Tag: best bakes

Giant cookie

Giant cookie cake

Giant cookie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Difficulty: Easy

Time: 30 minutes plus 20 minutes baking

Serves: 16 slices

Ingredients

225g (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
350g (2 cups) soft light brown sugar
2 eggs
½ tsp vanilla extract
400g (3 1/3 cups) plain flour
½ tsp salt
2 ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 large packs of M&Ms

giant cookie

 

 

 

 

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Double choco-smarties cookies

Hedgehog biscuits

Chocolate chip cookies

I’ve wanted to make a giant cookie for a while (who doesn’t!) so when the kids asked to do some baking while we were packing to go on holiday I thought it was the perfect excuse! I figured we’d use a cookie recipe we already know and love and just try and bake it differently in one large cake tin. I’m pleased to say it worked. As long as you like your cookie a wee bit gooey in the middle I think you’d like this.

Method

Preheat the oven to 170C and line an 8 inch/ 20cm cake tin with baking paper

Mix the butter and sugar

Get your child to measure the butter (225g) and sugar (350g) out then add to a mixing bowl or freestanding mixer. Mix them together using the paddle attachment, a hand held mixer, or wooden spoons until the eggs and butter are light and fluffy.

  

Add the eggs and vanilla extract

Get your child to break the eggs, one at a time, into a small bowl. Add them to your bowl, mixing it a little between each addition.

 

Turn the mixer down to a slower speed and get your child to help you measure the vanilla extract (1/2 tsp) into the bowl. Let them use the spoon on their own if they are able to, or help them and steady their hand while you pour if you need to.

Add the remaining ingredients

Measure the flour (400g) into a small bowl. If your child is able to, get them to help measure the salt ( ½ tsp) and bicarbonate of soda (2 ½ tsp) into the flour. Add these into your large bowl.

Mix everything together until you have a smooth dough. If you need to, use a spatula to scrape the mixture down from the sides of the bowl. We seem to have to do this a lot, especially to get the bits at the bottom, but it’s a good excuse to sample a wee bit of raw cookie dough as you go along!

Get the toddler to add in one pack of the M&Ms to your dough mixture. Give it one last mix so that everything is nicely combined.

 

Make the giant cookie

Pour the cookie dough into your prepared cake tin. Press down the mixture with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle a few more M&Ms on top until it looks nice and colourful.

Bake the cookies

Pop the giant cookie in the oven for roughly 15-20 minutes. It’s ready when the edge has turned golden brown and they’ve flattened down. It’ll still be a bit gooey in the middle but that’s how I like them. Cook it longer if you prefer a more crispy cookie.

Leave it in the cake tin to cool slightly, then move it to a wire rack to cool completely.

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spiral biscuits

Spiral biscuits

Spiral biscuits

Difficulty: A bit tricky

Time: 20 minutes + 2 hours + chilling + 12 minutes baking

Serves: 20 biscuits approx

Ingredients

250g (2 cups) plain flour
150g (1 stick) butter, softened
100g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
1 egg
½ tsp vanilla extract
pink food colouring

Spiral biscuits

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jammy heart biscuits

Jammy heart biscuits

fork biscuits

Fork biscuits

empire biscuits

Empire biscuits

 

I saw these spiral biscuits on BBC Good Food and thought they looked fun. Now that we’ve bought some proper Wilton food colouring that doesn’t fade in the oven I couldn’t resist giving them a try. As it turns out they’re a bit trickier than the things we normally do, but small children can still definitely get involved in making the biscuit dough. I took over finishing the biscuits off but the kids loved seeing the end result.

Method

Rub the flour and butter together
Get your kids to measure the flour and butter out add to a large mixing bowl. Using your fingers rub it together until it looks like breadcrumbs. This is one of my kid’s favourite things to do in the kitchen but it can get a bit messy if you’re not careful!

Spiral biscuits Spiral biscuitsSpiral biscuits Spiral biscuits

Add the sugar, egg and vanilla
Measure the sugar out and add to your flour/butter mixture. Add the egg and vanilla extract. If your kids are in charge of the egg, I normally find it safer to crack it into a small bowl first, before adding it to your dough in case you end up with rogue shell.

Spiral biscuits Spiral biscuits

Knead or mix everything together until it is well combined into a nice soft dough.

