I am always on the lookout for a nice, simple recipe for Archie Bear and me to use in our special time. Today was not a day for one of those nice, simple recipes!

Today, when I finally managed to get Teddy Bear to sleep for his afternoon nap, I asked Archie what he’d like to do. Baking, he said.

We donned our aprons, and I grabbed my phone looking for a recipe, while Archie settled himself on the sofa watching the end of a DinoTrux episode. Normally, we bake cookies or biscuits, so we can use some fun cookie cutters or have fun plopping sticky blobs of cookie dough onto the baking tray. But we did cookies last week, and we’ve run out of chocolate chips, which is our first choice for cookie fillings, so I had a think. One of my absolute favourite foods is cinnamon roll, and we have tried it before, but it was labourious, and took forever! No instant sugar fix there, and Archie Bear got bored quickly after we’d kneaded the dough. I searched for cookie recipe on Pinterest, and somehow found myself looking at a gorgeous photo of mini cinnamon rolls. At a glance, it didn’t look too hard, and it was a relatively quick recipe (I’d overlooked the 45 minute prooving time – grrr!). It’s from a blog called Life Made Simple, and you can find it here.

So, cinnamon rolls decided on, we cracked on with it, and had a lot of fun measuring out flour, sugar, butter etc. I like American recipes, as they use cups and I don’t have to get picky about grams or ounces with Archie Bear. He finds it a lot easier to just hold the cup while I pour, and then he tips it into the big bowl. And no waiting for the scales to re-zero between ingredients!

Halfway through making the dough, Teddy Bear woke up, so we had another little, noisy and grumpy, body in the room to add to the general atmosphere of friendly but productive chaos. Somehow, despite cheerio demands, a screaming one year old, and having to mix things together around and over the top of Archie, we got the dough ready for kneading.

He is a pretty good baker already (living up to the family name), and knows how he should knead dough, even if his little arms and hands aren’t strong enough to do it yet. After some half-hearted prodding and rolling, and nowhere near enough actual kneading, we put the dough ‘to bed’ in some cling film and got on with the filling.

 

A quick bit of sugar and cinnamon measuring, and butter melting later, we ‘woke up’ the dough and rolled it out as thin as it would go. Time to add the filling on top. This was like painting and sprinkling glitter, so he was happy with that and did most of it! Then all we needed to do was slice it into little strips and roll them up. Job’s a good’un! Then came the 45minutes of prooving. Sigh. He lost interest in the whole thing and I finished up with putting the oven on, baking it, and icing it too! Although by that time it was dinner time, so there was no way I’d interrupt that with something as interesting as icing!

It’s super, duper yummy, if a little sweet. There was so much sugar in the pan that it made a caramel around the edge that would stick your teeth together! It could’ve done with a bit more kneading, but with Archie helping I think we did as much prodding, rolling, ‘kneading’ as we could! Here’s a blurry pic of the end result!

Tips for baking with your little ones?

  • Make sure your butter is out of the fridge in good time, or put it in lukewarm water for 10 minutes before you start, to warm up to room temperature.
  • Put ingredients away, or at least out of sight, as soon as you’ve finished with them.
  • Don’t get angry if they spill flour everywhere. Just don’t.
  • Don’t let on how much mess there was to your partner before you tidied it up. It’s not worth it.
  • Give them their own utensil, there’s no point trying to share, or getting annoyed about how many spoons you end up using. Just smile and empty out the cutlery drawer!

Have fun!

Archie bear and I are wearing our personalised aprons from LittleChook, available from here. They’re 20% at the moment, so get ordering!