If your kids are interested in cooking and baking and love the cooking competition shows, they’ll love this idea. The concept is simple – a simple baking competition that even little kids can participate in. You can make this as ‘top secret’ as you’d like to. Secret ballots, numbered cookie trays, mixing cookies secretly or together. Customize it for your kids!

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Make your favorite batch of chocolate chip cookie batter and leave out the chocolate chips. Depending on the age of your kids, they can do the mixing or at least help. I used the Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe in the King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion cookbook. This recipe is pretty close.
  2. Split the dough into 3-4 bowls (depending on how many participants you have). I’ve found that 6-12 cookies per kid is a good number. Check the yield of the cookie recipe to make sure you don’t need to double the recipe.
  3. Put out bowls of mix-ins – we used crushed up Halloween candy but you can use different types of chocolate chips, nuts, coconut, dried fruit…
  4. Let each child choose their own mix-ins and mix up their cookies. You can have them do this one at a time, secretly or let them create together.
    This is the fun part – let them create and concoct their secret recipe – it’s always fun to see what they come up with!
  5. Scoop cookies on cookie sheets. I scooped all the cookies so they were all the same size and less likely to be recognizable for the ‘contest’.
  6. Label the trays – I just put a number on the parchment paper. Bake the cookies.
  7. Set up your judging stations. I cut the cookies in fourths and numbered them.
  8. Choose your winner! Again, you can make this official or casual as you’d like, have fun with it.

Even the youngest kids will enjoy this activity, it’s fun for all ages and a great way to have a tasty competition in the kitchen.