What would be better than baking some seasonally appropriate Valentine’s Day heart shaped biscuits with Weasel both for keeping her busy on a Saturday afternoon (mostly trying to keep her away from Husband who has decided suddenly to work on his laptop all Saturday) and because, in an effort to finally be back to my 25 year old body, we have gotten rid of all snack food in the house and I am now faced with flour and sugar when I open the snacks cupboard. Yes, I have already gone at the bag of sugar once with a spoon, but it just wasn’t the same and also left me feeling a little dirty to be honest. So baking it was!
So the plan again was – heart shaped sugar cookies, decorated with all the random sprinkles I could find in my now somewhat barren cupboard. Notice something wrong with this photo? It turns out, of the thousands of cookie cutters in our tiny house, not one of them is heart shaped. To remedy this lack of Valentinesiness, I added some pink fondant dye. This also made Weasel and my hands all lovely and Valentinesy too with them turning a nice shade of fuchsia.
The recipe we used came from the amazing Tessa Kiros’s book Apples For Jam: Recipes for Life which groups together food by colours. (Personally I’ve found her Falling Cloudberries book gets used a lot more, but probably isn’t as geared towards kids as this one is). We’ve altered it in a few ways (and doubled it. Naughty.) to make it simpler. Here’s the ingredients to make half of what’s in that photo at the bottom.
Ingredients: 100g softened butter, 100g caster sugar, 200g plain flour, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1 egg, 1 tsp vanilla (or a bucket load if you’re like me), jam (if you want to make double layers) and sprinkles! We aslo made some quick icing using powdered/icing sugar and lemon juice, and more pink dye of course. Mix together, without jam and sprinkles. Pop in fridge for half an hour in cling film. Bring out, roll on a floured surface (I roll on the wooden chopping board to at least attempt to contain the mess) to about 1/4 inch thick, cut out shapes, bake at 170c on greased or papered tray for 10-15 minutes depending on the size of your cookies.
Weasel enjoyed weighing the ingredients with me and pouring into the mixer. Whilst she’s still afraid of cracking eggs (I thought toddlers would love that sort of thing!), she’s happy if you crack it into a cup and then she can pour it in. I made the call to roll, cut and cook the biscuits during nap time to limit the amount of ‘eat it now?! Now Mummy? Ready now?!’. She woke up and the magic biscuit fairy had been. Perfect.
Undoubtedly the best bit is the decoration for Weasel. Here’s a couple of tips for decorating with toddlers: only give them the amount of toppings you don’t mind being used (so decant) and put it all on a tea tray. That penguin tea tray is pretty much solely used as a Weasel containment device nowadays.
There’s no way you’re going to get biscuits that all look the same, so why bother trying. The original recipe was for a double layered jam thing, so we made a few of our stars double deckers with jam in the middle and the cut-outs made for awesome mini biscuits. You can pretend that they’re diet cookies since they’re so small too!
Happy baking and happy Valentine’s Day!