28 Oct 2013

{Halloween biscuits}

In baking terms there are a few recipes which are good basics to have in your arsenal. A good sponge cake, a good cupcake, a good chocolate cake and a good basic biscuit dough. The recipes you return to time and time again. For example for me if making cupcakes I love the hummingbird bakery vanilla and chocolate sponges. Good bake, good rise, light and fluffy and not too greasy. Whereas when whipping up a batch of "fairy cakes" with m it's easier to stick to a basic 2 egg, 125 of all other ingredients. A simple chick in and mix recipe. 

I've made sugar cookies before and love them. The hummingbird bakery recipe is brilliant and makes lots of dough. But I found this shortbread recipe yesterday and gave it a whirl with M. Really simple set of ingredients and came together quicker. Key for working with children. M was able to help out to begin with (I.e until he got bored) and it made a nice light not too sticky dough - great for getting him to roll out the dough. In the end we only used half the dough. The other half is the fridge so we could make some more this week. The recipe had no egg or milk in it - therefore I think will last fine in the fridge for at least a few days. 

The recipe was ; 

300g plain flour
100g icing sugar 
1/4 salt
1tsp vanilla
250g butter

And that's it. 

Rub cubed butter into the dry ingredients and keep working until a dough is formed. 

I baked ours on about 160c for about 10 mins. My biscuit advice is to check your after about 8 (especially if rolled quite thin) as they will start to catch. 

M was able to help weigh the flour and sugar. And I cut off a piece of butter and gave him a plastic fork to cut his piece up. He was then able to help with the hands on mixing. He enjoyed telling me the different textures he could feel and scooping around in the bowl to find the butter bits. He enjoyed squeezing the butter too. He was able to get messy in a controlled way!! Once he announced he was finished I quickly kneaded the dough wrapped in cling film and popped in fridge to chill. 

Another thing I have on hand is a big box if cookie cutters. Which means something like this can be used in any season (flower shapes for spring, Christmas trees in winter and the odd car truck dinosaur thrown in for good measure too!!)

The dough made a lovely biscuit which on some of the thicker ones slightly chewy but a crunchy edge. 

Now not to eat the whole plate......

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