Melting Snowman Biscuits

I haven’t posted here for a while for no reason other than life seems to be getting in the way of blogging at the moment.

However, I am now officially on holiday/maternity leave from work so the messy play and toddler cooking can recommence.

As we are due another addition to our family within the next couple of months there has been quite a bit of focus on making sure that everything is ready for Christmas before they arrive.

So, this morning Little Splodge and I made a start on “practicing” decorating our Christmas cookies.

Thanks to spending too many hours on Pinterest over the last few weeks I stumbled across this picture

snowmen cookies found on pinterest

As this was more a play activity for Little Splodge and less of a baking one I am guilty of taking the easiest approach known to man. I used shop bought digestives as a base.  To decorate them we made use of the icing sugar and little cake decorations we already had in the cupboard and added some marshmallows and writing icing (as you may have already guessed these are not for those watching their waistline).

ingredients for snowman cookies

Unfortunately, Little Splodge wasn’t as interested in decorating the biscuits as she was in eating the ingredients. She did however have a good go at dripping the icing off the spoon and giving it a good squish with her hands (I should point out that I had already rescued some of the icing for some serious biscuit decorating of my own)

little splodge decorating cookies

So, while Little Splodge was happily playing with all the ingredients and creating an almighty mess I actually managed to decorate a few biscuits.

Our biscuits are somewhat brighter that the original image as the supermarket I got the writing icing from didn’t have any black so a few substitutions had to be made.

finished melting snowman biscuits

I am also not ashamed to say that I am very proud of their little scarves.

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Plum Crumble

finished crumble ready for over header banner

My aunt has a plum tree in her garden and that tree is heavy with fruit.

In the space of about 5 minutes we filled a shopping bag with ripe, delicious fruit and are now officially over run with plums in our house.

Little Splodge is doing her best to eat them all as quickly as possible … she actually ate 6 of them at breakfast yesterday … but we thought we should do something with them other than eat them straight out of the bag.

So we made plum crumble.

Crumble is incredibly simple to make so, once again, we let Little Splodge get her hands in and help with the making … as well as the eating,

Ingredients

Crumble

100g Plain Flour

75g Butter/Margarine

75g Sugar (we just used ordinary granulated)

75g Rolled Oats

Filling

Plums – skinned and stones removed (we used somewhere between 25-30)

A small handful of sugar

Method

1) Preheat the oven to 180*c / Gas Mark 4

2)Place plums into a oven proof crumble dish

3) Add sugar to the plums and give them a quick mix. Set aside.

4) Put the flour and butter in a large mixing bowl

5) Use your fingers to rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs

6) Stir in the oats and sugar

7) Sprinkle the crumble mixture over the plums in an even layer

8) Sprinkle a little more sugar over the top for extra crunchiness

9) Bake for about 30-40 minutes

As we were using plums fresh from the tree we had to skin the plums and take the stones out before we could do anything else. Luckily, Little Splodge decided to take a nap so we had plenty of time to do this while she slept. As much as I enjoy involving Little Splodge in the baking I didn’t really want her involved in anything that involves boiling water and sharp knives … she is only a baby after all.

Once the plums were ready we pre weighed all of the ingredients and put them into separate bowls so that Little Splodge could add the ingredients as well as mixing them. I’d already put the plums into the baking dish as they were still hot from being skinned and pitted.

crumble ingredients

Little Splodge really enjoyed being able to add the ingredients to the bowl and then mixing them herself.

She really enjoyed combining the butter and flour to make the breadcrumbs although this took much longer than it normally would as she had a bit of a tendency to squeeze the ingredients together and formed quite large doughy bits that then needed breaking up again before we could add the other ingredients.

We used adding the ingredients as a chance to use some texture words and talked about the ingredients being soft, smooth, sticky, and rough while we added them. As Little Splodge has a natural inquisitiveness and likes to get her hands in the bowl at any opportunity this proved to be the best time to talk about texture and the way things feel.

mixing crumble ingredients

Once she had mixed all of the crumble ingredients together it was time to put the crumble together.

Once again, Little Splodge took the chance to feel the mixture as much as possible and loved sprinkling it over the plums.

sprinkling crumble topping onto the plums

The topping did need a little bit of tidying up when she had finished because none of the corners had any topping and the middle had a small mountain of delicious oat goodness.

