On Baking Toddlers.

(And I do mean “baking” in an adjective sort of way – you know, toddlers who bake.)

Last Sunday, Noah was Nursery-Inappropriate, thanks to a bad cough.

Although I suspected that his cough was due to the home “renovations” during which were (are) in the midst, I make special care not to cast any doubt over his well-being when under the care of The Church – especially since The Great Hand, Foot and Mouth Outbreak of 2012.

(None of us Mommies desire to suspect each other for any future possible outbreaks, so I would feel compelled to tell every other Mommy in attendance that “It’s the massive dehumidifiers!! I swear!!”)

So Chris and Ali went to Church, and Noah and I stayed home.

We played Legos for a bit…ate breakfast…and hung out.  It was oddly quiet.

Then Noah found a Cake Mix, brought it to me, and begged for a bite.

Normally, I don’t just have Cake Mixes lying around for babies to desire, but I’d bought all of the ingredients to make Gingerbread Cake Balls after drooling all over them on Pinterest, and had left said ingredients on the counter hoping that they would spontaneously combust into the desired outcome.

They had not, but Noah knew that the picture outside of the box implied that the ingredients inside were to be sought after, and he wanted to experience that result.

So I decided to take a chance and pulled out the mixer.  Noah quickly pulled a chair around, anxious to help.

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He seemed to understand what needed to be done.  After all, he’s cooked with Ali and I a few times, and he had apparently taken notes.

So he began by snatching a couple of eggs and very purposefully cracking them on the counter.  With Mommy-Fast reflexes, I managed to grab them before too much chicken batter leaked out and dump them in the bowl before too many shell particles leaked in.

He helped me dump the cake mix in, so I decided to let him pour the water.  I filled a measuring cup and handed it to him.

But apparently his needs were more important.

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I did NOT hand him the vegetable oil.

We mixed the cake and put it in the oven, at which point he was crushed by the unexpected time lapse in the process.

So he did what any reasonable person would do: he rooted around in the fridge for a Plan B.

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And I did what any horrible mother would do: I gave him raw cookie dough.

The cake came out of the oven, and his anticipation resumed.

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We smashed the cake and mixed it with icing, and as I prepared for the making of cake balls, Noah took advantage of the open aluminum foil drawer to explore new territories.

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I managed to scoop a few cake balls while he was distracted,

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but Toddler-Peace never lasts long.  And he’s a really quick grab.

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We chilled what remained, we taste-tested them, and we coated them, officially making the ugliest Cake Balls ever created.

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(And running out of White Chocolate right before concluding our dips.)

We put them away for Chris, who is the resident Cake Pop Connoisseur.

(Granted, these are Cake BALLS, but I don’t do sticks.)

After the children were in bed that night, I presented our creation to The Judge of all things Cakey and Round.

(Or slightly resembling round.)

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He seemed quite happy with our creation, so I took a chance and asked him for a comparison against The Standard.

“On a scale of Zero to Jamie, how are our Cake Balls??”

“Oh – they can’t be compared at all to Jamie’s Cake Pops.  They’re two totally different things!!”

“What?  How so?”

“Well…Jamie’s have sticks.  Yours don’t.  And Jamie’s are two bites.  Yours are three.”

I’m going to call that tact.

p.s. – they really are pretty good.  If you want the whole recipe, it can be found at this blog over here (where you can see what they’re actually supposed to look like).  I substituted a Spice Cake Mix for the Gingerbread Cake Mix because I couldn’t find a Gingerbread Cake Mix in any store until the DAY AFTER I made these.  I also added one extra egg into the cake mix and coated the cake balls with White Chocolate Bark instead of Wilton’s Candies – but only because I couldn’t locate my stash of Wilton’s.  May yours be prettier than mine.  And contain less egg shells.