As a mom of two little ones, we spend about 30 minutes after school going through their homework packets during the week. In addition, I've purchased extra booklets to practice math and reading skills for both girls. After watching this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U
about Changing Education Paradigms, I was inspired to bring math learning to a different level at home without pen and paper. So instead, we used spoons and cup measurements to do our math. I figured the reward of cupcakes would keep the girls entertained.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 15-oz can pure pumpkin
- 1/2 cup molasses
- For frosting:
- 8 oz heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Heat oven to 350F. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cloves. Using an electric mixer, beat 1 cup butter and the granulated sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat in the pumpkin and the molasses. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated.
- Divide the batter amount the muffin cups (about 1/4 cup each) and bake until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, 20-25 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then transfer to cool completely.
- To make frosting: Mix the whipping cream, sugar, salt and vanilla until frosting consistency. Frost the cupcakes and add any decorative sprinkles you like!
After everything was baked and frosted, the kitchen was a mess and I still need to mop the floor, but the best part of having the girls help in making the cupcakes was seeing their reactions when tasting the mixes at different times. They both thought the pumpkin puree was gross. They enjoyed licking the sticky molasses off the measuring cups with their fingers.
I'm not sure which part they liked best, the cupcake mixture or the whipped cream cheese frosting. But I'm definitively glad they liked the cupcakes once they were all done. While I could barely taste the ginger in the cupcakes, Piper was the first one to deem the cupcakes too spicy. However, once she got the cupcake with the frosting, it no longer tasted spicy.
I'm not going to lie. Having the girls help in the kitchen is definitively something new to me. It was a little more troublesome than it would have been if I had done it myself. But in retrospect, I think this is something I'm going to try to incorporate to our family routine. I got them to think about math in real life situations and not just on paper and they ate pumpkin!