British baking with kids

 

There is nothing better than baking to install some real life skills in your children. The hands on experience can help them  build confidence, encourage self direction and promote independence. Teaching the processes of cooking: how to follow a recipe, measuring, combining ingredients together and then applying heat are all positive life skills. It can be messy (and therefore fun!) but the rewards can be hard to resist.

When cooking with kids it’s important to just let the mess happen. Kids learn when they are relaxed and not being judged.  If mess makes you stressed out, try these ideas; a tray underneath any drizzling, mixing or sprinkling this can really be a big help in containing the mess. Help when your child is weighing ingredients out and give them a spoon to scoop out the messy stuff like flour and sugar.  Preset out everything in advance your child needs.

Here are some easy British recipes to try.

 

Chocolate Crunchies

  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 cup chocolate, broken into small chunks
  • 4 tbsp golden syrup (or corn syrup)
  • 1 cup cornflakes

Melt the butter, chocolate and syrup in a small saucepan over a low heat. Remove and cool for 5 minutes.

Put 24 cupcake cases into muffin tins, or on a baking tray.

Stir the cornflakes into the mixture, and then spoon into the cupcake cases.

Allow to cool and when firm serve.

Fairy Cakes

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon of whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Icing

  • 1 cup of powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp water

Preheat the oven to 375 F

Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and butter until everything is combined then gradually pour in half the milk and beat until the milk is just incorporated.

Whisk the egg, vanilla, and remaining milk together in a separate bowl for a few seconds, and then pour into the flour mixture and continue beating until just incorporated.

Spoon the mixture into cupcake cases until they are 2/3 full then bake for 20-25 minutes, or until light golden and the cake bounces back when touched. A skewer inserted in the center of each cupcake should come out clean.

Let the cupcakes cool slightly in the pan before turning out into a wire rack to cool completely.

Meanwhile mix the powdered sugar with the water till smooth. When the cupcakes are cold smooth a teaspoon over the top of each cake and add sprinkles.

Shortbread

  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Mix together butter, sugar, vanilla, and flour.until a crumbly dough forms. It will look like crumbs but when squeezed together in your hands will hold its shape.

Form dough into a ball and roll to 1/2-inch thick. Cut into small 3 circles using cookie cutters of the rim of a glass and place onto prepared baking sheets.

Bake 12-15 minutes or until the bottoms of the cookies are barely golden brown.

Store in airtight containers for up to 5 days.

Jam tarts

For the Pastry Crust: (or use ready made)

  • 8 ounces All purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt (if butter is unsalted)
  • 4 ounces butter (cubed)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoon water (cold)

For the Filling:

  • 1/2 cup strawberry jam (or any fruit jam, or lemon curd)

Preheat the oven to 350  and lightly grease cupcake pan.

If making pastry; Place the flour, cubed butter, and the pinch of salt into a mixing bowl.

Working quickly  rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles the consistency of fine breadcrumbs.

Add the water 1 tablespoon at a time using a cold knife to bring the pastry together. Stop when the pastry forms into a ball and is not too sticky.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap  and chill in the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes.

When chilled roll the pastry on a lightly floured work surface and roll to a thickness of  1/4-inch.

Using a round cookie cutter or upturned glass, cut circles from the pastry just slightly bigger than the holes in the prepared tin. Gently press one circle into each hole

Place a teaspoon of jam or lemon curd onto the circles being careful not to overfill them as the jam will spill out and burn.

Bake in the preheated oven for 15 mins or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely.

Scones

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ stick butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Beaten egg to glaze

Pre heat oven to 375F

Rub the flour and butter together in a bowl until it resembles breadcrumbs.

Add sugar, cream of tartar, baking powder, salt and milk and stir using a spoon (or use your hands) until a soft dough form’s  (Don’t over work it or the scones will be tough and will not rise correctly)

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and using your hands form into a round about ¾ of an inch thick.

Using a cookie cutter cut out your scones by pressing into the dough in one smooth downward motion, twisting the cutter can result in insufficient rising.

Place the scones about 2 inches apart onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Re-form the scraps and cut out the remaining scones.

Brush the tops with the beaten egg using a pastry brush.

Place in the hot oven for 15-20 minutes or until the tops are a golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

Serve with clotted cream or whipped heavy whipping cream and your favorite jam.

Trifle Pudding

  • One sponge cake, angel food cake or other ready made or homemade cake
  • Can of fruit, whatever desired, save the juice or 2 cups of fresh fruit and 3 tablespoons of orange juice
  • 2 cups of custard or pudding
  • 2 cups of pre whipped cream or a can of squirty cream.
  • 1 small chocolate bar

Cut the cake into slices and lay in the bottom of a glass bowl, so you can see the layers of the trifle.

Pour the fruit, including the juice in the can, over the top of the cake allowing the cake to soak in the juice.

Spread the custard or pudding over the top of the fruit.

Spread whipped cream over the custard layer.

With a vegetable peeler peel pieces off the chocolate bar and sprinkle over the top of the whipped cream.

Super Easy Biscuit’s

  • 2 cups All-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ tsp vanilla essence

Heat oven to 400F, line a baking sheet with baking parchment. Put the butter in a bowl and beat until soft and creamy. Add in the sugar, then the egg and vanilla, and finally the flour to make a dough. If the dough feels a bit sticky, add a little bit more flour and knead it in.

Roll the dough to about ¼ inch thick on a floured surface. Cut out shapes using cookie cutters, the rim of a small glass or you can even use clean toys to cut or create stamped patterns in the dough. Re-roll off-cuts and repeat.

Bake for 8-10 mins or until the edges are just brown. Leave to cool for 5 mins.

 

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