Get Your Hands Gooey

I just can’t get enough of The Care Bears’ Party Cookbook. Earlier this week, I made frozen bananas which were in turns messy, gross, and weirdly difficult to make. In retrospect, that’s kind of what cooking with children should be… make a mess, learn something new. Hopefully, it should taste good.

I wanted to try another recipe with a more child-friendly frame of mind. My sister requested the Rainbow Fruit Sticks (cut up fruit on toothpicks seemed a bit TOO easy). I found a recipe ostensibly called tarts, but were really fun balls of goo. And, for those of you unfamiliar with the Care Bears, Tenderheart was the brown one with the big red heart on his belly.

Tenderheart Tarts

  • 1 C smooth peanut butter
  • ½ C honey
  • 1¼ C dry milk
  • Raspberry jam
  • A big bowl
  • A wood board

Put the peanut butter in the bowl. Pour in the honey and mix with a spoon.

Add the dry milk.

Mix everything together with your hands. Squeeze it! Pound it! Roll it around! (Make sure your hands are very clean! [Thanks for saying that AFTER we’ve been squeezing peanut butter.]) This is what my dough started to look like:

Peanut Butter Tart Dough

Keep mixing with your hands until you have a soft, smooth ball of dough.

Break off a small piece of the dough. Roll it on the wood board into a ball about the size of a big marble.

Press the ball down to make a round cookie. Then make the cookie into a heart shape. You will be able to make about 30 hearts.

Put the dab of jam in the middle of each heart. Now it is a tart! Put the tarts on a plate. Keep them in the refrigerator for one hour or more.


Here is what I learned while making this recipe:

  1. A half cup of honey is a deceptively large amount of honey.
  2. A cup and a quarter of dry milk is not a deceptively large amount of dry milk, but it does give me pause about what people do with dry milk. (Well, besides bread machine bread and adding it to my son’s regular milk to help him gain weight.)
  3. Mixing this strangely sticky and powdery concoction was not unlike playing with Play-Doh. And, that’s exactly what you want a recipe for children to be… like playing, not like working. I miss Play-Doh and can’t wait until Mr. Moo wants some and then I will curse as I pick little, bright green bits out of my carpet. (I also miss Silly Putty, but that’s more for the chewing and Sunday comic transfers. I hope we still have Sunday comics by the time Mr. Moo gets old enough to appreciate Silly Putty.)
  4. Circles hold jam better than hearts. Sorry, Tenderheart, that’s just cold, hard reality.

Tenderheart Tarts on a plate

Oh, and the taste? Who cares if it tastes like a big ball of gritty peanut butter? It was a fun 15 minutes. And, Paul loved them.


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  1. #1 by Lena on 7.3.2012 - 4:30 pm

    Lyla and I make these all the time. Or a version of these (but from now on I am calling them Tenderhearts.) We roll the dough in to balls and then roll the balls in coconut and/or wheat germ. They make a great protein-y snack for day trips. It also keeps Lyla busy for a long while as she forms the dough.

    • #2 by e.marie on 7.5.2012 - 4:25 pm

      i love the idea of coconut… and i can’t wait until mr. moo is old enough to understand making a dough ball!

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