Treats!

I am a total sucker for sweet treats and this afternoon I had a super quick baking session with the Boy. Well… I say baking really what I mean is we made some rice krispie treats (or Mars Bar buns if you prefer!).

If you don’t know what they are, essentially they are melted Mars Bars, mixed with Rice Krispies and smothered in with chocolate. If you want a more detailed recipe check out Laura’s post on them at her blog Day Dreaming Foodie.

image

Yum!

They are totally delish and I am very much looking forward to an evening with Netflix, a glass of wine and a couple of treats. I don’t think Sauv Blanc will work too well with them but I’m gonna give it a try!

Happy Crafty New Year!

Happy New Year to you all!  I’ve been quieter than I would have liked over the festive season but with the Boy off nursery and the big beardy one off work for the last fortnight our days have been pretty full!

I had last minute Christmas gifts to craft, and some I still have to make!  I had my first ever go at arm knitting and I was so pleased with the result I’m definitely going to have another go.

image

Since it was for a Christmas present I totally forgot to take more photos than this but I’m sure I’ll get one of the finished product to show you!

I’m on a bit of a mission to get my kiddies eating less processed food in 2015 so last night they got home made fish fingers. I used this Annabel Karmel recipe although instead of frying them I baked them for about 15mins at 180°C.

image

Seasoned flour, beaten egg & bashed rice crispies to coast the fish

I thought they were lovely and the babby couldn’t get enough although the boy wasn’t convinced.  Mind you we’re having a bit of a power struggle over food at the minute so he won’t eat a lot of what I put down in front of him right now! I’m hopeful that is just a phase but it is terribly discouraging to spend time making good food only to have it turned down. Ah well, I thought it was pretty tasty so it didn’t go to waste!

My next mission is home made baked beans but not today as we have my niece’s birthday party to go to this afternoon! Yesterday saw us baking some tasty biscuits for the occasion. Can’t wait to get eating them later!

image

image

So a happy new year to you all? Are you planning to be more crafty this year? Do more cooking, make more things or learn a new skill? I’m hoping to do all of the above but I’ll have to see how I get on! Let me know your crafty resolutions!

Christmas Cookies!

Today I picked up a very excited small boy from playgroup. He was cradling a package wrapped in green tissue paper like it was the most precious thing on earth and told me very seriously that he had made a cookie. He was so proud of himself and I couldn’t wait to get him home to see his masterpiece!

Unfortunately disaster struck and when we arrived home his cookie had broken. Now I know it was going to taste the same but there was no convincing him of this fact and faced with a teary three year old I knew I had to act fast! The only thing that could possibly make things alright again was getting to make another cookie so it looked like an afternoon baking was on the cards.

The thought of finding a recipe, checking what ingredients I had and what I needed, starting into weighing and measuring… Bah humbug! Thankfully I had a brainwave and remembered that my local bakery, The Cookie Jar, had started selling cookie dough for us lazy folk to make their own Christmas treats. I’m not sure I’ve ever been as happy as I was at that moment. I reckoned £1.49 for a pound of dough was very flippin reasonable so a very quick car journey later and we had our package of delectable cookie dough. Once armed with the cookie dough, a rolling pin and some cookie cutters I now had a very happy boy!

Thank goodness James from the Cookie Jar has put together a very easy instructional video for using the dough. I’m not a bad baker but it’s definitely better to get a wee helping hand from the pros! Unfortunately even after I watched it I still managed to burn the first batch of cookies. Admittedly I do use a dreadfully unreliable table top oven so there’s always a bit of trial and error involved!

image

The second lot turned out a lot better than goodness, although they are a lot tinier! The boy found some of his play dough cutters and decided they were much more fun to make cookies with so we did. Tiny cookies are definitely a better size for tiny (and some not so tiny) people to eat! Some yellow icing and sugar sprinkles later and we ended up with a little plate full of treats and we still have half the dough left!

image

I’ve been told in no uncertain terms that we have to make more cookies tomorrow so I think I’ll be back for more cookie dough. Although I think that unless I want to end up with a figure like Santa we’ll definitely be giving them out as Christmas pressies. They are definitely tasty enough to do us proud!

Saturday Treats – chocolate banana buns

So it’s Saturday and the weather is lovely. It’s dry and sunny and crisp, a perfect autumn day. I love Autumn so I feel like I should be out enjoying it, exploring with the kids and kicking leaves but maybe later… Babby has a bad cold and has been asleep for hours now (and she’ll hopefully stay that way!). The Boy is not quite used to the exertions of nursery yet so he’s in the living room making the most of my Netflix account. A little Wallace & Gromit is perfect Saturday viewing! The Mister is out doing manly things so I’ve been left, mostly, to my own devices.

I thought I would have a play with my new toy, a mini cupcake maker! It is pretty and blue and it means that I can have buns whenever I want! I love baking but my cooker consists of a big oil fired Rayburn. We can’t run it in summer because it makes the place to hot and even when we have it on the cost of running it is prohibitive so I don’t get to bake a lot, even though I love it. When I saw this beauty in Lidl the other week I couldn’t resist!

image

With the end of the Great British Bake Off last week I’ve been in the mood for something tasty. There is an amazing recipe for chocolate banana bread in The Great British Book Of Baking (the companion book for the first series of Bake Off) so u thought I’d see if it would work scaled down into wee buns. I do mean wee buns by the way, my machine only does mini cupcake size buns. Tiny bites, perfect size treats for my little people!

image

I thought because the buns are so small I would leave out the chocolate pieces in the banana bread recipe. I used some cocoa powder instead for the chocolate hit I wanted. I am a total chocoholic so leaving it out completely was out of the question!

My modified recipe made about 19 little buns, not quite three full batches as the machine does seven at a time. They are delicious little morsels, the perfect accompaniment for my afternoon cuppa!

Here’s the recipe for anyone that wants to try it for themselves :

INGREDIENTS

100g Self Raising Flour
25g Cocoa Powder
75g Golden Caster Sugar
50g Butter, melted & cooled
1 medium egg, beaten
1 large banana, finely mashed (approx 100g peeled banana)

METHOD

Sift the flour & cocoa power together into a bowl & add the sugar. Mix these together and make a well in the centre. Pour in the beaten egg, melted butter and mashed banana and using a wooden spoon mix well.

For my machine I put in silicone bun papers and filled them nearly to the top. A single batch takes about 15 minutes. Amazingly subsequent batches come out just as good as the first batch. I always thought leaving a mix to sit would have an adverse effect on it but it seems to work ok for three batches at least!

If you’re using a regular oven mini cupcakes should bake in about 15mins at 170°C

image