At age 10, Macall Prengel is already a veteran cook.
She’s also an award-winning one.
The Olympia girl is one of seven young bakers from across the country who will travel to Walt Disney World in May to compete in a contest sponsored by Easy-Bake, the toy light-bulb-powered oven that’s been introducing kids to cooking since 1963.
The oven, which Macall received as a birthday gift several years ago, helped get her hooked on food creation.
“I like making desserts, like cakes and cookies,” says Macall. “I like eating it, and just the fun of making it.”
Easy-Bake offers mixes that include all the ingredients a young cook needs to get started.
“There’s these little cupcake things that are about that big,” she says, holding her fingers in a circle the diameter of a nickel. “There are all the frostings you can make with it.”
But for her contest entry, Macall built on a timeless kid favorite: s’mores.
Her recipe for S’mores Snacks/Chocolately Peanut Butter combines an Easy-Bake mix with ingredients she found in her family kitchen.
Macall especially loves peanut butter.
“During the salmonella outbreak, it was hard to do without it,” she says. “I thought it would never end.”
Fortunately for her contest entry, it did.
She’s nervous about having to recreate her recipe in front of contest judges next month. But she’s confident she’ll be able to pull it off, with help from her mom, Danelle. Parents serve as sous chefs for contestants.
As a finalist, Macall has already won the trip to Florida, a $500 gift card and a supply of Easy-Bake mixes. If she earns the grand prize at Disney World, she and her mom, with two other family members, will get a culinary-inspired trip to San Francisco to visit food-related attractions, including the Ghiradelli chocolate factory.
Even if Macall is not the top prize-winner, her mom is happy that she got started in the kitchen with Easy-Bake.
“It inspired her and made her want to cook more,” says Danelle. Macall is now using her mom’s big oven as well.
Snickerdoodles are one of her specialties, along with muffins made from mixes from the grocery store.
“You just mix it with water and vegetable oil and put it in the oven,” Macall says.
She urges other kids to try cooking.
“If you’re really into it, start asking your parents if they could help you with real recipes,” she says. “Maybe when you grow up, you could be a real cook.”
Debbie Cafazzo: 253-597-8635