Compass Cuisine and Lehman’s Together
Growing up, my family has always been in the kitchen. Whether eating or baking, we’re all big fans in our own way. My grandma is so good at finding ways to have her 18 grandchildren participate in different recipes. I was the first in that line, and so my mom brought home these fun tips from her that she can now use with my daughter, Lottie.
While I am not on my own a great cook or baker, I do enjoy spending time in the kitchen when it becomes an activity instead of a chore. Apart from the activity itself, there are so many things I enjoy about being in the kitchen with family. The conversation that happens while the task is completed, the laughter that erupts when the youngest takes a lick of the spoon and gets batter all over their face, and the pride kiddos get from sharing their creation at a family dinner are what makes a recipe a memory rather than a task.
I have worked at Lehman’s for almost six years, and every year I see our blog about the Lamb Cake Pan and think, that would be so fun to make with my mom some year. Now that my daughter is over a year old and is excited to help in the kitchen, this year was the year!
When we decided on a weekend to give it a go, we ended up only having a couple hours of downtime in between basketball games and family visits. So we decided to try the Rice Crispy Treat recipe instead of the traditional cake. Here is what we learned.
Lottie, being only 16 months old can’t quite participate with measuring or pouring but there are simple tasks that she can do to help. For example, buttering the pan. While watching Grandma do it, she was able to mimic the task and I could help filled in the tough spots.
Adding the marshmallows was another easy task. Much like picking up her toys, she knew to throw them in the bowl. Unlike picking up her toys she could sneak a couple sweet treats in between helping!
Now seems like a good point to mention that before having little ones help in the kitchen, you should take note of where the end product will be served. This treat was staying home, so a little baby slobber making it in was okay by us. Had we been taking it to a church function, the extra ingredients may not have been as appreciated.
Stirring up the ingredients is a great way for children to learn motor skills too. The Old Country Dough Whiskreally made it simple to break through the stickiness of the marshmallow and melted butter combo. After having Lottie give it a try, my mom and I could use a little extra muscle to finish it up.
The neat thing about this recipe for little ones is that my daughter was also able to help pack the Rice Crispy mixture into the pan. And of course the treat of any mixer in the kitchen is they get to lick the spoon!
– Tip 1: buttering your hands before trying to pack helps it stick less to your fingers.
– Tip 2: Once the pan is mostly packed, use wax paper and a rolling pin to really pack it tight, you’ll be able to fit more into the pan this way and it will really help the lamb take shape.
Once the lamb pans were packed and cooling and Lottie was all sugared up, it was time for her to head up for a nap. My mom and I finished the project by constructing the two halves of the cake to stand up and making a butter cream frosting.
We used toothpicks to keep the two halves together. As you will see in a photo below, our tactics did not work. You may want to try using skewer sticks or position the toothpicks at more of an angle to really get the sides to stay together.
As for the frosting, the recipe we used for the rice crispy treat did not include vanilla. We made a buttercream frosting to compensate for the lack of sweetness. If you add vanilla to the rice crispy treats you may want to use a frosting recipe that is not quite as sweet.
Using a drop flower piping tip we swirled small circles around the shape of the lamb to create a fluffy look. And then used a small amount of frosting colored pink with a fine tip to make the facial features on the lamb.
– Tip 3: If you want the sheep’s fur to look more white, I suggest using a clear vanilla. Ours was slightly off-white but still pretty.
One final touch, we used coconut mixed with green food coloring for the base of the cake to look like grass.
Now for the end result…
She looked so adorable for such a short time.
Unfortunately, once the weight of the frosting was added, our toothpicks did not stick and the poor thing slowly split in half! However, the taste…stayed intact and was very much enjoyed.
Next year, we are excited to try the cake recipe and maybe we’ll give this one another go. We will be enjoying the practice runs as many times as it takes, and it will be fun to see how Lottie’s role in the process grows as she does.
LAMB “CAKE” RICE CRISPY TREATS
FOR MARSHMALLOW TREATS:
- 1/2 cup butter
- (10 1/2 oz) pkg marshmallows
- 15 cups Rice Krispies® or plain popped popcorn
FOR BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
- 1 16–ounce package confectioners’ sugar
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3 to 4 tablespoons milk or half-and-half
FOR COCONUT GRASS:
- 1 small bag of coconut shavings (depending on how large your serving dish is)
- 4–5 Green food coloring (depending on how green you want your grass)
- For marshmallow treats, grease both halves of molds. Melt butter, add marshmallows, and stir until melted. Add desired food coloring. Stir in Rice Krispies®. Press mixture into molds so that halves of molds are well filled to the brim. Press two halves firmly together. We suggest an inch space between halves to give plump figures. Remove and let stand to cool.
- For buttercream frosting, in large bowl with spoon or with mixer at medium speed, beat all ingredients until very smooth, adding more milk if necessary to make the icing of good spreading consistency.
- For coconut grass, mix coconut and food coloring together and spread across serving dish hollow out where the cake will set to make it look like the lamb is resting in a field.