Love it or hate it, winter has arrived and the ground is covered with snow. Sometimes the snow can be a pain, making travel difficult. Other times, it’s a welcome sight, forcing us to slow down, stay inside and enjoy a break mandated by Mother Nature. I don’t know about you, but there’s something cozy about being stuck inside on a snow day. It’s a guilt-free day to curl up under a warm blanket with a good book, or pop some popcorn and enjoy a favorite movie in the afternoon.

Sometimes there’s the added work of bundling kids up in layers upon layers to send them outside to play. Sometimes all that effort yields only a few minutes outside. Other times, kids can be outside so long you have to force them inside to eat something and get warm before they’re asking to go back out again.

But whether you have kids that like to spend the entire day outdoors or you have ones that prefer to stay comfortable inside, I bet everyone likes to gather in the kitchen at some point for a mug of hot chocolate or a bowl of warm soup. Why not turn on the oven, break out the baking supplies and get everyone involved in making a sweet treat?baking essentials

Use what you have
Head to your pantry and look for the staples you have on hand. You can bake something from scratch if you have flour, sugar and butter readily available. Perhaps you have a box of brownie or cake mix on your pantry shelf. Now’s the time to put it to use!

We recommend making fun S’mores Cupcakes for a snow day baking treat. If you have a boxed cake mix, make the cupcakes according to the directions on the box. Once they’ve baked adn cooled, top with icing and then let your kids decorate the tops with pieces of graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate. Either Hershey’s chocolate bars or chocolate chips work – whatever you have in your house! If you want it to be really easy, bake the cupcakes, add the icing and then top with Honeymaid’s S’mores breakfast cereal. (Yes folks, there is such a thing as S’mores breakfast cereal!)

If you’re looking for something a little more time intensive (might be a good thing if you need an activity to keep kids occupied) , you can certainly make these yummy cupcakes from scratch. We really like Ree Drummond’s Super S’Mores Cupcake recipe.

Remember when you involve your kids to help in the kitchen, it’s not about achieving perfection, it’s about having fun and making memories. Sure, it might get a little messier and perhaps you have to mediate fighting over which child gets to dump in what ingredient, but in the end, it’s fun for everyone. We recommend dividing the ingredients so all involved get to take a turn to add something to the mixing bowl. It’s also a great opportunity to practice different life skills: reading recipes and following instructions, learning about different baking measurements as you add ingredients, and appreciation for the process of baking itself – the time and effort that goes into creating a yummy treat.

We don’t know how long this snow will stick around or how many more winter storms may be headed our way this year, but we can enjoy the snow days as they come.

Happy Baking!