Cake pops

These do take a while and can be quite fiddly but they are so fun and different. Have them at your next event to impress your guests.

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Recipe taken from Bakerella

YOU’LL NEED

130g  cake (Make this the day before to save time. You can also use a box mix to make it even more convenient)

85g  tub ready-made frosting
350g chocolate or cake covering
12 lollipop sticks

Stryofoam block, or some sort of construction that will hold the cake pops upright as they dry

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MAKES 12 CAKE POPS

  1. Take your preprepared cake and crumble it into a large bowl. You should not see any large pieces of cake. Mix in the frosting with a large metal spoon until thoroughly combined.
  2. The mixture should not be too dry or too moist. If it’s too dry add some more frosting. The mixture should be moist enough to roll into 1 1/2-in (4-cm) balls and still hold a round shape. After rolling the cake balls by hand, place them on the prepared baking sheets and let them rest for about 20 minutes before chilling.
  3. Cover the baking sheets with plastic wrap and chill for several hours in the refrigerator, or place them in the freezer for about 15 minutes. You want the balls to be firm but not frozen.
  4. Melt the chocolate in a bowl in the microwave, do this is 30 second intervals as you do not want the chcolate to burn. The melted chocolate will be used for dipping.
  5. Now you’re ready to dip. Take a few cake balls out of the refrigerator or freezer to work with, keeping the rest chilled. If they’re in the freezer, transfer the rest of the balls to the refrigerator at this point so they stay firm but do not freeze.
  6. One at a time, dip about 1/2 in (12 mm) of the tip of a lollipop stick into the melted candy coating, and then insert the lollipop stick straight into a cake ball, pushing it no more than halfway through.
  7. Holding the lollipop stick with cake ball attached, dip the entire cake ball into the melted candy coating until it is completely covered, and remove it in one motion. Make sure the coating meets at the base of the lollipop stick. This helps secure the cake ball to the stick when the coating sets. The object is to completely cover the cake ball and remove it without submerging it in the coating more than once. If you do resubmerge the cake pop, the weight of the candy coating can pull on the cake ball and cause it to get stuck in the coating.
  8. The thinner the consistency of your coating, the easier it will be to coat the cake pops. (If you find that your coating is too thick, add some vegetable oil or paramount crystals to help thin it and make the coating more fluid.)
  9. When you remove the cake pop from the candy coating, some excess coating may start to drip. Hold the cake pop in one hand and use the other to gently tap the first wrist. Rotate the lollipop stick if necessary to allow the excess coating to fall off evenly, so one side doesn’t get heavier than the other. If you didn’t completely dunk the cake pop, this method of tapping and rotating generally takes care of that. The coating will slowly slide down the surface of the cake ball until it reaches the lollipop stick.
  10. If too much coating surrounds the base of the lollipop stick, you can wipe the excess off with your finger. Simply place your finger on the stick right under the cake ball and rotate the pop, allowing any excess coating to fall off and back into the bowl. When most of the excess coating has fallen off and it is no longer dripping, stick the cake pop into the Styrofoam block.
  11. Repeat with the remaining cake balls and let the pops dry completely in the Styrofoam block.
  12. Enjoy!

Tips:

  • Bake the cake the day before, and let it cool overnight. Then just dip and decorate the following day.
  • Use a toothpick to encourage the coating to cover any small exposed areas or to make sure it surrounds the lollipop stick.
  • Make sure the cake balls are chilled and firm when you dip them. If they are room temperature, they are likely to fall off the lollipop sticks into the melted candy coating. You can always place them back in the freezer for a few minutes to quickly firm them up again.
  • Poke holes in the Styrofoam block before you start dipping. Just use one of the lollipop sticks to make holes about 2 inches apart.
  • For fun, experiment with different colors of candy coating and drizzle pops with a second color to decorate
  • You can also make cake pops in different shapes. Just roll them into balls, place in the freezer or refrigerator to firm, and then mold into your desired shape.

 

Flaky Biscuits

Isa has an Eid party at nursery tomorrow so I thought we’d make some biscuits for him to take in. They were great fun to make and he loved getting involved in the whole process.

