As you know my daughter has decided that she loves to cook. SO it was obvious when her birthday came around she would want to help make the cake. What I didn't anticipate was a "pastry" birthday party.
While I was surprised when she brought up the idea it was a nice cooking challenge for my daughter's birthday! Who will be crowned the best pastry chef? Still I was a little leery of having a dozen little girls running around my kitchen with cooking utensils, a hot oven, and badder everywhere.
When I thought about it for a while I was less terrified of the idea. Organization is an important aspect of any major undertaking and the more I thought about it the more I realized that it needed to be broken into smaller bite sized pieces. Instead of a free-for-all I decided to group the guests into three groups of four children and give them all the same recipe to work from, the muffin recipe I made when I was a child.
To get more out of it we set up a candy bar. My husband and daughter also helped me set up three spaces to cook, this was the most complicated part. Cooking for groups is always hard when you have a small kitchen we needed that times three with a space for all the equipment and ingredients to cook with.
Our home was built in the late fifties and the rooms are all on the smaller side. What we lack in size we make up in volume.
We gave the children a recipe sheet: recipe of muffins and enough ingredients to make them, plus they had a choice of toppings, frosting, chocolate, jam, caramel, fruits. The mother of my daughter's best friend agreed to help chaperon and help the girls when they needed it.
How it works:
- ?? minutes to organize the guests and prepare the muffins (this was a little bit rocky for us)
- 45 minutes to cook muffins
- 30 minutes let the muffins cool off – take advantage of the pause for snack time
- 20 minutes for the children to decorate the muffins
- 30 minutes of "pastry party games" (my daughter's name), this included:
- a blind test (difficult blind blind to indicate if they are chocolate chips, cherry jam. The Goal: to guess the name of pastry chef, with the winner guessing as many names as possible.
- Late afternoon wrap: With arrival of the parents, who for the occasion were invited to taste the children's muffins and select the winning group.
- Each child left with a bag full of surprises (silicon molds, paper molds, cookie stamps, candy…), they were all winners so they all got a prize!
The event was a hit with the girls and now my daughter's best friend wants to host another one next month. Sans the need for a birthday party.
Oops, what have we started!