The Best Cookbooks for Kids + Pumpkin Cookies

My daughter Piper loves to bake, and we quickly discovered that NOT all cookbooks are great for kids to use. Today I wanted to share some tips I’ve found for identifying kid-friendly cookbooks. Our favorite cookbook right now is one my friend Jamielyn just published called the I Heart Naptime Cookbook, and below you’ll find a peek inside plus her yummy Caramel-Frosted Pumpkin Cookie Recipe!

I Heart Naptime Cookbook is one of the Best Cookbooks for Kids via @PagingSupermom

What makes a Kid-friendly cookbook?

It helps a lot when there is a big, color photo for each recipe, which makes it easier for children to envision what they’ll be making. Photos get them excited, and Piper even loves to try to style the food just like the beautiful photos in the Naptime cookbook. (I think I have a future food blogger on my hands!)

The ingredients in the I Heart Naptime Cookbook are all pretty familiar, which is key for kids. It allows them to focus on the actual skills of cooking and baking. Also before I let Piper begin a baking project, I actually have her go through our pantry and check off that we have all the ingredients we need.

Since this cookbook’s focus is on sharing recipes that you can make in an hour or less (the length of naptime!) the process is typically pretty simple and straightforward, another reason why it’s a great cookbook for kids.

Piper is homeschooled and a baking project provides a great opportunity for her to practice reading comprehension and apply math and science skills. So far she’s made the Brownie Bites, which have a mint frosting and are incredibly delicious. She’s also made the One-Hour Rolls twice because they are SO good! Seriously… I’ve never had much success with any quick-roll recipes. They never seem as fluffy and satisfying as the ones that you let raise twice and take forever to make; so I didn’t have high hopes for this recipe. I was completely shocked that they turned out so well. If I had not known, I would have guessed these were the long-raising kind.

I love this cute little video that Jamielyn made to give you a peek at all the yummy recipes in her cookbook:

I think Piper’s got her sights set on the Cookie chapter next. While these Double Chocolate Chip Sprinkle Cookies look amazing, I’m going to try to convince her to make the Caramel-Frosted Pumpkin Cookies… or both HAHA!

So many delicious COOKIE recipes in the new I Heart Naptime cookbook -- you NEED this!

When Jamielyn moved to Ohio for her husband’s residency, she quickly fell in love with autumn. With fall comes the leaves changing, pumpkin patches, apple cider, and, of course, pumpkin desserts. Whenever she takes these pumpkin cookies to a get-together, her friends always ask for the recipe.

These are the perfect cookie to celebrate autumn, although Jamielyn loves making them year-round, too. These pumpkin cookies are so soft and the caramel frosting is worth making all on its own. These do take a few extra dishes, but we promise, they will be worth it.

Caramel Frosted Pumpkin Cookies from I Heart Naptime's new cookbook via @PagingSupermom

Caramel-Frosted Pumpkin Cookies Recipe

Makes 36 cookies

INGREDIENTS FOR THE COOKIES
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon table salt

INGREDIENTS FOR THE CARAMEL FROSTING
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons heavy cream, plus more as needed
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
Pinch of salt
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Make the cookies: Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Add the pumpkin and mix until smooth.

3. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and salt. Slowly add to the wet pumpkin mixture and beat until just combined.

4. Using a medium cookie scoop or large spoon, scoop the cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing the portions two inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cookie comes out clean. Let cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

5. Make the caramel frosting: In a small saucepan, combine the butter, heavy cream, brown sugar, and salt and, while whisking, bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 1 to 2 minutes. Pour the caramel mixture into a medium bowl and let cool for 1 minute.

6. Add the vanilla and powdered sugar and stir until smooth. Frost the cookies immediately with a rubber spatula, as the frosting will begin to firm up quickly.

7. Store in an airtight container or large zip-top bags at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Prep 20 minutes; Cook 10 minutes; Chill 15 minutes; Total 45 minutes

Excerpted from the book THE I HEART NAPTIME COOKBOOK by Jamielyn Nye. Copyright © 2016 by Jamielyn Nye. Reprinted with permission of Grand Central Life & Style. All rights reserved.