 

Ingredients:

  • 175g butter
  • 125g sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 250g plain flour

Makes around 18 biscuits

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°c and line 2 trays with bakig paper
  2. Mix the butter and the caster sugar with an electric whisk until blended. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and mix until combined. Stor in the plain flour until the mixture comes together
  3. Wrap the dough in some cling film and place in the fridge to chill for around 30 mins.  This will make the dough easier to work with
  4. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to around 4mm thick. Use a cutter to cut out your shapes or use a knife to cut finger shapes.
  5. Transfer to the baking trays and cook for around 14 mins or until light golden brown.
  6. Leave to cool before decorating as desired.

 

 

 

 

Sunflower cupcakes

These cupcakes look so bright and summery and taste lovely too.

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Makes around 12 cupcakes

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes:

  • 1.5 cups/175g Plain Flour (sifted)
  • 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 50g/113g soft butter
  • half a 3/4 cup/175g sugar
  • 2 large eggs at room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup/120ml milk at room temp

For the buttercream:

  • 100g/3½oz soft butter
  • 200g/7oz icing sugar, plus ½ tsp for dusting
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla

To decorate:

  • 1 packet of dark chocolate chips

 

Method:

For the cupcakes 

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) with rack in center of oven.

2. In a bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

3. Beat the butter and sugar together with an electric whisk until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition then add the vanilla. Alternately add the flour mixture and the  milk  beginning and ending with the flour.  So flour, milk, flour, milk, flour.  Mix until just combined.

4. Line your cupcake pan with your cupcake cases and evely divide the batter between the cases. Bake for 15-20 mins or until a toothpick insertedinto the center of the cake comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed.

5. Place the cakes on a wire rack to cool, once they are completely cooled you can begin to frost them .

For the buttercream 

Put the butter in a bowl and sift the icing sugar on top. Add the vanilla extract and beat with a wooden spoon or an electric whisk until very light and smooth. Add some yellow gel food colouring and whisk until the colour is all incoroporated.  Spoon into a clean piping bag fitted with a small star nozzle and pipe petal shapes. Finally add some chocolate chips in the middle to create your finished sunflower.

 

Variations: You can make these with chocolate cupcakes too.

Notes: Cupcake recipe taken from joy of baking.com http://www.joyofbaking.com/VanillaCake.html

Buttercream recipe taken from the Hairy Bikers

 

 

Rocky Road Bars

 

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Notes: You can make these with popcorn instead of biscuits. This would add variety and it’s also healthier too.

Makes: 24 bars

  • 125 grams soft butter
  • 300 grams best-quality dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids) broken into pieces ( Even though it doesn’t match the description,  I use Cadbury’s Bourneville chocolate as it’s more affordable and I like the taste)
  • 3 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 200 grams rich tea biscuits or any other biscuit you prefer
  • 100 grams mini marshmallows
  • 2 teaspoons icing sugar (for dusting)

Method:

  1. Melt the butter, chocolate and golden syrup in a heavy-based saucepan. Scoop out about 125ml / ½ cup of this melted mixture and put to one side.
  2. Put the biscuits into a freezer bag and then bash them with a rolling pin. You are aiming for both crumbs and pieces of biscuits.
  3. Fold the biscuit pieces and crumbs into the melted chocolate mixture in the saucepan, and then add the marshmallows.
  4. Tip into a foil tray (24cm / 9 inch square); flatten as best you can with a spatula. Pour the reserved 125ml / ½ cup of melted chocolate mixture over the marshmallow mixture and smooth the top.
  5. Refrigerate for about 2 hours or overnight.
  6. Cut into 24 fingers and dust with icing sugar by pushing it gently through a tea strainer or small sieve.

Recipe taken from Nigella Lawson

Salt Dough Creations

Around the same time that I did the Playdough post (I’ll leave the link for that at the bottom of the page), Isa and I got creative and thought we’d try making some salt dough magnets. He really loved rolling the dough and cutting out the different letter shapes and was so excited to see the end result whilst we were making them. They are extremely inexpensive to make, and  very verstaile, you can turn them into magnets like we did or you can pierce a hole in the top before baking so you can hang them up as decorations. You could also make them as gift tags too and I have even seen others create salt dough medals. The possibilities are endless.

