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Mother's Day Baking Ideas

Thursday 15 March 2012
You don't have to be a culinary genius to make a Mum's day!  Personally I would be happy with breakfast in bed, just a cuppa and some toast would be lovely.  I think many Dads in particular are intimidated by the prospect of whipping up something in the kitchen for the mother of their children.  It needn't be complicated or torturous.  I know my husband breaks out into a cold sweat at the thought of cooking with our 3 girls even though they cook with me often.  He gets rather stressed and panicky, poor bloke! LOL

Here are some low faff recipes that kids can help make than will not cause immense mess and stress for all of those involved.  There's nothing worse as a Mum than having a lovely treat made for you, then walking into the kitchen to discover it looks like the All Blacks have had scrum training in it, and it will take hours to clean up again.

Ginger Biscuits

These are great to make as there should be minimal washing up and kids can treat the dough like play dough, rolling it out and cutting out shapes.  During the 30 minutes dough chilling time they can help wash up the bowl and saucepan used to make the dough.  Cleaning up as you go saves loads of stress later on and also makes the half hour go much quicker.  If your children are not used to cooking, or you want to save on mess and stress you can make the dough without them and just get them to roll it out and cut out the shapes.

300g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp ground ginger
90g butter
80g light soft brown sugar
125g golden syrup
2 inch/5cm biscuit cutter (any shape)

Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ginger into a bowl. Put the butter, light soft brown sugar and golden syrup into a saucepan. Cook over low heat, until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves. Cool so that there are no burnt fingers when mixing the dough.

Pour the syrup into the flour mixture, and combine well, either with a wooden spoon or with hands in the bowl.  Take the dough out of the bowl and knead it gently until it's smooth.  Cover with clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 180°C.   Line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper.   Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until 1/2cm thick, about the thickness of a £1 coin. Cut out shapes and carefully put them onto the lined trays. Bake for 8 minutes. Cool the biscuits on the tray for 5 minutes, then carefully transfer them onto a wire rack to cool completely.

You can leave the biscuits plain or ice them if you are feeling particularly adventurous. 

Dairy Free Cupcakes

2/3 cup dairy free spread
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup caster sugar
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1 free range egg

2/3 cup dairy free spread
2 1/2 cups icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract 

Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 15 holes of muffin trays with paper cases.

Using an electric mixer, beat the dairy free spread with the vanilla extract, sugar, flour, egg and 3/4 cup cold water on low speed for 1 minute. Increase the speed to high and beat for another 4 minutes or until mixture the has thickened.  Carefully spoon the mixture into the paper cases.  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the cupcakes are golden brown and a skewer inserted into one cupcake comes out clean.  Cool the cupcakes in the muffin tin for a couple of minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.rack to cool.

To make the icing, use an electric mixer again to beat the dairy free spread, icing sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl until light and fluffy.  Pipe the icing onto the cupcakes using either a piping bag or plastic bag with one corner cut off. Alternatetively, just spread icing over the top of each cupcake using a knife.  Top with sprinkles if you want to and then serve.


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