurements.
Pecan linzer cookies, popular in Austria, are sweet, delicate-looking cookies that can be filled with a variety of jams to suit your family’s taste.
Bûche de Nöel, or yule log cake, is a traditional French dessert that is typically decorated to resemble a yule log, and makes a beautiful centerpiece dessert for a holiday meal.
Turrón, a soft almond nougat, is a popular Spanish Christmas treat. This recipe from Oh The Things We’ll Make is a result of the author’s exhaustive trial-and-error process, and includes a helpful instructional video.
The cute little Italian amaretti cookies are a delicious blend of almond and chocolate flavors.
Paciencia are a popular Filipino meringue cookie, often given as holiday gifts. They require only five simple ingredients and are easy to make, as long as the egg whites are beaten to the right consistency–a sweet lesson in patience!
Besitos de Coco, or “coconut kisses”, are a favorite holiday treat in the Spanish-speaking Caribbean island of Puerto Rico. The light coconut cookies can be dressed up with crushed nuts or drizzled chocolates, and are similar to coconut macaroons.
These simple Mexican butter cookies, Galletas con Chochitos, are easy to make and can be decorated in a number of festive ways, with coloring icing, sugars, and sprinkles.