Split the dough into two even amounts. Add the pink colouring to one of them and keep the other one plain.

Spiral biscuits Spiral biscuits

Wrap both blocks of dough in cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Form the biscuit dough
Sprinkle a little flour down on your work surface. Roll each of the blocks of dough out in turn so they are 25cm x 20cm. Lay one over the top of the other. Lightly roll over the surface a few times with your rolling pin to press them together.

Spiral biscuits

I found my dough was a bit soft and sticky which made this step a bit tricky. If the same happens to you, you could chill the dough for a bit longer, add a little more flour or use a piece of baking paper over the top of the dough to stop it sticking to the rolling pin.

Trim off the edges of the dough so it’s nice and neat then roll them up, starting at one of the short edges to make a tight spiral. Wrap the dough and clingfilm and chill for at least an hour or overnight.

Make the spiral biscuits
Preheat the oven to 180C / 160C Fan / gas 4 / 350F and line a baking tray with baking/parchment paper.

Unwrap the dough, trim the ends, and cut the rest into about 20 slices. Lay them on your baking tray.

Spiral biscuits

Bake the spiral biscuits
Bake them in the oven for 12-15 minutes. They’re ready when they are just starting to go slightly golden at the very edges (you don’t want them to colour too much).

Spiral biscuits

Leave them to cool on the baking tray before transferring them to a wire rack to cool complelety.

Enjoy!

spiral biscuits

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empire biscuits

Empire biscuits

Difficulty: Easy

Time: 30 minutes + 10 minutes baking

Serves: 6 biscuits

Ingredients

For the biscuits:

175g (3/4) butter (softened)
175g (1.5 cups) plain flour
50g (1/2 cup) icing sugar
50g (1/2) corn flour

To decorate:
Strawberry or raspberry jam
Icing sugar
Water
24 glacé cherries (optional – you can use any decoration)

empire biscuits

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Double chocolate smarties cookies

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Empire biscuits are a traditional Scottish biscuit, although I hadn’t really heard of them until recently. You could use any shortbread type recipe for the biscuit as long as it’s not too sweet – the jam and icing sugar topping will add all the sweetness you need! The recipe we followed was one from the Hairy Bikers, ‘Mums know Best’.

They’re really easy biscuits to make and perfect for baking with kids as there are only a few ingredients which you just mix all together into a bowl with your hands. Be prepared for a bit of mess though – that’s going to be unavoidable when you’re using flour, cornflour and icing sugar in one recipe!

Classic Empire biscuits have glace cherry on top for decoration. I didn’t fancy buying any just for these as I don’t really like glace cherries so we just decorated ours with some sugar flowers we had in the house but you could use a jelly sweetie or anything else you have to hand. You might also notice that ours aren’t quite as round and perfect looking as most Empire biscuits you see, but that’s what happens when you cook with little ones  – squinty biscuits are all part of the fun!

Method

Preheat your oven to 180C/170C fan, and line a baking tray with baking paper.

Mix all the ingredients together

Get your little ones to measure out the flour (175g), corn flour (50g), icing sugar (50g) and butter (175g) and pop it all in a large mixing bowl.  If your butter isn’t soft enough it can be hard to melt so we normally pop ours in the microwave for a few seconds before chopping it up and adding it to our bowl.

empire biscuits empire biscuits

empire biscuits empire biscuits

Using your hands mix everything together until it forms a nice ball of dough.

empire biscuits empire biscuits

Make the biscuits

Lightly flour your work surface (we didn’t need to because we’d made so much mess measuring everything out!)  and roll the dough out until it’s about ¼ inch or just over 1/2 cm thick. To stop the dough sticking to the rolling pin we put a sheet of baking paper over the top.

 

Using a round cookie cutter cut out 12 biscuits and place them on a lined baking tray. We used a 7/8mm cutter but you could use a bigger/smaller one to get more/fewer biscuits.

