Cooking with Kids: Strawberry Shortcake & Vanilla Ice Cream

I am a huge proponent of getting kids involved in the kitchen. My kids absolutely love helping us cook and bake, and David has actually made dinner by himself {with just a tiny bit of help from me with the oven} a few times.

So when my friend Candace from Luxe… with Kids offered to do a guest post on cooking with kids, I jumped at the chance. I’m definitely going to have to try this with my own kids soon!!

Strawberry Shortcake Cooking With Kids Luxe With Kids 1
This simple summer classic is a perfect recipe to get your children involved in preparing a seasonal dessert. Cooking with children, or simply including them in the process, boosts their confidence and encourages conversation. We talk about where the food comes from, we talk about math as we measure, and we stop and taste along the way.

What’s great about this particular dessert is its simplicity. It helps kids appreciate that some of the best things are also the most basic and pure. In a world full of manufactured flavors and artificial colors, it’s hard to compete with Mother Nature’s very own strawberries, fresh dairy, and delicious mint!

Our recipe is a combination of homemade and prepared items. This is meant to be a stress-free and fun summer dessert, so feel free to substitute any items with homemade or fresh prepared from your local grocery. Choose organic and local whenever possible for the best experience.

Step 1: Gather Ingredients
– Shortcake. Make homemade or buy prepared from your grocery’s bakery. I buy the vanilla dessert cups from Whole Foods, but a cream biscuit or angel food cake also are delicious.
– Strawberries. At least a quart of ripe organic strawberries.
– Juice from half a lemon, plus the zest of an entire lemon.
– Ice Cream. Make homemade or buy prepared. To make homemade, you’ll need 1 cup whole milk, 2 cups heavy cream, 2 vanilla beans, 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract, 3/4 c. sugar, and a pinch of sea salt.
– Toppings. Anything you’re wanting to garnish your dessert with such as fresh mint, shredded coconut, chocolate sauce, or whip cream.

Step 2: Make Ice Cream
This needs to be done first because it takes the most time. We make a simple eggless vanilla ice cream using only six ingredients: whole milk, heavy cream, sugar, salt, vanilla beans, and pure vanilla extract. We like a lot of vanilla flavor, so find the combo of vanilla beans with vanilla extract gives it the flavor we enjoy. To open a vanilla bean, split the vanilla bean lengthwise with a sharp knife and gently scrape out the teeny tiny seeds. Stir the tiny seeds into a tablespoon of heavy cream and set aside. (note: You can do this step in advance. The vanilla beans will infuse in the cream and bring out even more flavor). Next, whisk sugar and cold milk together, add salt, pure vanilla extract, and the vanilla bean/cream mixture. Add in remaining heavy cream. Add this mixture to your ice cream machine and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. We have the Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker and can’t say enough about how easy it is to use and clean. Because this ice cream is fresh and does not include any binders in the recipe, it tends to melt very quickly. I transfer my ice cream to a glass container and freeze for about twenty minutes before serving to let it firm up a bit.

Strawberry Shortcake Cooking with Kids Luxe With Kids 2

Step 3: Chop Strawberries
Since it’s summer, your strawberries should be red and smell very sweet. Give them a good wash before removing the greens and cutting into small pieces (note: set aside the greens to toss into your next smoothie). Depending on the age and skill level of your child, you may ask them to help you chop using a chopper, or a knife if they are old and coordinated enough. Add a teaspoon of sugar, the juice from half a lemon, and the zest from an entire lemon and stir. Cover and set aside.

Strawberry Shortcake Cooking with Kids Luxe With Kids 3

Step 4: Assemble
Arrange ingredients in order of shortcake, strawberries, ice cream and the toppings. Let your children scoop their own strawberries and ice cream and customize their own way with the toppings.

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Step 5: Enjoy!
This is the most fun part. As you eat, talk with your children about the process. Look for the tiny vanilla beans in the ice cream, talk about how temperature changes liquids to solids, wonder what the farm looks like where the strawberries grew, ask how the mint tastes. There is so much to experience. We also talk about how much fun it is to celebrate certain times of the year with special recipes, and nothing says summer like fresh strawberry shortcake and ice cream. Enjoy the dessert and even more importantly, enjoy the experience with your children!

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above may be affiliate links. Among others, we are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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