- Associated Press - Friday, December 23, 2016

LASALLE, Ill. (AP) - Kaitlyn Bibula stands on a step stool to reach the kitchen counter in her La Salle home. With her fine blond hair pulled back in a ponytail, the 6-year-old carefully mixes the batter, then scoops it up with a serving spoon and pours it into the cupcake liners sitting in the muffin tin in front of her.

Some batter drips onto the muffin tin, and she giggles. “Oops!”

When the treats emerge from the oven, the first-grader spreads a generous amount of icing onto the perfectly browned cupcakes. Turning to speak to her parents, Ryan and Deb Bibula, she pretends to lick the frosting from the butter knife. “No,” they both begin to correct her, and an impish grin breaks out on her face. “I’m just kidding,” she says.

She turns serious again as she takes a pinch of sprinkles and tops one cupcake, then another.

“Those look wonderful,” her mother says when she is finished.

“Yeah,” she says as a matter of course. “I went around them twice.”

Kaitlyn has been baking for half of her young life. Photographic evidence graces her parents’ refrigerator, where she can be seen stirring batter at age 3.

“We don’t do anything special,” Deb said of the cupcakes. “We just use a cake mix and frosting out of a container.”

They usually use Pillsbury Funfetti cake mix, but happened to have a Betty Crocker Super Moist Party Rainbow Chip mix this time. Both have pudding in the mix, but Kaitlyn said the Pillsbury cupcakes are better.

“The sprinkles in the batter are bigger,” she said.

As a working mom, Deb doesn’t have a lot of extra time for baking, but during Christmas break she and Kaitlyn put a family recipe for cut-out cookies to good use.

“It has buttermilk in it,” Deb said. “That’s what makes them good.”

They make the frosting from scratch, too. The almond extract in the frosting gives it a cherry flavor, Deb said. “It’s delicious.”

Kaitlyn gets extra baking in at the homes of her grandparents, Kenny and Betty Wrobleski in Oglesby, and Richard and Billie Bibula in La Salle.

Who is usually with her in the kitchen?

“Mostly my mom and Grandma Betty and Grandma Billie,” she said. “Also I like to cook with my dad sometimes.”

Her favorite cake to make is a Jell-O poke cake.

In addition to preparing dessert, Kaitlyn likes to help get supper on the table. She enjoys making spaghetti and stuffed peppers with her mom. She also helps prepare mashed potatoes and already has learned the importance of safety in the kitchen.

“One time I was cutting potatoes and I cut my finger open,” she said.

The incident hasn’t deterred her love of cooking and baking, though.

She plans to try out a pizza recipe from a Taste of Home cookbook she won during the recent cooking school at La Salle-Peru Township High School.

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Source: The (LaSalle) News Tribune, https://bit.ly/2gc08so

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Information from: News-Tribune, https://www.newstrib.com

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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