Like Celeste, I knew when I was planning our curriculum for the fall that I wanted to include special "tea times" at least once a week. (Maybe more!) However, knowing how much I love to bake, especially in the fall and winter months, I was a little worried that this might lead to an excessive amount of unhealthy snacks. Yesterday, though, I was paging through a cute little cookbook I bought used a few months ago (Alpha-Bakery Children's Cookbook) and came across a recipe for "Nibble Sticks", which sounded quite tasty and relatively simple to make. Since it was nearing lunchtime, I rounded up the kids and led them to the kitchen, where they helped me mix together a quick batch. The ingredients are ones that I usually have readily available, and required such little effort. They turned out delicious, too! We actually ended up eating only these for lunch (I had thought we'd include them with lunch), and even Meghan enjoyed munching on one. But the highest compliment came from Darren, who, devouring three in rapid succession after arriving home from work, asked me, "Um, honey? Do you think you could maybe have these on hand all the time?" :)
Here's the recipe:
2 cups of Gold Medal all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of shortening
2/3 cup of shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped salami, bologna, or fully cooked ham (we used ham lunch meat)
About 3/4 cup of milk
1. Heat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl. Cut in shortening, using pastry blender or crisscrossing 2 knives, until mixture is crumbly. Stir in cheese and meat. Stir in just enough milk so a soft dough forms.
3. Sprinkle a surface lightly with flour. Turn the dough onto the floured surface. Knead gently 10 times. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Pat dough into an 8 inch square; cut square in half. Cut each half crosswise into 1-inch strips.
4. Bake until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Serve warm or cool with ketchup, mustard, or cheese dip if you like.