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5 Desserts the Kiddos Can Help With

If you're like me, you may try to get your kids interested in cooking, only to have them abandon you in the middle of meal prep. But with desserts, their attention is rapt from start to finish. Making desserts together is a great way to teach basic cooking skills and boost confidence in the kitchen—both of which lead to more interest in cooking down the road. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Marshmallow Popcorn Treats are a sweet-salty riff on classic popcorn balls. You can have the kids pop the popcorn in the microwave, press the marshmallowy mixture into the pan, and drizzle the chocolate on top with artistic flourish.

You can enjoy Black Forest Parfaits any time of year, thanks to frozen cherries. Kid jobs include mashing the cherries, crumbling the chocolate wafers (place in a zip-top bag and let them bang on it with a rolling pin), and layering the parfaits.

Mexican Hot Fudge Sundae Bowls are impressive yet so easy to make. Have kids make the cinnamon sugar and sprinkle onto tortillas, then ask them to shape the tortilla bowls on the muffin pan. When the sundaes are assembled, they can drizzle on the warm sauce.

Whenever kids can get their hands dirty (especially if that "dirt" is chocolate), you have a real winner. Chocolate-Triple Hazelnut Truffles give them a great hands-on opportunity as they roll and shape the chocolate mixture into balls. Note: The recipe does include a splash of hazelnut liqueur; if you'd rather not include that, you can substitute heavy cream.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Dipped Pretzels are one of the easiest treats you can make with your kids. Have them dunk pretzel twists into melted chocolate and peanut butter, and arrange them on parchment paper to firm up. Yes, it's that easy!

Bonus: Check out our video for how to make these sweet little Apple Hand Pies. Kids will love cutting out stars (or other shapes) with a cookie cutter and sealing the dough with a fork's tines.

More Kid-Friendly Dishes: