Baking at home with kids ranks at the top of our list for crafting wonderful childhood memories.  We’re big proponents of smart, healthy eating (read all about how to be a savvy food provider when Smart Mama, Smart Money is released in March!), but we also firmly believe that sweets, snacks, and a little junk have a place in every home. Make them yourself and you’ll have more appreciation for their deliciousness—plus think about it: the more time spent cooking, the less time spent eating.

We spent the day baking canele de Bordeaux for holiday gift giving. While we love a great chocolate chip cookie bake-fest, you owe it to your kids (and yourself) to broaden their palates. Besides, if you haven’t had one of these delicious little gems you haven’t lived. They’re the perfect confection: crispy and caramelized outside, soft and custardy inside. For years, we braved long lines at our favorite bakery to buy them. But, our little addiction was starting to get pricey, not to mention time consuming, so we decided it was time to make them ourselves. While the recipe is simple: milk, eggs, butter, rum, sugar and vanilla, the baking technique is a bit tricky, but easily mastered. In full disclosure, buying the silicon molds to bake them in is a bit of an up front investment –but, over the long run should prove to be cheaper than buying them at the local baker.

Don’t you want to get on our holiday list?