Cooking Classes in Houston for Kids - Cook 2 Learn Academy (and a recipe for Baci di Alassio)
I've always cooked with my son. When he was one year old, I had him next to me, sprinkling cheese on homemade pizza or stirring the cupcake batter. It usually ended up as a big mess, but he loved it! Having him in the kitchen has also has been a great way to get him to try new foods. He gets to see what ingredients go into dinner, help put them all together, and enjoy the pride of the finished product. So when I heard about Cook 2 Learn Academy, I knew he would just love it! I found the company on Instagram, but I was completely blown away by the class.
Chef Tiziana hosts the monthly class at the Granduca Hotel in Uptown Park, Houston, Texas and offers traditional Italian fare - seeing as that's where she's from. First things first, my son loved the hotel. You walk in and the decor is amazing. He wanted to wear the armor on the knights so bad! Lol
Chef Tiziana starts off the class by teaching the kids about the ingredients they'll be using for the day, how to pronounce the names of the items in Italian, and then showing them a map of where the dish originates from. I was amazed at how much my son picked up in the short time we were there!
She had all of the ingredients laid out - all measured and ready to go. Chef Michael Welch (from the hotel itself) was also there helping the kids and showing them how to beat egg whites, fold in the cocoa powder and make it all come together. My little guys used an electric mixer and folded in those ingredients like a pro. And once we got to icing the cookies, he couldn't contain himself. He just had to try one...or two...or three... I have to say though, the best part of the day was the look on his face when he brought his delicacies home and had his dad and grandparents try them. He was absolutely beaming!
The recipe for the day was 'Baci di Alassio'. In case you don't speak Italian, these are chocolate hazelnut cookies with a chocolate ganache inside, sandwiching them together. You can find the recipe below. If you like chocolate, you won't be able to stop eating them!
So go check out Cook 2 Learn Academy. The classes are fun, super affordable, and you won't regret it! Lunch is also included, as is a glass of wine or Prosecco for Mom!
Chef Tiziana's Recipe for Baci di Alassio
Makes: 25 cookies
- 12 oz shelled, chopped hazelnuts
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup eggwhites
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup dark chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Using a mixer, mince the hazelnuts with the sugar. Place the mixture into a bowl and add both the honey and the cocoa powder and blend well
- In another bowl, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until the egg whites are firm. Then gradually add the hazelnut mixture - gently folding them in a little at a time.
- Transfer the dough to a pastry bag and pipe the dough onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet in two inch circles, a few centimeters apart. Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes.
- Once they are ready, remove them from the oven and wait until they are cooled to remove them from the paper.
- Meanwhile, chop the chocolate and put it into a double boiler and melt it slowly. Add the cream and mix until it becomes smooth.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and, once the chocolate cream is cooled down a bit, use it to join the cookies in pairs. Serve at room temperature.