Cooking is a great activity to try as a family! It's a chance for everyone to get involved doing something together and to teach your children new skills.
To kick off your culinary adventures we've put together three super simple recipe ideas. They're fun, hands on recipes - with lots of kneading dough and bashing up biscuits - so your children will love cooking almost as much as they'll enjoying eating their homemade treats!
Funny Face Pizzas
For the dough
● 450g strong white flour
● 1 1/2 tsp yeast
● 1 1/2 tsp granulated sugar (unrefined)
● 1 1/2 tsp salt
● 260ml warm water
● 60ml olive oil
For the topping
● 400g chopped tomatoes
● 1 crushed garlic clove
● 1 tsp dried basil
● 1 tsp dried oregano
● 1tbsp tomato puree
Plus, a selection of their favourite pizza toppings (chopped) to make smiley faces. Peppers, mushrooms, sweetcorn and pepperoni all work well!
1) Start off with your tomato sauce. Add the chopped tomatoes, garlic, basil, oregano and tomato puree to a pan, stir and bring to boil. Then turn down the heat and leave the sauce to simmer for 30 minutes.
Tip: If you're cooking with young children it might be best to do this boring bit beforehand and have your sauce ready to go.
2) Preheat the oven to 200⁰C (180⁰C for a fan assisted oven or Gas Mark 6) and grease two baking trays.
3) To make your dough mix the flour, salt and yeast together in a bowl. Then make a well in the middle, pour in the oil and water and mix until a dough forms.
4) Now for the messy bit! Flour your worktop and knead the mixture for about 10 minutes. Then half the dough and flatten it into two round pizza bases.
5) Cover the middle of the bases with your tomato sauce then use the rest of your toppings to create funny faces.
Tip: Pepper slices are great for making smiles and eyebrows, mushroom slices make good noses and sweet corn looks great sprinkled at the top to make blonde hair!
6) Once you've finished decorating put the pizzas on your pre-greased trays and into the oven for 15 - 25 minutes until the crusts go golden.
Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches
● 280g soft brown sugar
● 225g granulated sugar
● 250g butter
● 2 large eggs
● 1 tbsp vanilla extract
● 450g plain flour
● 2 tsp baking powder
● 300g milk chocolate chopped into rough chunks
● Vanilla ice cream to serve
1) To make the cookie dough, mix the sugars and butter together in a bowl until smooth.
2) Break the eggs into the mixture and add the vanilla extract, stirring well as you go.
Tip: Avoid bits of eggshell getting into the dough by breaking the eggs into a separate bowl for your child before hand - then they can add them in easily.
3) Sift in the flour and baking powder and stir well, then add in the chocolate chunks and stir again.
4) Time to get messy! Use your hands to make the dough into one big lump and place it onto a sheet of cling film.
5) Wrap the dough inside the cling film then roll it on a worktop to make a long sausage. Next place the mix into the fridge to chill overnight - or for at least three hours.
6) Preheat your oven to 180⁰C (160⁰C for a fan assisted oven or Gas Mark 4) and grease two baking trays.
7) Take your dough out of the fridge and slice it into 24 pieces.
8) Place the dough slices onto your baking trays and cook for 20 minutes until the cookies look golden.
9) Allow the biscuits to cool then sandwich them together with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream in the middle.
No Cook Cheesecake
● 220g digestive biscuits
● 75g unsalted butter
● 400g cream cheese
● 300g mascarpone
● 200g icing sugar
● 1 tsp vanilla extract
● 100g maltesers
1) Seal your biscuits securely into a clear plastic bag.
Tip: a zip lock freezer bag will work best and make sure you squeeze all the air out when sealing so it doesn't burst during step two.
2) Now the fun part - take a rolling pin and bash the biscuits into crumbs!
3) Next melt your butter in a large sauce pan and mix in the biscuit crumbs until they all have a good buttery coating.
4) Tip the mixture into a round loose-bottom tin and press into the base to form the bottom of your cheesecake. Then place in the fridge to cool while you make the topping.
5) Mix the cream cheese and mascarpone together until light and fluffy, then slowly add in the icing sugar and vanilla extract.
6) Place your maltesers into a clear sealable bag and break them up in the same way you did the biscuits - this time the pieces don't need to be quite as small.
7) Stir the malteser pieces into the cheese mixture.
5) Take your base from the fridge and spread the topping evenly with a knife or spatula.
6) Cover with cling film and leave in the fridge for four hours to chill.
For more cooking ideas, check out our recipes page.