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Food52’s Best Bite-Sized Recipes for Your Little Sous Chef

Cooking projects with children are slightly intimidating, but fear not – cooking with your kids doesn’t have to be chaotic or end with the ingredients splattered all over the counters and floor.

Done right, cooking with your little sous chefs can be a great source of fun in the kitchen! And in addition to creating something delicious together, it builds valuable life skills.

So grab some pint-sized aprons and step into the kitchen armed with these six recipes to make you feel like a kid again and empower your little helpers. Savor this time – before you know it, they’ll be teaching you new kitchen tricks!

Photo by Karen Mordechai

Recipe: Baker’s Sign Soft Pretzels

A great baking project with kids, these soft pretzels are fun for everyone to roll, twist and bake. They’re all at once sweet and salty, crispy and chewy. While they may make you and your kids feel like you’re at a baseball game, you’re really armed with a snack where you controlled the ingredients. Offer a selection of toppings like cinnamon sugar and sesame seeds so each child can personalize his or her snack.

Photo by James Ransom

Recipe: Peanut Butter Cookies

These will be the new standard by which you judge all other peanut butter cookies. Soft and chewy, these rich cookies melt in your mouth and give you just the right amount of sweet and salty. Let the kids take turns pressing the tines of the fork into the cookie dough and watch their faces light up when they see their signature patterns emerge from the oven.

Photo by Linda Xiao

Recipe: Simplest Caramel Apples

No thermometers. No corn syrup. No stress. These are simply delicious caramel-covered apples. Dip them in nuts, sprinkles, or your favorite candy for an impressive and fun treat you can feel good about slicing up and sharing.

Photo by Sarah Shatz

Recipe: Baking Sheet Macaroni and Cheese

We believe macaroni needs lots of crisp topping to stay interesting and not wear you out with its soft, gooey texture. Enter: Baking Sheet Macaroni and Cheese, with a 50/50 crunch- to-soft ratio. The result is the perfect composition of cheesy, crunchy, creamy, crisp goodness to be enjoyed by all macaroni and cheese lovers and convert the pickiest of eaters. It’s the muffin top of mac and cheese!

Photo by James Ransom

Recipe: Magical Marvelous Cookies

Sweet, crunchy, chewy and rich in a best-bakery-in-the-neighborhood sort of way, these cookies leave a lot to whim and fancy. Want some nuts? Go for it. Feeling spicy? Add some cinnamon. Got some pretzels lying around? Toss them in. Whatever your mix-ins, the result will be a marvelous cookie with a lot of crisp and snap. A pantry clean-out has never tasted so good.

Photo by Jennifer Causey

Recipe: White Chocolate Snowflakes

These snowflakes are like those classic crispy rice treats for grownups. The peanuts add flavor to tame the white chocolate and make these snacks crunchy, sweet and slightly salty. Best of all, the snowflakes take all of 15 minutes to make, leaving you with plenty of time to play with other cereal-nut combinations.

Tell us: What are your favorite recipes to cook with kids? Share your comments below.