To make these salt dough creations you will need

  • 225g Flour
  • 112g Salt
  • 100ml Cold Water

First of all you need to mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Then add the water in stages till you get a good consistency dough to work with (you may not need to add all of the water) as you don’t want the dough to be sticky. If the dough is too dry and crumbly add a little more water.

Roll out the dough and cut out shapes as desired, if you are creating ornaments to hang use a straw to pierce a hole near the top of your shape.

Leave to air dry on a tray for around a week or bake in the oven at 120°c for around two and a half to three hours. You could even try putting them in the microwave for 3 minutes if you’re really pressed for time ( I haven’t tried this method myself though). You will know when they are done as they will feel firm, hollow and dry.

Once they are all baked and cooled you can now add your piant and glitter. 

And there you have it, your very own salt dough creations.

 

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Recipe taken from: http://simplybeingmum.com/2013/03/18/simple-salt-dough-recipe/

 

For my previous Playdough post click here: 

https://aniqahahsan.wordpress.com/2016/09/06/playdough-recipe/

 

 

Perfectly Chocolate Cupcakes.

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Recipe taken from:  The Farm Chick

Notes: Make cupcakes without the icing for a great lunchbox snack. These cupcakes are extremely moist and chocolatey .

Ingredients:

  • 1cup sugar
  • 1cup brown sugar
  • 1 3/4cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2tsp baking powder
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1/2 veg oil
  • 2tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 Tub Betty Crocker Tempting Chocolate Icing

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180oc and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners
  2. Sift the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl
  3. Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla and beat with a mixer for about 2 mins
  4. Add the boiling water and beat until just blended. At this point the batter will be extremely runny
  5. Pour the batter into the liners and bake for 20-25 mins until the centre of the cupcakes pring back when lightly touched
  6.  Once cooled pipe on the chocolate icing if desired.

Link to original recipe: http://thefarmchicks.typepad.com/farmchicks/2009/01/moist-chocolate-cupcakes-with-vanilla-buttercream.html

Cookie Dough Cupcakes

This is probably the longest post I’ve done so far but these cupcakes are worth it. They do take a while to make but the flavour is exceptional and perfect for a special treat or even to give to your favourite person.

Ingredients

For the Cupcakes

  • 339g / 3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature 
  • 1½ cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips 

For the Cookie Dough Filling

  • 57g/ 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 85g/6 tbsp. light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 7 oz. sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

For the Cookie Dough Frosting

  • 170g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 48g cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 227g cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3 tbsp. milk
  • 1½ tsp. vanilla extract

Method:

  1. To make the  Filling cream butter and sugar in a mixing bowl on medium-high speed until light and fluffy(approx2 minutes).
  2. Add the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla and beat until smooth.
  3. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the mixture has firmed up a bit, (approx1 hour).

To make the Cupcakes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F/ 180°c.
  2. Using the paddle attachment on your mixer, combine the butter and brown sugar. Cream together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, approx 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl .
  3. In another bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together until all mixed. 
  4. Alternating add the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl with the milk on low speed, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, mixing each addition just until incorporated.
  5. Blend in the vanilla.
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula.
  7. Divide the batter evenly between 24 cupcake liners. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. After cupcakes have cooled, fill the cupcakes by cutting a cone-shaped portion out of the center of each cupcake. Fill each hole with a chunk of the chilled cookie dough mixture.

To make the Frosting

  1. Beat butter and brown sugar with the paddle attachment on high speed until creamy and fluffy.
  2. Mix in the confectioners’ sugar, milk, vanilla extract and salt until smooth and combined. If icing is too stiff add a little more milk. 
  3. Pipe on frosting as desired and decorate with drizzled melted dark chocolate and milk chocolate chips.

 

Recipe taken from Tidy Mom

 

Chewy Flapjacks

Flapjacks really don’t photograph well, especially these ones as they are so crumbly and the picture was taken at night, but do not let the picture deter you from making these. These flapjacks are wonderfully oaty, buttery and chewy and they taste delicious. Here’s the recipe for you to try.

