We are huge fans of Cooking with kids. There is so much learning to be had in the kitchen when kids are measuring, listening, following directions, reading, and following safety rules. And the fine motor skills are pretty awesome, too: mixing resistive dough, pouring with skilled dexterity, opening packages, cutting with the dominant hand, using the non-dominant hand to assist, and kneading. Then there are the sensory aspects to cooking that kids get an added bonus from: the scents of spices, tastes of new foods, touching sticky dough, mixing mushy mixtures with hands, washing dishes in warm, and bubbly soap. Cooking with kids has immeasurable teaching moments.
This Apple Dumpling Recipe is one that we Aunts grew up making. It’s a recipe that we loved to bake with our mom, and then when we got a little older, we made on our own time after time. Apple dumplings bring back great memories for us Aunts (like how we would add green food coloring to the recipe when we made them for Halloween dinner every year!) There’s something about a recipe from your childhood that brings back wonderful memories through the scents, tastes, and textures!
Apple Dumpling Recipe
How to Make Apple Dumplings. Cooking with Kids:
Apple Dumpling Recipe
For the Apple Filling:
8 baking apples, cored and chopped
2 tsp cinnamon
3 Tablespoon sugar
For the Dough:
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup shortening
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
Chop the apples and add the cinnamon and sugar. Stir and let rest while mixing the dry ingredients.
Mix together: flour, baking powder, 1 tablespoon of sugar, shortening. Mix together: one beaten egg and enough milk to equal 1 cup. Make a well in the dry ingredients and stir in the milk/egg.
Knead slightly. Roll into small rounds on a floured surface.
Spoon the apple mixture onto the dough rounds and fold the dough up to the center. Pinch dough to form a dumpling. Do this with remaining dough/apples. Place dumplings in a glass casserole dish.
For the Sauce:
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup water
1 Tablespoon butter
Combine in a saucepan. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil. Pour the sauce mixture in the bottom of the baking dish after adding the dumplings. Do not pour over the dumplings.
Bake for one hour at 350 F.
Makes 10 large dumplings.
What are Baking Apples?
To make apple dumplings, you’ll want to use baking apples. We love Cortland, Gala, Granny Smith, or Fuji. These types are perfect for pies, cakes, and dumplings. They are juicy, crisp, and mildly sweet making them perfect for baking.
Wash and dry the apples (Get the kids involved in this part! Exploring the textures of the apples is a great way to start a cooking lesson with kids!) We used our kid friendly chopping knife, and LOVE this kid-friendly cutlery set for it’s handles, safe sharp cutting edges for chopping, slicing, and dicing.
I started by cutting the apples into large chunks and then let my three year old chop away until the apples were in little pieces. There was a lot of sneaking tastes that happened at this stage of the cooking activity! Chopping apple slices is a great way to encourage eye-hand coordination in little ones. They need to use bilateral hand coordination to hold the apple slice with their non-dominant hand and chop with coordinated movements.
Keep chopping until you have chopped all of the apples. Add cinnamon and sugar. Mix it up. Try not to taste-test toooo many apple pieces. Let the apple mixture rest while you mix together the remaining ingredients.
Stiring the apples is a good way to encourage bilateral hand coordination and strength in your child. Mixing is a resistive task and requires upper extremity strength to mix completely.
Stir together the dry ingredients.
Kids can scoop, measure, and stir. So many math and fine motor skills are happening here!
Crack an egg into a mixing cup. Kid love their own sets, and this Cooking set for kids is perfect for little chefs. Whisk the egg and add enough milk to get 1 cup of liquid (we made a half batch in this image, so it’s only filled up to 1/2 cup).
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the the milk/egg mixture. We like to mix this part by hand to get a crumbly and sticky dough. This is a wonderful sensory experience for kids!
Once the dough pulls together, roll thin circles on a floured surface. Make the dough circles about 8-10 inches round.
Scoop apples onto the dough circles.
Fold the edges up to cover the apples and pinch the center. Place in a baking dish, keeping the dumplings evenly spaced apart.
To make the sauce:
Pour the sauce around the dumplings but not directly on the dough.
Bake for 60 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
When you pull the apple dumpling out of the oven, they will be bubbly and smell amazing! Sprinkle a pinch of sugar over the apple dumplings.
These are great with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or just eaten strait away.
I’m looking forward to many more batches of Apple Dumplings made with my kids! I hope you enjoy and they become one of your memory-recipes with your kids, too!
We’re excited to join a handful of bloggers in cooking our way through the alphabet. Every two weeks, we will bring you a new recipe based on the ABCs. Next up is B is for bananas, so be sure to stop back for more cooking and learning fun in the kitchen! You can read more about it on the Cooking with Kids ABC series page at Rainy Day Mum.
See the rest of the A is for Apple Cooking with Kids recipes:
Want to cook healthy foods for your family? Grab Yum! Deliciously Healthy Meals for Kids, a cookbook for busy families that want healthy meal ideas.