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Valentines Biscuits

Today we did some heart shaped biscuits. The didn’t turn out exactly how I planned but were really nice and easy to make. I was going to melt some white chocolate and mix in pink food colouring, then dip the biscuits in, but somehow I managed to burn the white chocolate. It went all lumpy so used dark chocolate instead. Maybe didn’t look as pretty but I know I prefer the taste of dark chocolate.

I followed a basic biscuit recipe that I’ve used before.

Ingredients

100g (4oz) butter or margarine (we used Stork)
100g (4oz) caster sugar
1 egg
175g (6oz) plain flour

1) Grease two baking sheets with butter to stop the biscuits sticking, and preheat oven to 180°/ gas mark 4

2) Sift the flour into large bowl and add the butter.

3) Rub the butter into the flour with your fingers until it looks like fine breadcrumbs.

4) Stir the sugar into the mixture. Break the egg into a small bowl and beat well. Add to mixture in big bowl and stir until it forms a dou

5) Sprinkle a clean work surface with flour and put dough onto it. Roll the dough out until it it is about a quarter of an inch thick.

6) Use a cutter to cut out the shapes (we obviously used hearts) and carefully place onto the greased baking tray.

7) Bake for 12-15minutes or until golden brown. Leave them to cool completely on a wire rack.

That’s the basic recipe.
Like I said, I intended to melt white cooking chocolate and mix in a drop of food colouring to make it pink, but it went all lumpy. Typically, I had no more white chocolate ! We melted a bar of dark cooking chocolate in the microwave, taking it out and stirring every ten seconds or so to make sure it didn’t burn. We them had loads of fun dipping the biscuits into the chocolate and then sprinkling red sugar on to make them pretty, and left them to cool and set in the fridge.

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The gorgeous Rachel at Candy Floss Cloud had a go at these biscuits with her little one, along with some other lovely Valentines activities…check her blog out here

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Boozy brandy truffles (definitely not for kids!)

Ok, so I know this is supposed to be all about kids, but couldn’t resist sharing this. These boozy truffles are definitely not for kids!
My lovely sister in law, Kim, makes these every year. Let me tell you, they are usually demolished within seconds. She’s so far taunted me with these pictures, and I know that there is a box waiting to be eaten at my parents.
She’s been lovely enough to share her recipe with me (and you!)

Ingredients:
150g Bournville or other good quality dark chocolate
40ml brandy or rum
50g unsalted butter
60g icing sugar, sieved
50g ground almonds
About 16 small paper cases

Break about two thirds of the chocolate into a bowl and put this over a pan of hot water. Add the alcohol and leave to melt. Take off the heat and stir in the butter, which shouldn’t be too hard. Mix in the sieved icing sugar and group almonds until well blended.

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Leave in a cool place until the mixture is firm enough to handle. Divide into about 16 even sized pieces and roll into balls. Grate the remaining chocolate, place on greaseproof paper and roll the truffles in it – you could also roll it in those chocolate hundreds and thousand bits. Put into the little cake cases.

These are gorgeous. A little tub of them would make a fab gift – if you could resist eating them first!!

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Thanks to Kim for sharing the recipe and for the photos!

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Chocolate peanut butter crispy cakes

Catchy name eh?
We wanted to make some cakes today but it’s the day before shopping day and we have no eggs so that blew that out…until I remembered good old crispy cakes!

We always have rice crispies in the cupboard. We don’t really eat them as the kids prefer porridge or weetabix but they’re handy for making cakes. We’ve also always got cooking chocolate in the baking cupboard. I wanted to make them a bit different though. I had a mooch through the cupboard and found half a tub of crunchy peanut butter – aha!!

Now, this recipe may not be suitable for some kids. I know some people don’t like giving their kids peanut butter, or only smooth peanut butter (which would work just as well). We let ours have the crunchy stuff – we don’t have any allergies and they’re always really supervised whilst eating it as I know it can be seen as a choking hazard.

As this was a bit of an experiment I don’t really have any measurements for you. I know we used 600g of cooking chocolate (dark) and about a third of a biggish jar of peanut butter.
We heated the chocolate over a low heat, stirring constantly. When it was nice and smooth we poured it over some rice crispies in a bowl and gave it a good mix. We had to keep adding the cereal until all the cereal was coated but not swimming in the chocolate. We then mixed in the peanut butter and spooned into muffin cases. After a couple of hours in the fridge they were done! They were lovely.

Have a go!

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Chocolate and Banana Muffins

Whilst waiting for the spaghetti to cook and cool down for out latest art project (will reveal more tomorrow!), we did a bit of baking!

We are terrible for wasting bananas. The kids go through phases when one minute they’re demolishing them, and them when I buy loads they go off them, meaning I end up chucking them. I love making banana cake but if it’s cut into slices the kids won’t eat it, so today when I saw the bananas being just a couple of days away
from being inedible I decided to make
kid friendly banana cupcakes. We made them even more yummy by making them chocolatey! These are bite sized little muffins and would make a perfect breakfast treat! The banana keeps the cake really moist for several days.

Ingredients

4oz flour
4oz butter
4 oz sugar
2 eggs
3 very ripe mashed bananas
2oz cocoa powder

I am a bit of a chuck it all in kind of cook, so once I preheated the oven to gas mark 5 (no idea for electric cookers!) we washed our hands, and after helping me weigh all the ingredients out carefully (perfect numeracy teaching/learning opportunity!) Harrison put all the ingredients in a plastic bowl – I couldn’t get any photos as my battery died! We then mixed it all together with a wooden spoon. Harrison carefully counted out the muffin cases and put them in the tin and then helped me to spoon the lovely smooth mixture into the cases. Of course, we just HAD to lick bowl afterwards to check it was ok! (Contains raw egg before cooking so be careful if you’re pregnant, babies under 12 months etc). We put them in the oven for about 20 minutes until cooked. We let them cool and sprinkled some snowy icing sugar on before sampling. They were delicious! Really moist and lovely. These aren’t going to last very long….

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What’s your favourite muffin or cupcake recipe?

Kelly has been baking cakes with her toddler, check out her recipe here