Baking with the girls

Sunday, February 26, 2012

When the girls were small one of our favourite activities, not surprisingly, was baking together.  I’d pull a couple of chairs up to the kitchen counter so they could see what was going on and help out.  Chocolate chip cookies were always their favourites because a) it was fun to measure and pour chocolate chips, and b) who can resist chocolate chip cookies?

I know from personal experience that kids enjoy baking.  Starting when I was about eight, I made an annual batch of fudge to enter in the Baking Competition at Rodney Fair.  Most years the competition called for chocolate fudge, and those years I used my dad’s recipe (see Paul’s Fudge).  Once or twice the rules specified vanilla fudge, and my mom and I searched her cookbooks to find a recipe for Opera Fudge.  We found a great recipe in her copy of Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook, which she received as a gift in July 1969.  Maybe someday I’ll post it here!

Desserts are a fun way for kids to start baking.  I became comfortable in the kitchen making fudge, cookies and squares, and that has led to a lifetime of cooking enjoyment.  Most of the time I’d really rather cook a meal and eat in, than go out to a restaurant.  And I hope my girls will feel the same when they’re adults.

Even now that they’re busy teenagers, we still bake together sometimes.  Yesterday, my oldest daughter and I pulled out the recipe for Buttermilk Cheddar Biscuits, which I’ve been meaning to bake for weeks.  This recipe was a perfect one for us to share in so many ways.  My daughter loves baking bread and these biscuits, which don’t require yeast, take no time at all to make.  And they’re delicious, one of those rare recipes that everyone in our house raved about.
Beetter Homes and Garden New Cookbook
Still available for purchase, 43 years later!
Buttermilk Cheddar Biscuits
(from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics)

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus some to coat the cheese and flour the cutting board.
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
12 Tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced small
1/2 cup cold buttermilk, shaken
1 cold large egg
1 cup grated extra sharp Cheddar cheese
1 egg beaten with 1 Tbsp milk (this is the egg wash)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.  Add diced butter and stir to combine.

Combine buttermilk and egg in a small glass measuring cup and beat lightly with a fork.  With a mixer on low speed, quickly add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and beat only until moistened.  In a small bowl, mix Cheddar with a small handful of flour and add to the dough.  Stir until just combined.

Place on a well-floured board and knead lightly about six times.  Roll the dough out to a rectangle 5 x 10 inches.  (Note: another time I might roll it slightly larger and cut twelve biscuits from the dough.)  Cut the dough lengthwise in half and then cut each section in quarters, making 8 rough rectangles.  Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the tops with the egg wash, sprinkle with sea salt and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.  (If making 12 biscuits, they’ll be done a little sooner.)  Serve hot or warm.

52 comments:

LDH said...

A sweet post and one I so relate to having girls of my own and now grandchildren. The biscuits look delicious :)

This time together with your busy teenagers is extra special!

Sue said...

I didn't bake much with my mom, but I did bake a lot with my kids. My son could crack an egg (with no shells) into the cookie batter by the time he was five. Such sweet memories. Now making more with my grandchildren (munchkins).

Mary Anne MacCrone said...

We had the same cookbook at our house while I was growing up too!

sally said...

I'm so impressed that you were making fudge at 8 years old! I'm glad your daughter had time to bake these buttermilk cheddar biscuits with you--they look fantastic!

bakewithjill.com said...

My mom had one of those Better Homes & Gardens cookbooks, and I looked through it often. It was always a fun time to bake with my mom!

Valerie said...

Preparing food is such a delightful way to bond with people. Maybe if politicians were locked inside a kitchen and told to bake a batch of cookies, they'd be more willing to meet somewhere in the middle. :D

Buttermilk. Cheddar. Biscuits. I ♥ all three!

Beth said...

Mary Anne and Jill, it must have been a popular cookbook at the time. I remember flipping through, looking at the recipes, as well!

And Sally, I was thrilled that she had the time to bake with me too. She's going away to school next year, and I'm grateful for all the moments we have together.

Jemi Fraser said...

Those look yummy!!

I got a Better Homes & Gardens cookbook as an engagement present years ago and it is awesome! My kids learned to bake and cook with it too :)

Lizzy said...

These sound fabulous...and I have some leftover buttermilk and sharp cheddar waiting in the fridge just for this recipe! Thanks for sharing, Beth!

Yummy said...

These look delicious. I like the square shape!

Ruth said...

I have the same cookbook. I had a newer one, but put it in a garage sale when I found my Mum's copy from the 70's. That's the one I want to keep!

Natalie Aguirre said...

My daughter and I used to love to bake together. Now she's a teenager and invites her friends over to do it together once in awhile.

lisa is cooking said...

They look flaky and delicious! I like the rectangular shape too. Sounds like a fun recipe to bake with and share with family.

Angela said...

Yum! I love cheese biscuits.

Joanne said...

I think it's wonderful that your share your love of baking with your daughters, because really, the whole process is about so much more than baking, isn't it ...

Bonnie said...

I love all of The Contessa's recipes. I loved baking with Heather. We still enjoy cooking together when we are together. Enjoy the time with your sweet girls. Bonnie

Achu's Amma's Kitchen said...

yummy awesome biscuit

Elaine said...

These look really good. It sounds like you had a perfect day in the kitchen making memories as well as biscuits. Perfect!

Rebecca Subbiah said...

sweet hope J still cooks with me when shes a teenager

Belinda said...

Who doesn't love dessert making!!

Three-Cookies said...