 

Bake the biscuits

Pop the baking trays in the oven for 10 minutes. Keep an eye on them and remove them from the oven before they turn golden brown. Leave to cool

Decorate your Empire biscuits

Lay your biscuits out and get your little ones to help you spread jam over the top of them. Get another one and sandwich it on top.

empire biscuits

Mix some icing sugar together with a tablespoon or so of water in a small bowl.

empire biscuits

Drizzle the icing over the top of your biscuits and then decorate with a glace cherry or whatever else you are using.

empire biscuits empire biscuits

Enjoy!

 empire biscuits 

 

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bear claw cookies

Bear claw cookies

Difficulty: 30 minutes plus 10 minutes baking

Time: Fairly easy

Serves: 24 cookies approx

Ingredients
225g (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
200g (1 cup) Demerara sugar
150g (3/4 cup) caster sugar
2 eggs
½ tsp vanilla extract
400g (3 1/3 cups) plain/all purpose flour
½ tsp salt
2 ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
100g (3/4 cup) dark chocolate.
To decorate
Large chocolate buttons
Small chocolate drops

 

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Double choco-smarties cookies

Chocolate chip cookies

Cookies are a great thing to bake with your kids. They don’t involve rolling out or cutting like other biscuits do which, although fun, can make baking a little bit more time consuming. They’re so simple and have lots of steps your little ones can get involved in: measuring, mixing and then dolloping the dough out on the baking sheets.

To make these cookies, we just used a cookie recipe we’ve tried before from the Hummingbird Bakery, but made them a bit more fun (and chocolatey) by turning them into bear claws. They’d probably look more like bear claws if we made them smaller, but that’s unlikely to happen in our house. They were a hit though: “ooooh Mummy, I love it” was the response from my ever enthusiastic toddler! I hope you like them….

Method

Preheat the oven to 170C and line your baking trays (at least 4) with greasproof paper

Mix the butter and sugar
Get your child to measure the butter (225g) and sugar (200g demerara, 150g caster) out and then add to a mixing bowl or freestanding mixer. If the butter isn’t already soft, pop it in the microwave for 10 seconds or so, just to make it easier to mix.

Mix them together using the paddle attachment of your mixer if you’re using one, a hand held mixer, or wooden spoon until the sugar and butter are light and fluffy.

  

Add the eggs and vanilla extract
Get your child to break the eggs, one at a time, into a small bowl. Add them to your bowl, mixing it a little between the additions of each egg.

 

Turn the mixer down to a slower speed and get your child to help you measure the vanilla extract (1/2 tsp) into the bowl. Let them use the spoon on their own if they are able to (my 3 year old can just about do this), or help them and steady their hand while you pour if you need to (my 1.5 year old can help do it this way).

Add the remaining ingredients
Measure the flour (400g) into a small bowl. If your child is able to, get them to help measure the salt ( ½ tsp) and bicarbonate of soda (2 ½ tsp) into the flour. Add these into your large mixing bowl.

Mix everything together until you have a smooth dough. If you need to, use a spatula to scrape the mixture down from the sides of the bowl.

 

While everything is mixing, chop up the chocolate into small pieces. Get your toddler to add it in to your dough mixture and give it one last mix so that everything is nicely combined.

 

Form the cookies
Using a spoon (or your little ones might like using their hands!) add 6 dollops of dough mixture to each of your baking trays. The mixture is quite sticky, so your kids might need help getting the mixture off the spoon. You can always form them into neater balls with your hands. These cookies spread a lot while baking so leave as much space as possible between each cookie as possible. Get your little ones to help you add a chocolate button and small chocolate drops to form the ‘claw’.

  

Bake the cookies
Pop them in the oven for roughly 10 minutes. They’re ready when the edges have turned golden brown and they’ve flattened down.

Leave them on the baking trays to cool slightly, then move them to a wire rack to cool completely.

bear claw cookies

You can bake other delicious cookies: double chocolate smarties cookies and chocolate chip cookies

 

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jammy heart biscuits

Jammy heart biscuits

Difficulty: Easy

Time: 30 minutes + 15 minutes baking

Serves: 10 biscuits (approx)

 

 

 

 

Ingredients
80g caster sugar
160g unsalted butter, softened
240g plain flour
Jam

 

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White chocolate & custard biscuits

It’s almost Valentine’s Day so I thought we should do some love themed baking.

I’d seen various versions of this jammy heart biscuit, which is essentially a jammy dodger but wanted to make sure it was easy enough for the kids to help with.

