May 08, 2012

Baking with the Boys and Pride in the Creative Process

The last few weeks have been emotionally taxing on my family.  They have been so supportive of the book launch, but as glamorous as it all seems, work can take its toll on the home life. This past weekend, I was ready for some quality family time. Truthfully, the last thing in the world I wanted was to have anything to do with baking. I wanted to escape from the book for a weekend. Then my older son Zach said he wanted to present my book to his class for his book presentation day in school. I think at that moment I realized how proud he and my family feel to be a part of the book creation process. So the weekend became a project of implementing a few projects from the book. One of the things Zach wanted to create were the banana whoopie pies from my Forever Chanel chapter. That’s him piping the banana cinnamon batter onto baking pans. It was his first time making whoopies and he loved it….

He also took on one of my least favorite tasks…sifting!  Thank goodness he hasn’t grown tired of it yet.  He’s my go-to sifter!  We started early and my little son, still in his pajamas, joined in to pipe when he woke up.  I love how Zach is looking on and guiding him.  My little guy was pretty good at piping, too!  Scroll down for more pictures.

Zach had fun sandwiching the whoopie cookies together and he had his first taste of mascarpone cheese, which we sweetened for the whoopie pie filling. One of the things I’m always reminding myself is to not control the creative process when I’m baking or crafting with my kids. I really have to refrain myself from taking over so that my kids can be creative in their own way. Do you guys experience that, too? I talk about it a little here. Creative parents {including me!} can be tempted to take over, but kids need to be the little artists that they are!

Zach also wanted to make the beehive cupcakes from the Honey, I Love You chapter.  After we made the cupcakes, he piped the marshmallow meringue frosting. He was an expert at piping by that point!

He also loved using the candy thermometer and seeing how ingredients like egg whites, sugar, and corn syrup can turn into a glossy and creamy frosting. Yes, the whole family licked the bowl several times!

My kids and husband are always amazed when I whip out the kitchen torch. This technique is for adults only!

Now if you know my son at all, you’ll know he is quite type-A.  He really amazes me sometimes. He’s only 7, but he had an idea to create a power point presentation for the class.  He created the whole thing completely by himself…no lie.  He came out of my office and this whole presentation was put together. I’m trying not to be a boasting mom, but seriously? Like I said, he really amazes me sometimes!

The best part about watching his presentation unfold was to see how confident and proud he was. Since he had tasted recipes and lived with props from the book {sometimes in his own room!}, it seemed like the perfect way to end the chapter for him.

Here he is eating his beehive cupcake.  Notice he even made the bumblebee golden gift bags from the Honey, I Love You chapter. He reversed the colors to put his own spin on it. I know he was proud, but I have to tell you…I am so proud of this little guy {and my littler guy and husband} that they were part of this creative book process.


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  • I can’t imagine how busy you all must have been. I bet this made it all worth it! So cute!

  • What a creative and adorable boy. He looks like he’s in total control of the baking and he’s only 7! Can’t believe he made a whole power point presentation too. I have two boys as well, they’re a bit younger but I already know what you mean about letting them take control, it’s something I need to work on but the pride on your son’s face shows that is worth it.

  • That is so awesome & heart warming 🙂 He’s proud of you, you’re proud of him. I have to fight the urge to take over crafting and baking projects ALL. THE. TIME. My oldest daughter is only three, so she does need a little help but my desire for everything to be aesthetically pleasing tries to kick in and I have to refrain. I understand the struggle!

  • What a beautiful, sweet post, Amy! Looks like he’s your biggest fan of all. No wonder you are so proud of this sweet, independent, artistic little guy! You’re doing a great job with him!

  • Dalia

    What a sweet boy! He really looks like he knows what he’s doing and he’s only 7, Wow! You must be as proud of him as he is of you.

  • Oh WOW!! That is amazing! Congratulations, Zach! What awesome whoopie pies, cupcakes and presentation you did. As a Mom, I too am so proud of your artistic work and that cool power point presentation!!! 🙂
    What a sweet post, Amy. I love it! Touches the hearts of your readers, esp Moms like me! And I really love this part you wrote, ” The best part about watching his presentation unfold was to see how confident and proud he was. Since he had tasted recipes and lived with props from the book {sometimes in his own room!}, it seemed like the perfect way to end the chapter for him.”
    That is beautiful! 🙂

    Zach, I really wish I could taste your whoopie pies. They certainly sound and look so delicious! Congratulations again to you and your little brother. 🙂

  • shellycake

    I really enjoyed reading this post. It is amazing to read about how your son was so proud of his momma and how he wanted to do a presentation on you!
    This post makes me want to have kids…. 🙂

  • Cakes by Gitty

    Wow Amy, how special. Thank you for sharing. It is a constant struggle for me to take a step back and allow my daughters to be creative all on their own. It is something I continuously work on. My four year old is my go to sifter as well, she loves the job whenever I am baking and even With this I struggle to keep my mouth shut when I see the flour going on the counter as opposed to in the bowl! But the best feeling is definitely when my daughter sees my work and tells me ” wow, that is so beautiful!”. She never fails to compliment my work, she is definitely my number one fan and that makes me feel so special!
    P.s. My husband came home from work tonight to tell me THE book finally arrived at his office (i sent it there so as not to miss it at home in case as i was out) but he left it there! Oh well, its nearly midnight and I still have a nights work ahead of me so I guess it’s better it’s not here or I wouldn’t get any work done!
    Thank you for your constant inspiration!

  • What a sweet post.

  • How fun, Amy! I love it when kids show-off their mommas! I used to teach 2nd grade, and I always used cooking/baking as part of my classroom activities (I once caused the power to go out from having too many pans going at one time!) There is nothing better than seeing what kids create…and how good they are at it when we let them! I love stepping back and watching what my own children do with their sweet, creative minds- thanks for sharing what your children love to do, too! Way to go, Zach!

  • Nothing like baking with your kids and licking the bowl..even though the urge to step in is oh so strong sometimes.

  • He is so creative, how special

  • Lorena

    Awesome! Absolutely great to see your son/family be part of the process and proud of you. It is so fun to see him doing his show and tell. Thumbs up to Zach on his baking and presentation.

  • amelia

    What a fab little guy! It’s so lovely to hear that even after your hectic few weeks when your son asked to do one of the last tasks you wanted, you still put 100% in for your son! Can’t wait for my copy of Sweet Designs, i’ve pre-ordered it on Amazon, but it isn’t out until next week in the UK!! Counting down the days!!!

  • Stacey

    Now that is what we call “Nachas!”

  • Arisara


    Such a talented family!

  • Kesha

    How sweet is your son! I know he is very proud of you as you are of him:-)