Here are some ideas that we have found to be very successful in feeding the interest of a teenager who wants to cook. Some are expensive, some are not.
Tips for the teenager who cooks sweets:
- If the teenager is a baker, watch for sales at Michaels and other stores with cooking equipment. Buy them cake decorating equipment — tips and frosting sacks come in sets of various sizes. Cake decorating equipment can be costly, but at half price it’s much less so.
- Get muffin/cupcake pans at a thrift store and paper inserts at the grocery store.
- Get a supply of sprinkles for decorating cupcakes.
- Look for a specialized Cake Cookbook or Cookie Cookbook or Party Cookbook. The party cookbooks will encourage all kinds of experimentation.
- It’s easy to buy specialized equipment like lemon zesters and baking dishes at thrift stores and yard sales. They turn up a lot when people clear out their pantries.
- Check with a local independent pastry chef to see if you can buy one or two hours of his or her time with your teen to provide some pastry baking information and great tips from an “expert.” Independent professionals are often willing to supplement their income with such teaching opportunities.
- Make it a party! Invite teenage friends and oversee a project that they can eat when it’s finished.
- Give your teenager the gift of a stand mixer. Better equipment makes all jobs easier and more inviting.