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 Ingredients:

  • 150g soft brown sugar
  • 275g block butter
  • 1 rounded tablespoon golden syrup
  • 350g porridge oats

 

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 150°C, gas mark 2

Line a Silverwood oblong tin 20cm by 26cm, 4cm deep, with a liner

Place the sugar, butter and golden syrup together in a saucepan and heat it gently until the butter has melted, giving it a stir now and then.

Take the saucepan off the heat and stir in the porridge oats, mixing thoroughly.

Now pour the mixture into the prepared tin and press it out evenly, using the back of a tablespoon or your hand.

Bake near the centre of the oven for 40–45 minutes. Then allow the mixture to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before cutting into oblong bars.

Leave them in the tin until they’re quite cold before removing them to store in an airtight tin.

For chocolate-dipped flapjacks: use 110g melted milk chocolate (for children) or dark chocolate (for adults) in a wide bowl, and dip them lengthways 5mm deep into the chocolate (just to cover one side).

 

Recipe taken from Delia Smith: http://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/occasions/easter/easter-recipes-to-make-with-children/flapjacks 

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

These crinkle cookies are fab. They are chocolatey, and brownie like and don’t require a huge amount of ingredients. They also look great too.

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Recipe taken from Gimme some Oven.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour or white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar or cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable (or canola) oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract ( will try omitting/ reducing by half as the vanilla i’m using at the moment leaves a wierd aftertaste) 
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, for coating the cookies

Method:

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt until combined.  Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the oil and granulated sugar. Beat on medium-high speed for 2 minutes, or until the mixture is light and fluffy.  Add in the eggs one at a time, beating on medium-low speed until combined.  Add in vanilla, beating on medium-low speed until combined.  Then gradually fold in the flour mixture, and beat on medium-low speed until combined.  (If you would like to include chocolate chips, add them in at this point and beat on medium-low speed until combined.)

Form the dough into a large ball, and place it on a large sheet of plastic wrap.  Wrap the plastic around it so that it is sealed tightly.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours (or up to 24 hours) until the dough is chilled completely through.

When you’re ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350°F.  Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Scoop the sugar into a small bowl.

Remove and unwrap the dough.  Then roll the dough into 1-inch balls, dip each ball in the powdered sugar until it is completely covered on all sides, and then place the dough balls at least 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes, then remove and let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 3 minutes.  Transfer the cookies to a wire rack, and let them cool until they reach room temperature.

Serve immediately, or store in a sealed container for up to 5 days.  These cookies (either in dough form, or baked) can also freeze for up to 3 months in a sealed container.

http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/chocolate-crinkle-cookies-recipe/

Playdough Recipe

Keeping a 3 year old entertained can be difficult when the weather’s bad outside and it’s always a struggle to keep them away from the TV. I thought I’d make some playdough for my younger brother to keep him occupied during the holidays  even if it was only for a little while!

I wasn’t too sure if this was actually going to work but to my surprise it came out great so I’m going to share the recipe with you guys.

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Supplies

  • 2.5 cups water
  • 1 1/4 c. salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. cream of tartar 
  • 5 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2.5 cups Plain flour
  • Gel Food colouring

Instructions

  1. Mix everything but the food coloring together in a large pot until somewhat smooth. It will be lumpy. Not to worry, the dough will get smoother as it cooks.
  2. Cook the dough over a low heat. Mix frequently. The water will slowly cook out of the mixture and you’ll notice it starts to take on a sticky dough appearance. Keep mixing until the edges of the dough along the side and bottom of the pan appear dry. Pinch a piece of dough. If it’s not gooey, the dough is ready.
  3. Place the dough on a counter top or large cutting board that can withstand a little food coloring.
  4. Knead the warm dough until it’s smooth and then divide it into the number of colors that you’d like to make.
  5. Add the colouring and knead until the colour is all incorporated.
  6. Play with the dough right away or store it in a large Ziplock bag or sealed container. Unused, it’ll keep for months.

Recipe taken from: Tinkerlab

For more ideas on projects to do with young kids or to see the original post for this recipe visit her website http://tinkerlab.com/rainbow-play-dough.