Baking with a child can be magical. Not in the enchanted forest way, but in a "fill your heart" happy way. Every little detail of the recipe occurs with presence. Whether it is cracking an egg or sifting the flour, a million questions are asked and hopefully patiently answered. There is total awareness of each step accompanied by thoughtful explanation. I am training another baker, after all!
So, when I found myself curled up on the couch with MaryJo, I was delighted when she wanted to bake. She really loves baking with her Aunt Nay Nay! I am so lucky. Our ritual is the same, she grabs a cookbook from my shelf and begins searching for the perfect recipe. She narrows it down to a few choices, and once we read the instructions, the pantry and timing help us make a decision. On this particular day, Molasses Spiced Cookies took the honor.
Baking is very therapeutic for me. When I am baking solo, there are times when I drift into the zone. It's more of a zen-like state, but nevertheless, I am baking and thinking - but not about each other. When you add a child to the mix, it's all about the baking. You are thinking about the ingredients, the techniques, and the "whys". And, at the end of the day, when it's time to sprinkle the cookies with sugar, the sugar becomes the pixie dust ending for this magical day.
This is the time of year when holiday baking goes into full gear. There are many cookies, cakes, pies, and confections to mix, stir, and bake. With Christmas parties and family gatherings, many goodies are expected, if not required.
adapted from Baking From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan