Summertime and the kids are hanging out-so why not take the opportunity to school them in some kitchen skills?

I love coaching the next generation of bakers, and have found that kids are eager to bake if the end game is something sweet, fun and fast. Whether baking from scratch, or using refrigerated cookie dough for authentic, from-scratch taste in just minutes, kids in the kitchen are enthusiastic students.

Two winning favorites with kids:
* Mouse Cookies are whimsical, irresistible and fun-a recipe they’ll repeat often, proudly sharing cookies that aren’t immediately devoured because they are so cute.
* Kids will love putting together brownie bite sundaes, made with convenient refrigerated brownie dough. The sundaes can be made with a variety of dough flavors-like turtle, peanut butter cups, white chocolate macadamia nut, oatmeal raisin and more.

For “just-in-time” cookies and treats, and baking fun for kids, check out the creative and delectable ideas at

mouse cookiesMouse Cookies

(Makes 3 to 4 dozen cookies)

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup NESTLÉ TOLL HOUSE Baking Cocoa
3/4 cup NESTLÉ TOLL HOUSE Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
NESTLÉ TOLL HOUSE Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Morsels

PREHEAT oven to 350° F.

COMBINE flour and baking soda in medium bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Remove 3/4 cup dough; set aside.

BEAT cocoa gradually into remaining dough in bowl. Stir in 3/4 cup morsels. Roll chocolate dough into 3/4-inch ball. Place on ungreased baking sheet and press to 1/4-inch thickness. Roll chocolate dough into two 1/2-inch balls. Place each above larger circle and press to 1/4-inch thickness for ears. Roll reserved white dough into 1/4-inch ball and place in center of large circle for nose. Repeat with remaining doughs, placing cookies 2 inches apart on baking sheet.

BAKE for 8 to 10 minutes or until dough is set. Arrange mini morsels on warm cookies for eyes and one on top of nose. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; carefully remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Nutrition Information per serving: 170 calories; 60 calories from fat; 7 g total fat; 4 g saturated fat; 25 mg cholesterol; 60 mg sodium; 26 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 17 g sugars; 2 g protein

quick brownie bites sundaesQuick Brownie Bites Sundaes

(Makes 4 sundaes)

1 package (16 ounces) NESTLÉ TOLL HOUSE Refrigerated Mini Brownie Bites
Bar Dough
4 scoops light vanilla ice cream
1/4 cup NESTLÉ NESQUIK Chocolate Flavor Syrup
1/4 cup whipped cream
4 maraschino cherries

PREPARE brownie bites according to package directions. Cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool for 10 minutes.

CRUMBLE 2 to 3 brownie bites into each sundae dish. Top each with a scoop of ice cream, additional cookie crumbles (if desired), Nesquik, whipped cream and a cherry. Insert 3 brownie bites into ice cream.
Nutrition Information per serving: 710 calories; 280 calories from fat; 31 g total fat; 16 g saturated fat; 105 mg cholesterol; 530 mg sodium; 99 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber; 76 g sugars; 8 g protein