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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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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fork biscuits

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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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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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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

Banana and blueberry bread

Blueberry & apple muffins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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