This particular recipe I found on the she who bakes website. It’s nice and simple with only a few ingredients and has lots of opportunities for my wee helpers to get involved.

Method

Preheat your oven to 180C and line your baking trays (2 or 3) with baking paper

Mix the butter and sugar together
Get your toddlers to measure out the sugar (80g) and butter (160g) and pop them in a large mixing bowl. If your butter isn’t soft, blast it in the microwave for a few seconds before adding to your bowl otherwise it’ll be hard to mix.

  

Use some wooden spoons and give it a good mix until it’s well blended. If you want you could use a hand held mixer or freestanding mixer.

Make a dough
Measure the flour (240g) then add it to your bowl.

 

Mix it together until it is thoroughly mixed and a dough starts to form. You could use your spoons for this, or get your hands dirty.
Tip your mixture out on to your work surface. Knead it together until it forms a ball. Then chill it in the fridge for 15 minutes.

  

Make your jammy heart biscuits
Get your kids to help roll your dough out so it is about half a cm thick. We put it between two sheets of baking paper to stop it sticking.

 

Cut out your biscuits using a round cutter. Using a smaller heart shaped cutter cut out the centre of half of your biscuits. Pop them on your baking trays. Re-roll the scraps and cut out more biscuits until you’ve used all your dough.

 

Sprinkle your biscuits with a little caster sugar.

 

Bake your biscuits
Pop your jammy heart biscuits in the oven for around 15 minutes. They’re done when they are turning golden brown.

Remove them from the oven, leave to cool on the trays for a few minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

Form your biscuits
Spoon a little jam (about 2 tbsp) into a dish or pan and either warm in the microwave or on the cooker until has softened a little. This will make it a lot easier to spread.

Get your kids to help you spread jam on to the top of each ‘full’ biscuit. Then make a sandwich by placing the heart cut out biscuit on top.

Enjoy!

Jammy heart biscuits

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Banana bread

Banana bread

Difficulty: Easy

Time: 20 minutes + 1 hours baking

Serves: 8-10 slices

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients
270g ( 1, 1/2 cups) soft brown sugar
2 eggs
200g bananas (2 – 3)
280g (2 cups) plain/all purpose flour
1tsp baking powder
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
1tsp ground cinnamon
1tsp ground ginger
140g (1/2 cup) butter
100g (1/2 cup) raisins

 

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Carrot cake

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We make banana bread anytime we have too many bananas to get through. I’ve always used a recipe I found online years ago but this time we went with one from my new Hummingbird Bakery cook book. It was delicious and I think will become my new go-to recipe.

There were lots of fun bits for the kids to get involved in too, like mashing the bananas, and using the mixer – too firm favourites in our house!

Method

Preheat the oven to 170C and prepare your baking tin
Get your toddler to grease a 23 x 13cm loaf tin with butter and dust with flour.


Mix the sugar and eggs together
Get your child to measure the sugar (270g) into a small bowl then pop it into a mixing bowl or freestanding mixer.
Get your toddler to try cracking the eggs into a small bowl. Once you’ve got rid of any shell, pop them in the mixer.

 

Give everything a mix using a paddle attachment, (or if you don’t have a mixer use a couple of wooden spoons or a hand held mixer) until its well incorporated.

Add the bananas
Get your child to peel and mash the bananas (200g)– this is the best bit of making banana bread! – then mix them into the sugar and egg mixture.

 

Add the dry ingredients
Get your toddler to measure the flour (280g) out into a bowl. While they are doing that, add the bicarbonate of soda (1tsp), baking powder (1tsp), cinnamon (1tsp) and ginger (1tsp)or if they are able to, get them to help you measure each of them out.

 

Mix everything together until it everything is well incorporated into the eggs and sugar.

Add the butter and raisins
Melt the butter (140g) in a small saucepan, and then add it into your mixture. Throw in the raisins (we don’t bother measuring them accurately) before giving it one final mix.


Bake the banana bread
Pour the mixture into your prepared baking tin. Bake for around 1 hour. It’s cooked when it is firm to touch and a skewer or sharp knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.

