Easy DIY Kids Crafts & Recipes: Gluten-Free Mandarin & Chocolate Chip Cookies

Not Cardboard!

I’ve found a gluten-free cookie recipe which yields cookies that don’t taste like cardboard. Hallelujah! I’m not a fan of several recipes from Gluten Free Baking by  Michael McCamley,  but I liked this one. The cookies have an all-over chocolate taste with a hint of citrus that complements the chocolate chips.

Happy baking, hon! 

Gluten-Free Mandarin & Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces gluten-free semisweet dark chocolate (or gluten-free chocolate chips)
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 5 Tablespoons butter, plus extra for greasing (I used margarine.)
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 2 cups gluten-free, wheat-free all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 Tablespoon gluten-free unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon gluten-free baking soda
  • juice of 1/2 mandarin orange
  • zest of 2 mandarin oranges

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper.
  2. Break or chop chocolate into small chunks and set aside one-quarter of the chunks to top the cookies. (I used chocolate chips so I didn’t break anything up.)
  3. Cream together the sugars and butter in a bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the egg. Add flour, xanthan gum, cocoa powder, baking soda, chocolate chunks, and the orange juice and zest.
  4. Bring the mixture together by hand, forming a ball, and invert onto a floured surface. Divide into 8-10 circles, using about 2 tablespoons of cookie dough per ball. Tip: The mixture is dry and messy, so I add small amounts of warm water until the batter is mixable. Then, grease hands with vegetable oil, combine ingredients, and pinch out batter to make individual cookies.
  5. Place circles on baking sheet, allowing space in between for each cookie to spread. Flatten each cookie slightly and sprinkle with reserved chocolate chunks or chips.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for about 15 minutes, or until just firm to the touch. Remove from oven and let cool o a wire rack.

Yield:  10 cookies

Easy DIY Kids Crafts & Recipes: Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

IMG_3194
Perfect for a Picnic
In anticipation of a social distance get together, Hannah and I searched for a cookie recipe that was low in sugar and dairy-free. We came across these “Ultimate Healthy Soft Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies” on Amy’s Healthy Baking and switched out the raisins (picky eaters) for chocolate chips. The result? Yummy guilt-free cookies!
Happy baking, hon!
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup (100g) instant oats (measured correctly & gluten-free if necessary)
  • ¾ cup (90g) whole wheat or gluten-free* flour (measured correctly)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder (gluten-free if necessary)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons (28g) coconut oil or unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly (I used margarine.)
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (120mL) honey or agave
  • ¼ cup (40g) raisins (I used chocolate chips.)
Directions:
  1. Whisk together the oats, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, egg, and vanilla. Stir in the agave. Add in the flour mixture, stirring just until incorporated. Fold in the raisins (or choc.chips). Chill the cookie dough for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  3. Drop the cookie dough into 15 rounded scoops onto the prepared sheet, and flatten slightly. Bake at 325°F for 11-14 minutes. Cool on the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

According to Amy’s Healthy Baking,

It’s extremely important to measure both the oats and flour correctly using the spoon-and-level method or a kitchen scale. Too much of either will dry out the cookies and leave them crumbly instead of chewy.

Instant oats are also known as quick-cooking or minute oats. They come in large canisters, just like old-fashioned oats. They are not the ones in the small flavored packets of oatmeal. To make your own, add the same amount of old-fashioned oats to a food processor, and pulse 10-12 times.

For a gluten-free version, use gluten-free instant oats and a gluten-free flour blend. I recommend the following blend: ½ cup (60g) millet flour, 2 tablespoons (15g) tapioca flour, 2 tablespoons (17g) brown rice flour, and ½ teaspoon xanthan gum.

If you prefer, pure maple syrup may be substituted in place of the honey or agave. You may also substitute ½ cup (106g) brown sugar plus ¼ cup (60mL) of milk. Any milk will work.

For the best results, use fresh raisins. Older raisins will be drier, so I recommend hydrating them first. Add the raisins to a microwave-safe bowl, cover them completely with water, and top with a tight-fitting lid or plastic wrap. Microwave on HIGH for 45-60 seconds. Let the raisins sit and absorb moisture until you’re ready to add them to the dough. Drain them thoroughly before folding in.

Yield: 15 cookies

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Easy DIY Kids Activities: Paper Plate Crafts

Source: I Heart Craft Things

When I was an assistant pre-school teacher for the Transitional Two’s at HGEEC, the kids made lots of paper plate creations. I Heart Craft Things’ “Paper Plate Fluttering Butterfly Craft,” pictured above, would have gone great with the two, three and four year-old’s butterfly units.  Butterfly habitats were ordered, and the children watched caterpillars eat, form chrysalises, and transform into butterflies. Then they set them free.

Best kid quote: Upon seeing a butterfly open and close its wings, a two-year old girl said, “The butterfly is clapping!” How cute is that?!

Want 8 more imaginative paper plate crafts for kids?

Quill.com’s  Tiffany Jersey said,

If you’ve only used paper plates to simplify the clean-up process after a barbecue, prepare to discover a whole new world. Because they’re plentiful and inexpensive, paper plates make for a fantastic children’s craft supply. When it comes to paper plate crafts, the themes available are nearly endless, from animals and masks to flowers and holiday décor. We’ve rounded up eight creative paper plate craft ideas for kids (although you might find that the whole family wants to get in on the fun).

Note: In addition to scissors and paint or markers, many of the crafts require a few additional supplies. Always supervise little ones as needed.

Click here to find out how to create a paper plate Jellyfish, Fox, Puppy, Hedgehog, Pumpkin, Christmas Trees, Wings and Shaker. 

Happy creating, hon!