This post for Chocolate Chip Butter Bars includes a free Teaching Guide for parents teaching their kids how to cook using this recipe. Be sure you print it out by clicking the link at the bottom of this post and share this post with parents, grandparents, church workers, or any friends who may want to teach little ones to cook. Thanks!
Hey Friends! We’ve been having a lot of cooking lessons lately because Katy’s best friend, Sara Jane, has taken an interest in it. Whenever I am in the kitchen and she is here, she ends up right there in the mix wanting to help and learn. As a result, Katy is right there with her and that right there is how cooks are born!
As a result, not only am I bringing you a great recipe to bake with today, I’m also bringing you a complete Teaching Guide to go along with it, too! The recipe is in card format at the bottom of this page for anyone who just wants to add it to their files. For those of you with children in your lives, you can click on the Teaching Guide at the bottom of this post to open that up and print it out. I encourage you to check it out and share it with your friends who are parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, or anyone else who enjoys sharing their love of cooking with kids. Because, let’s face it, your kids will have to eat. We can teach our kids how to order at a drive through or we can teach them how to cook.
You’ll need: Butter, Sugar, Flour, Vanilla, Egg, and Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips.
Place your butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
Just as SJ was doing this I said “Now be careful so you don’t spill sugar all over the table…” and you see where that spoon went. So I quickly added “But the good thing about mistakes is that they help you learn to do things the right way…”. Apparently she took this to heart because later, when I was mixing something and turned my mixer up two notches instead of one, causing flour to fly all over the place, she reassured me “Well, mistakes help you learn to do things the right way!”
It’s important, when teaching kids, to show kids how to measure out ingredients. You may not realize it but most kids, before they cook for themselves, don’t realize we are being exact. They see us dip a cup into the sugar or flour canister and just think we’re using it to scoop out a random amount of flour. I’ve had more than one child tell me that in their family, they just put a bunch of stuff in a bowl and add in chocolate chips and stir all of that up and BAM cookies. This is absolutely normal thinking for a child so we just have to gently explain and show them there there is a little more of a method to our madness and that those measuring cups and tablespoons have an important job when it comes to cooking. More about that in a minute.
Cream butter and sugar together using an electric mixer.
Add in flour, egg, and vanilla.
This is a photo of Katy leveling off a cup of flour before adding it. Do I measure like this normally? No. But I know how and that is the point. It is like handwriting, in school you are taught how to properly make the letters and once out from beneath the regulations of a classroom, you can make them your own. If our cooking is rooted in the most accurate ways to do things we will have the knowledge we need to not stray too far from that when we personalize things. And most importantly, they will be able to read most any recipe and know exactly how to do it.
When Grandmothers taught us how to cook with a “little bit of this and a pinch or two of that” they were usually nearby to ask questions later on as we got used to making the recipe so that method of teaching worked just fine, even without written recipes. In today’s world it is very important to be able to read a recipe card and share recipes in a way that is reproducible by any cook without further instruction.
Oh my goodness, I sound all cold and official. I’m sorry. I lose my writing accent when I’m trying to be clear and make as much sense as possible.
Mix these again with an electric mixer until a dough is formed, scraping down sides as needed.
Look at these happy girls! When I cook with them, I let them do as much as possible entirely on their own. Most kids do not want you to do it for them and it is best if you don’t. Let them do it. If they need help or have a question, then help, otherwise just kinda stand back and explain what needs to be done.
The worst thing that could happen is that you end up with a messy kitchen, some great memories, and a lot of laughter.
The best thing that could happen is that you end up with a messy kitchen, some great memories, a lot of laughter, and something good to eat.
Add in chocolate chips and stir those in by hand until well incorporated. This may take a bit of elbow grease.
Spoon dough into greased 8×8 or 9×9 pan. Wet hands lightly and pat it down until it is evenly distributed. Bake this at 350 for 25-30 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges, careful not to overcook.
The link to the Teaching Guide for this recipe is below the recipe card 🙂
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup butter at room temp
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350.
- In large mixing bowl, place butter and sugar. Cream together with an electric mixer until well combined and fluffy.
- Add in flour, egg, and vanilla. Beat again until fully incorporated and a dough is formed, scraping down sides as needed.
- Add in chocolate chips and stir by hand until mixed in.
- Spray 9x9 or 8x8 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- Spoon dough into dish. Using wet hands pat out into dish until it is even.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until just lightly browned on the edges, being careful not to over bake. Allow to cool before cutting.
“It’s not how big the house is, it’s how happy the home is.”
This recipe featured in the Weekend Potluck at Country Cook!