Yesterday, I was eating homemade pudding pops with my four-year-old daughter when she squealed, "It's just like eating mud!" She observed with delight that the pudding pops had the color and texture of a nice, slick, messy mud pie. This gave me an idea: why not take that comparison a little further to create something that truly resembles a real-life mud pie?
The next thing I knew, I was at the grocery store with my daughter compiling a collection of ingredients to make what we decided to call "mud pie pops." The pops were easy to make, even for my daughter, and were an enjoyable way to pass a rainy afternoon. The experience, marked by the forbidden idea of eating mud (even symbolically) was delightful to my daughter-- and, best of all, the mud pie pops tasted positively delicious once they were frozen.
If you'd like to make mud pie pops with your children, follow these simple directions:
1. Purchase chocolate cookies, gummy worms, pudding, half-and-half, and large ice pop molds. Oreos and similar chocolate cookies are ideal; we use Newman-Os to avoid the trans fats in conventional cookies. You can either work with a pre-made pudding such as Kozy Shack, or use a homemade or mix-based pudding. Gummy worms of any brand or flavor are just fine.
2. Have your child crush some of the chocolate cookies into a bowl of chocolate pudding. You should use about one to two Oreo-sized cookies per cup of yogurt. Your child's individual preferences here will vary. Ask your child to crumble the cookies pretty finely to resemble dirt.
3. Help your child mix the cookie-crumble and pudding mixture until it's evenly blended, with bits of "dirt" well-distributed throughout the "mud." This part is usually fun for kids. Let them get messy-- and let them lick the spoon when you're done!
4. Slip a gummy worm into each ice pop mold. It should rest fairly solidly inside the mold and stand upright. Fill the mold carefully with the "mud" mixture using a spoon so that it completely surrounds the gummy worm.
5. Continue to fill the ice pop mold, a spoonful at a time, until it is nearly full. Note that there will still be some gaps and air-holes in the mixture. Use a teaspoon to add a tiny amount of half-and-half to fill in these gaps.
6. Freeze the mud pie pops for at least four hours. The longer, the better. After several hours, the pops should be frozen solid. Remove the mud pie pops by running the mold under hot water for 60 seconds and then pulling with the ice pop side up. Mud pie pops less messy than juice-based ice pops, since the starch prevents sloppy melting. However, it may be best to take these delectable treats outside.
I'm glad to have a new way to pass the time with my daughter using fun summertime activities. What are your favorite kid-friendly recipes?