13th February 2012
Right first day of half term, so I thought I’d bake one of the recipes from the ‘Baking for Children’ section of Mary’s Bible. As my children are 16 and 14 and if they feel like baking, will go into the kitchen themselves and bake, I wasn’t sure what their reaction would be! My 14 year old was glued to his Xbox, so there was no way he was going to peel himself away from that. My 16 year old smiled and agreed, although there was a glint in her eyes!! Mischief …
Told her we were going to bake some animal biscuits and then ice them together, first giggle from her, she thought I was joking … soon found out I wasn’t.
Animal biscuit cutters, I did have some, years ago. I had a slight feeling that I gave them away a couple of years ago so that my niece could do some baking with her grandma. My daughter climbed on the worktop to search the back of the top baking cupboard. She found a small flower cutter – no good, a huge star cutter (too Christmassy) and some heart cutters. Next job was to get herself down from the worktop – not easy when you have a 7 month old puppy sat at your feet trying to pull your socks off! As it was Valentine’s Day tomorrow, we decided on the hearts.
Safely down, she then get asked should she get a chair to stand on so she can reach the worktop (just like the ‘olden’ days)? More giggling, especially when I said that I didn’t think she was the one who needed the chair any more, it was now me!!
Next job oven on. Two baking trays out of the cupboard and lightly greased. My daughter stood and watched – this wasn’t the plan.
Butter out of the fridge (a bit to firm) so cut it into cubes when I measured it out. First giggling fit ensued when I dropped one of the cubes on the floor. We decided the butter was too hard so put it in the microwave for 10 seconds. On removing it from the microwave my daughter feels a bit to see how soft it is. It stuck to her finger … second bit on the floor. This isn’t looking good. More giggling.
Flour weighed into the butter and I rubbed it in. Daughter, again stood and watched, oh and giggled some more.
Out with the vanilla extract another giggling session as we couldn’t get the lid of the bottle. Eventually we did and a few drops were added to the ‘breadcrumb’ mixture. Into that also went the sugar, beaten egg and milk. The dough was brought together and turned out onto a lightly floured board.
Now my daughter wanted to get involved (she’d obviously painted her nails that morning), that was after I had rolled the mixture out. Another giggling session first though when I took my Joseph Joseph rolling pin out. I thought I would roll the biscuits out to 5mm, so this meant moving one of the circles at the end of the rolling pin. I told my daughter that I needed to remove them as the rolling pin was too heavy and they were weights. For that slight second I think she believed me … it was lucky I had the rolling pin in my hand otherwise I think I may have been bashed with it, hehe!
Anyway, Mary said you should make 50 biscuits. Our heart cutter was obviously a lot larger than animal cutters as we made 16. Into the oven they went for 10 minutes. After this time I left them in for another couple of minutes until they were golden brown. Moved them onto a cooling tray and moved them to the dining room – my daughter has a habit of eating everything once it comes out of the oven!
After our evening meal we decided to decorate the biscuits. Our first attempt wasn’t a success. We though we’d be clever and ice round the edge of one of the biscuits and then fill it in with runny icing. I think we over filled it as it started running over the top of the icing on the edge. Never mind. The second one was slightly better we cut a heart shape out of white icing and then cut a smaller heart out of the middle and filled it with red icing. Oh and another one we mixed some white and red sugarpaste together to get a ‘tie-dye’ look and put it on the biscuit – it looked like a piece of bacon!
We decided then to cover all the biscuits with white icing and take it from there. You can see from the results some have hearts or question marks on them made from tiny flowers, others have writing (by my daughter – a very steady hand). Not very professional looking but 100% for enjoyment in making them.
All in all we enjoyed making them, had a laugh and spent some quality time together. Not Animal Biscuits, but Valentine Biscuits