 

Leave to cook in the tin slightly, before turning out to cool completely on a wire rack.

banana bread

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Fork biscuits

Fork biscuits

Difficulty: Easy

Time: 15 minutes + 15 minutes baking

Serves: approx 15 biscuits

 

 

 

 

Ingredients 

100g butter (softened)
50g caster sugar
150g self raising flour

 

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Jammy heart biscuits

Hedgehog biscuits

Viennese whirls

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you look online for a simple bake to do with your kids, fork biscuits will probably come up in your search results. With only 3 ingredients, no eggs and no biscuit cutters, they are easy to make and shouldn’t make too much mess in your kitchen.

Next time, we might try adding a different flavour like chocolate, or lemon or dried fruit.

Method

Pre-heat your oven to 180C / 160C fan and prepare your baking trays
Get your toddler to line a few baking trays with baking paper.

Mix the butter and sugar together
Get your toddler to measure the butter. Ours was a bit hard so we gave it a really quick blast  in the microwave to soften it. Put it in a large mixing bowl.

 

Weigh the sugar and add it to the bowl.

Beat together with a wooden spoon until well combined.

 

Add the flour
Get your toddler to weigh the flour, then add to your mixing bowl. Carry on mixing then use your hands to bring it all together into a soft dough.

 

Form the biscuits
Roll small pieces of dough (the size of a walnut or teaspoon) into round balls. Place on your baking tray, leaving space between them for spreading.

 
Dip a fork in cold water and press down on each ball in turn to flatten each biscuit and make an imprint. If your toddler is too young to help rolling the balls, this is a good step for them to help with instead.

Bake your fork biscuits
Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes until they are golden brown.
Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

fork biscuits

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hedgehog biscuits

Hedgehog biscuits

Difficulty: Easy/Medium

Time: 30 minutes + 12 minutes baking + decorating

Serves: 16 biscuits

 

 

 

 

Ingredients
250g butter, softened
140g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract
300g plain flour
For the topping
150g chocolate
Chocolate sprinkles or crushed nuts (walnuts)

 

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Easter chick biscuits

Bear claw cookies

Jammy heart biscuits

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had a bit of a hedgehog themed day last week where we met a hedgehog, and made some hedgehog art at Gorgie City Farm. Inspired by that I thought we would try some hedgehog themed baking. We’ve not made biscuits for a while, so I got out our trusty biscuit recipe and got Hannah to give me a hand.

There are probably better recipes for this, as there is a lot of butter in this one which makes it a bit soft, but it’s an easy one to do and I know that they’ll taste nice. If hedgehogs aren’t your thing you can use this recipe as a base for something else that tickles your fancy.

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 180C/160C fan

Line a baking tray with greasproof paper

Mix the butter and sugar in a bowl
Weigh out the butter (or just use a whole stick). To make it easier to mix, either leave it out of the fridge for a while before you start or pop it in the microwave for about 10 seconds or so.

Get your toddler to weigh the sugar and then add it to the bowl.

..

Mix together with a wooden spoon.

 


Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract

I did both these parts myself with a little help from Hannah as she doesn’t quite have the dexterity to do it all on her own yet. Your toddler can help to mix it all in though.

Sift in the flour
Weigh the flour in a separate bowl then sift it into your mixture. It can get a little messy, but Hannah really enjoyed this part! Once it’s all in give it another mix until it’s well combined.

 

Form the biscuits
Use your hands to finish mixing and press the dough together into a ball. To make the hedgehogs, break off little bits and roll them in your hands to form balls, then shape the snout/nose.

Don’t worry too much about making them perfect, ours spread in the oven so I ended up doing it again a little after they had been baked. Put them on their baking tray with a little space between each one. If you put your baking trays in the fridge for 10 minutes it should stop your biscuits spreading as much.

 

Bake in the oven
Put your baking tray in the oven for 10-12 minutes until they are golden brown.
Remove from the oven and put them on a wire rack to cool (you might want to reshape the noses a little before they cool).

Decorate your hedgehogs
Your toddler can help you break up the chocolate into a microwavable bowl then zap them for 30 seconds+ until it’s melted.

 

Either pour the chocolate over each biscuit, dip them in your bowl or use a spoon to spread the chocolate on. We did a mixture of all 3. Sprinkle over your chocolate sprinkles or nuts to form the hedgehog spines.

  

Use something pointy like a chopstick or cocktail stick to dip in the chocolate and form the eyes and nose.

hedgehog biscuits

 

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