Cooking with kids can really change the way you look at cooking. Its such fun to see things through their eyes and to experience it with them, and making delicious chocolate dessert recipes is no exception! My three and a half-year-old son and I have been fortunate enough to be the ones to review one of the Handstand Kids Cookbook Kits, and we really had a blast. Learn how to make the delicious Italian tartufo dessert recipe here.
The first thing you need to do when cooking with kids, presuming you are using the Handstand Kids Italian Cookbook Kit, is to make sure your child is wearing the chef’s hat. It must be perched jauntily on his head, not obscuring his vision. This is critical, or he will trip going up his step stool to reach the counter.
The next steps are to follow the recipe for tartufo found on page fifty-tow in the Italian cookbook kit. To start with, I tore off a long piece of aluminum foil for my son (that edge is SHARP) and had him mold it onto a jellyroll pan (basically a cookie sheet with edges). The tartufo dessert recipe calls for ten chocolate cookies. We had Oreos in the house, so we figured that would work. The recipe also called for chopping the cookies with a knife, but since my son is so little, I had him put them in a zip-top bag and pound on them instead. We broke them up together through the bag, then I gave him a rolling pin to continue smushing them into little pieces. Nothing like cooking with kids (or chocolate dessert recipes) to make you appreciate a good rolling pin … or a good seal on a zip-top bag! We transferred the cookie pieces/crumbs to a small bowl to have them ready for the ice cream.
The tartufo dessert recipe suggested making six scoops of ice cream, but since my kids are both small (his brother is only fifteen months) and nobody wants to deal with that much sugar in a tiny little body (if you have kids, you know just what I mean), I opted to use our cookie batter scoop. The scoops are smaller, and we made a dozen. We dropped each scoop, one at a time, into the cookie pieces/crumbs to coat, and we got those on the cookie sheet and I set it in our deep freeze in the garage to chill for an hour.
What is the most important ingredient in chocolate dessert recipes? Chocolate, of course! The recipe calls for eight ounces of chocolate, so my little chef turned on our kitchen scale, put the bowl on and zeroed it out, and poured in the chocolate chips until the scale had an eight on it. Cooking with kids is a great opportunity for your kids to learn measuring, work on their numbers, AND make good food. We had to add one tablespoon of vegetable oil to the chocolate chips, so my son held the measuring spoon while I poured from the bottle, then he added it to the chips and mixed it up. We set that aside on the counter to wait for the ice cream balls to finish freezing.
So, the ice cream balls are cookie coated and frozen, time to melt the chocolate. I handled this part by taking the chocolate chip/vegetable oil mixture and putting it in the microwave for the two and a half minutes the recipe called for. I put the bowl on the counter, making sure to let my son know not to touch because it would be HOT, and we stirred the chocolate to complete the melting process. Oh, did I mention that when we were measuring the chocolate chips for the tartufo dessert recipe that he said it would be OK if he had “just one or two chocolate chips, Mommy. You can have one too, you know.” It was very cute.
Next comes putting the hot, melted chocolate onto the cold, frozen ice cream balls. I brought the cookie sheet in from the deep freeze using a potholder, because metal becomes painful to touch when it reaches about forty degrees below zero! Probably wouldn’t have needed the potholder if I just stuck it in our kitchen freezer. My son and I carefully spooned out the hot chocolate from the bowl and coated each cookie-coated ice cream ball as much as we could, then I popped the tray back into the freezer until after dinner.
We had a delicious dinner of grilled chicken, prepared by my loving husband, and had our delicious tartufo dessert recipe (or “tarfuffo,” as my son calls it) for dessert. Did I mention that our deep freeze is about forty below? Had I the foresight to bring the finished tartufo into the house and temper it in the kitchen freezer or on the counter, we would have missed the delightful scene that played out next …
Forty below is REALLY cold. So cold, I mean you can’t even use a spoon to cut your ice cream ball (tartufo recipe or otherwise) into a bite-sized piece. No matter, just pick the whole thing up and bite it! That’s exactly what my three and a half-year-old son did. It was so funny, but it worked. He couldn’t really bite through the chocolate, but he managed to get it thawed enough between his mouth and his hands that it worked out just fine for him. He was a chocolate mess, but a HAPPY chocolate mess for sure!
Would I recommend making this tartufo dessert recipe with your kids? Absolutely! Would I recommend making it even if you don’t have or know any kids? Definitely!
Originally published on RecipeLion