Tantalizing Tartlets! A Simple Baking Experience!

Making Tartlets

I saw these lovely tartlet shells at Cold Storage, and I thought this is a sure winner for busy moms like me who have always wanted to bake with my little girl, but simply have no time to make everything from scratch!

For simple baking and decorating, you simply need:

1. Tartlet shells

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2. Nutella! ( or heat up chocolate chip drops in the pan)

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3. Decorating ingredients like sprinkles, pearl drops and anything pretty! (just visit any baking supplies shop!)

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Using a spoon to scoop up the Nutella, and carefully pouring it to fill the void in the tartlets, my little preschooler was honing her fine motor skills of scooping and transferring. Not wanting the chocolate filling to spill over, she had to practice using her concentration skills. Using a spoon also helps her to estimate the quantity needed to nicely fill up the tartlet with just enough Nutella. Her first couple of attempts had her scooping up too much Nutella, and over-spilling it. So I took delight in watching her realise for herself that a smaller quantity is needed.

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Decorating the Tartlets

Next comes her favourite part! Decorating the tartlets with pretty attractive toppings! We are spoilt for choices as we just received a gift pack of nice dainty toppings collection from a friend !

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My little preschooler pinched up small toppings, that are so inviting for a lick! Practising her pincer grip, she selected her own combination of different coloured toppings and sprinkled them delightfully on the tartlets. It was simply a feast for the eyes, even without tasting them!

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Put these lovely, nicely decorated tartlets in the oven for a mere ten minutes, and they instantly become a delectable, pretty snack for you and your little wannabe pastry chef!!

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Do you know the Muffin Man?

Each time I walked past the asle at the supermarket where the baking supplies are, I always thought how nice it will be to bake with my girl at home. Well today, after having procrastinated it long enough, I decided to have a go at baking muffins! Out of a Betty Crocker Muffin Box! What else for a beginner? 🙂

The whole process was quick, easy and so educational! My girl put on her little apron and was raring to go when I brought out the ingredients! I told her the quantity for each ingredient that we needed, and she watched me measure and estimate the amount for the 3/4 cup milk and 1/4 vegetable oil. She then cracked the two eggs and I seized the opportunity to teach her the different parts of the egg (eggshell, yolk, egg white). She also stood on the little stool by the kitchen sink and helped me rinse the blueberries.

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She then poured the ingredients one by one into the glass bowl as I read out the instructions on the muffin box. She stirred the muffin mixture with the wooden spoon with all her might, and she was so fascinated watching all the ingredients blend into a lumpy batter.

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The final step was to scoop the batter and fill the baking cups in the baking tray. It took great precision and focus to make sure the batter doesn’t spill outside the cups.

Upon filling the sixth paper cup, an idea struck her and she exclaimed, ” Mummy, can we put sprinkles and marshmallows on top?” And so we did!

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The first batch went into the oven and I took time to explain to her how to adjust the timer for 15 mins, and the temperature of 400 F. When the baking started, Rae just stood in front of the oven, completely fascinated watching the batter rise to become fluffy muffins.

When the little muffins were ready, I took them out of the oven and I could see Rae beaming with pride at our little achievement. The muffins sat pretty in the pink paper cups. That afternoon, we had the nicest tea time at home, delighting ourselves with our little homemade muffins.

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This whole baking experience is so rich in educational value! Let me summarise!

Fine motor Skills

1. Pouring the oil and milk into the mixture

2 Rinsing the blueberries

3. Cracking the eggs into a bowl

4. Stirring the mixture with a wooden spoon

5. Transferring the batter into the baking cups

Math

6. Matching the paper cups to the compartments in the muffin trays

7. Counting the number of eggs needed

8. Using measuring tools like cups, and measuring spoons.

9. Be exposed to fraction terms like 3/4 cups or 1/4 cup of oil.

10. Understand time concepts like fifteen minutes.

11. Count the number of muffins made

12.For older children, you can introduce concepts of division when you divide the batter into 12 portions to be baked.

Language

13. Learn verbs like stir, heat, drain, place, mix, grease, rinse, stir, divide, scoop,blend, remove, bake, cool, store, etc

14. Learn the different ingredients needed for baking muffins

15. Label the different parts of an egg

16. Learn what is instructional text and how is written on the box.

17. Follow one-step or two-step instructions

Pounding Pistachio- Chocolate Tartlets!

To continue our series of using the mortar and pestle for pounding, I decided to get Rae to pound pistachio nuts to use as topping for our pastry recipe!

To start, she will have to de-shell the pistachio nuts, which is again a great exercise for her fine motor skills in prying open the shells!

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Then comes the Montessori Practical life activity- Pounding with the mortar and the pestle! Look how hard she is pounding! 🙂

And Daddy came to help make sure she doesn’t drop any pistachio bits on the floor! 🙂

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Look at her little achievement! Pistachio bits in a bowl 🙂

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Next, we could not wait to spoon the hot chocolate mixture into the mini tartlets! Some concentration there for Rae! She added the pistachio bits she so painstakingly pounded just a while ago! My little pastry chef at work!

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There! Our little chocolate tartlets ready for tasting and for sharing with Rae’s grandparents for dessert 🙂

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