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Difficulty: 30 minutes plus 10 minutes baking
Time: Fairly easy
Serves: 24 cookies approx
225g (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
200g (1 cup) Demerara sugar
150g (3/4 cup) caster sugar
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.
Large chocolate buttons
Small chocolate drops
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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….
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.
These jam heart biscuits are the perfect Valentine’s day treat for little chefs to make. Delicious crumbly shortbread sandwiched between jam – what could be sweeter!?