Finally, the crumble was ready for the oven,

finished crumble ready for the oven

I can promise you that it turned out wonderfully and tasted even better.

Unfortunately there are no pictures of the crumble once it came out of the oven as it smelled too good and within seconds of coming out of the oven it was in bowls, smothered in custard and being eaten by a Little Splodge who was very impressed that she got to stay up later then usual especially to have pudding.

Peanut M&M Cookies

baked cookies

Today we did more baking. The difference is that this time we indulged our sweet tooth and made peanut m&m cookies.

(I know what you’re thinking; peanuts are no good for toddlers. This isn’t Little Splodge’s first encounter with peanuts and she is pretty good at chewing her food before she swallows so we weren’t too worried about her having the peanut m&ms.)

The recipe for the cookies is pretty basic as cookie recipes go.

Ingredients

300g Plain Flour

250g Butter

140g Caster Sugar

1 Egg Yolk

2tsp Vanilla Extract

Method

1) Preheat the oven to 180*c (Gas Mark 4)

2) Mix butter and caster sugar in a large bowl

3) Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract and beat to combine

4) Sift the flour into the bowl and mix well (you might need to use your hands to bring the dough together)

Having learned from our last baking experience Little Splodge was naked apart from her nappy for this batch of cookies. As always she enjoyed the mixing and ended up just a little covered in the flour … as did the table, the floor and my skirt.

mixing ingredients

Once we got the dough together it was time to make the cookies. Luckily, this time the dough didn’t require any rolling out so it was one less thing that could possibly go wrong with the cookies.

They did however, need rolling into balls which proved to be a little beyond Little Splodge’s concentration range so that turned out to be a mommy job.

She was more than happy to help pat the dough balls down a little once they were on the tray and put the m&ms in the middle of the cookies.

unbaked_cookies_3

Just check out those toddler finger prints. They definitely made for some interesting patterns in the finished cookies

unbaked_cookie_closeup_orange

Overall, baking is proving to be Little Splodge’s favourite form of inside messy play. Mainly because she enjoys eating the finished product when they come out of the oven.

If you want step by step instructions from our very own Little Splodge then this video is for you.

 

 

Cheesy Biscuits

Having entered the ‘if I see food I have to have it’ stage of pregnancy the time has come to progress from three meals a day to three meals plus copious numbers of snacks. Little Splodge is also a great believer in snacks and regularly has two snacks a day between meals.

So, when I saw this recipe it just had to be made. Not only is it very wallet friendly it is also very easy to make which made it perfect for involving Little Splodge.

Ingredients

  • 200g Plain Flour
  • 200g Butter
  • 200g Grated Mature Cheddar Cheese

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees / gas mark 6
  • Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl
  • Stir to combine
  • Bring together with hands to form a dough
  • Roll out to approx 0.5cm thick
  • Cut out biscuits
  • Place onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper
  • Bake for 10 minutes until golden brown
  • Leave to cool for a few minutes
  • Eat

This is not the first food she has had a hand in helping to make so I already knew that she enjoys giving things a good mix but I wasn’t sure how she’d react to rolling and cutting. (The majority of her playdough play results in manic squishing and attempting to eat it.)

Knowing that with the ‘help’ of a toddler this was going to take much longer than I would normally we set up a mini kitchen in the living room using Splodge’s art table as a work top and off she went.

I helped her get all of the ingredients into the bowl and she stirred them around for a while before I stepped in and helped bring it together to form a dough.

little splodge mixing ingredients

Next Little Splodge had a go at rolling out the dough with various degrees of success.

Once she’d finished poking and beating the dough with the rolling pin we finally got to cut out the shapes.

rolling out the dough

Our cookie cutter collection is small to say the least so the majority of the shapes are Christmas themed and the round ones were created by a glass that was helpfully sitting in the kitchen cupboard.

cut out shapes

Then it is simply a case of popping them in the oven for about 10 minutes. We baked the larger ones for 12 minutes just to be sure.

Don’t they look delicious?

cooling biscuits

Then came the final test for the biscuits. Would Little Splodge like them?

tasting the biscuits

That looks like a yes to me.

Credit where credit is due this recipe came from the lovely Kim over at The Triplet Diaries. My theory is if it’s good enough for triplet boys it’s good enough for our Little Splodge.