This is How we Roll

Since becoming a Culinary teacher my kids have expressed more of an interest in cooking. Now they want to learn whatever it is I will teach them. Whereas before, I had to pull teeth to get them to help me in the kitchen. Don’t ask me what’s changed, I just know that I’m going to take it. So with this new interest in mind my husband and I have decided to get the kids more involved in cooking meals. Face it, cooking dinner day in and day out can get exhausting. Everyone needs a break. And when you have 5 kids to share the load *cough* free labor *cough* why not let them. Kidding.

Cooking is something every child should learn. It helps them become self-sufficient, responsible and teaches them incredible life skills. And after teaching high school kids over the last year, many of which who don’t know how to measure, I am all for teaching kids to cook, early. Of course, I don’t mean you should let your 4 year old near an open flame. I’m saying it is okay to allow them to help with age appropriate things. We’ll talk more about that over the summer as you all walk with me through my children’s cooking adventures.

Now let’s get started with our first adventure. One of the first things that all parents need to accept before allowing their kids in the kitchen is that the kitchen is going to get messy. It’s a fact. It will happen. And this is okay, now you can teach them to clean up after themselves. Another thing every parent has to learn is to let go of control. When you have kids in the kitchen the unexpected can happen. You can’t control everything. In order for them to learn. They have to make mistakes. You just need to be there to teach them what they did wrong. Controlling the situation will do nothing for your child or you. Trust me, I know. I have the hardest time letting go of control in my kitchen.

If you don’t already know, this Friday, May 30th us folks at Dumb White Husband will be coming together to watch the old 80’s flick, Maximum Overdrive. Of course we invite all of you to join us too, we sort of like an audience… kidding. Maybe. Well in honor of our movie choice my kids and I decided to make a theme appropriate snack for the movie…. Cinnamon rolls.

Now before I tell you this recipe I want you all to know that this recipe is not an original one of mine. I got it from the following website: It is a great no yeast cinnamon roll recipe. I just made a few changes to the recipe. I took out the filling and filled it with my favorite cookie dough. I also don’t use their glaze recipe, it’s horrible and too runny.

This recipe my 12 year old made by himself.

Cinnamon Rolls

Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake 20-25 minutes.

2 Cups Flour
2 Tablespoons Sugar
4 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Salt
3 Tablespoons Butter, softened
¾ Cup Milk

In a large bowl mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in softened butter, of course you can use a pastry cutter if you have one, but if you don’t a fork works great. I just had to show my son this part. I told him that it was like smashing the butter into the flour. Of course you can also use your hands. You should have no big chunks of butter left. Stir in milk a little at a time. Making sure to stir well after each addition. Continue to stir in milk until you can form a soft dough. It may seem a little dry, but keep working it. At this point you can also use your hands. This was the hardest part for my son. He sort of worried when he saw that he had used all the milk and the dough hadn’t come together. On a lightly floured surface roll out dough into a rectangle about ¼ inch thick. And if you are having a child roll it out, any shape they roll will work. Remember you don’t have to control everything. Cover with a light coating of cinnamon and sugar.

Filling (Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough from Crisco)
¾ Cup Butter Flavor Crisco Shortening
1 ¼ Cups Firmly Packed Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoons Milk
1 Tablespoon Vanilla
1 Egg
1 ¾ Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 Teaspoon Salt
¾ Teaspoon baking soda
1 Cup Chocolate Chips

Combine butter flavor crisco, brown sugar, milk and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until well blended. This part is perfect for a little kid. My 6 year old helped make the cookie dough. Beat egg into cream mixture. Your child can crack the egg, just make sure they crack the egg in a separate bowl to ensure you don’t get any egg shells in your cookie dough. Combine flour, salt, and baking soda. Mix into creamed mixture just until blended. This is where I took over. I mixed while my son added the flour. He really liked the mess from the flour. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread over rolled out dough. (this part was hard for my 12 year old so he asked me to do it, I told him that it’s hard for anyone. The cookie dough doesn’t spread easily.)

This is my son using the
thread to cut the rolls.
Once the cookie dough is spread over the entire rectangle or whatever shape you have, roll up the rectangle from the longest side. You roll it so that you have the longest roll possible. My son had fun with this. Then using a piece of sewing thread, slide it under the roll and pull it up and over to cut off rolls. I always try to get 18 rolls. Place them in round cake pan or whatever size pan you prefer. You can place them close together. Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.

½ Powdered Sugar
1-2 Tablespoons Milk
1 teaspoon Maple Syrup

In a bowl whisk powdered sugar and milk together. If it is too thick add another tablespoon of milk. The icing should be thick like a frosting. Add maple syrup and whisk. Drizzle onto warm or hot cinnamon rolls.

And just so you know this recipe turned out great. And both of my boys were incredibly proud of their accomplishment. And I was happy because I walked out of the kitchen clean J
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