I love to bake cookies with my preschool-age daughter, but most recipes are totally unsuitable for little kids. The youngsters can’t cream butter and sugar, they get flour all over the place, and God knows they can’t roll anything out. That’s why I try to always have coconut and a tube of Odense Pure Almond Paste on hand. Odense is the brand of almond paste sold in most supermarkets and specialty stores, and there’s a killer recipe for coconut almond macaroons on the box. You throw some coconut, almond paste, and powdered sugar into your mixer (the online recipe says to grate the paste in) and whir it up, taking care no little fingers have found their way into the machine. Mix it into some beaten egg whites—kids love this part—and drop from a spoon onto a piece of parchment paper. Sixteen minutes later, your eyes are rolling back in your head with bliss.
And if you have big, patient kids, you can even make your own almond paste.
Odense Pure Almond Paste, $4.89 for a 7-ounce tube