This is the first time I am seeing a recipe that requires cold large egg. Very interesting technique

Claire Davis said...

Those look delicious, my husband would like them. Anything with cheese is good in my opinion! I love looking through old cookbooks and recipes my grandmother wrote down for my mom.

Joanne said...

I definitely plan on baking with my kids when I have them! I feel like it gives a real appreciation for food.

These biscuits sound so tasty. Can't go wrong when there's buttermilk AND cheddar involved!

Mary said...

I've never seen a recipe for biscuits cut and shaped like this. I am loving the simplicity of it. Biscuits are one of my favorite things to bake with my own kids too!

Carol said...

Such a sweet post, brings me back to when I was small and I helped my grandma bake brownies. Your girls will look back with such fond memories. Those biscuits look amazing!

laxsupermom said...

Yum! My teen rarely bakes with me, but my little one still does. I'm hoping to be building the kind of warm childhood kitchen memories that I have of my own childhood. The biscuits look delicious! Thanks for sharing.

Pam said...

We love to bake here too. These biscuits look and sound delicious.

Jeanne said...

I used to love helping my mom make chocolate chip cookies when I was little. These biscuits look so good! I love anything with cheddar cheese in it!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Nice recipe. I've eaten, but never made, biscuits with cheddar. Terrific flavor combo. And I almost always use a knife cut my biscuits in squares or rectangles - so much easier than rooting around for the biscuit cutter! Thanks!

Julie said...

There's nothing more rewarding than spending time in the kitchen with your children!!! I love cheddar biscuits, these look delicious. Perfect with soup for dinner.

Pachecopatty said...

Those are good memories that last a lifetime!
Your buttermilk cheddar biscuits look like they would make a nice addition to the Easter menu;-)

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I love baking with my daughter, but as she has gotten busier with school we seem to only bake around Christmas.

Cindy said...

I have great memories baking with my Mom. Now I am baking with my grandchildren. What a lovely gift to pass on.

Katerina said...

These are moments you and your daughters will always cherish and remember! The biscuits look very tasty and are loaded with love and care!

Amie Kaufman said...

Oh Beth, these sound AMAZING, and best of all, they don't break Lent for me! I think I'll bake them on the weekend, and I think I'll take a leaf out of your book and bake them in company.

Barbara said...

I loved that old BH&G cookbook! Mine was a hardcover and and rings like a notebook so you could cut things out of their magazine and insert in the cookbook. Even my boys liked to cook, which certainly stood them in good stead as they got older.
Ina's cheddar biscuits look divine.

Rita said...

I still have and love this book; I even bought for my grand daughter for Christmas. I cooked with my 4 sons; happy I did, they are all very at easy in the kitchen.
Rita

Medeia Sharif said...

I love biscuits. :)

I adored baking as a kid. I felt so special, particularly when I cracked eggs open.

nancy at good food matters said...

My mother used the original Better Homes cookbook---I can still see it, rather tattered and yellowed in my mind's eye.

What a love for cooking and baking you are instilling in your children, which will serve them well in years to come.

Raina said...

It definitely is a special thing when we bake with our kids on so many levels, spending quality time, teaching them how to do it for themselves some day, and making memories. You are surely creating wonderful memories with your girls, baking and travelling that they will always treasure:)

Becki's Whole Life said...

I love that cookbook. My mom had it and I am pretty sure she received it for a wedding present.

I have buttermilk in my fridge that I need to use and these sound wonderful - I mean, who doesn't love biscuits (esp. with buttermilk and cheese - yum!)

My girls love baking with me, too...how fun!

If you visit my site you will see I posted an award for you tonight.

Kathy said...

I always loved baking with my daughter and now I get to bake with my granddaughter! A total joy! Your buttermilk cheddar biscuits look simply delicious!

Words Of Deliciousness said...

I baked with my kids when they were little also. It was always so much fun and made for some great memories. Your biscuits look yummy!

Lynda said...

I always enjoyed cooking with my children too- now I've started letting my almost 3 year old granddaughter put the flour in the bowl when I bake. She wants to "help" so bad!
Your buttermilk cheddar biscuits looks fantastic..a perfect choice for bonding and baking.

Sarah said...

I used to love baking with my mom as a girl. This was such a sweet post and the recipe looks lovely too!

shaz said...

A gorgeous post Beth. Your girls are lucky to have shared so many sweet baking memories with you. And who doesn't love a good choc-chip cookie. The biscuits look tasty too.

Maggie said...

I don't have memories of baking with my mom, but I know my daughter will! She is only 18 months and already likes to stand on a stool next to me while I bake and cook and it completely warms my heart. Oh, the memories we will make! I loved your stories of baking with your kids and mom, food really brings people together. These biscuits look wonderful, and such a fun weekend project.

Angie's Recipes said...

Such a warming and loving post!
These buttermilk biscuits look fantastic!

grace said...

my mom taught me just about everything i know about cooking, including her magnificent biscuits. these look great--terrific post, beth!

comfortablydomestic.com said...

Such wonderful memories you are creating with your girls! I love to bake with my boys. Biscuits are quickly becoming Son #1's specialty, so he will be thrilled when I show him this recipe. The first recipe that I ever made was the chocolate chip cookies in my mother's BH & G cookbook.

Kayte said...

Buttermilk? Cheddar? I have those...now all I need is the ability to make a decent biscuit! I love Ina's recipes and they always turn out...except biscuits...I can never get biscuits to work for me. Biscuit envy.

Simply Life said...

oooh these biscuits look fabulous!

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