DEEP into the summer holidays, chances are you will have heard your kids complain of boredom.
So between bike rides and trips to the park, why not stick their pinnies on and get them baking?
Teaching them to make their own treats can be a real . . . well, treat.
These recipes are perfect for little chefs and teenage culinary artists alike. So on your marks, get set, bake.
Makes 18 — costs £2.62
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking/mixing time: 30 minutes
- 14g dried yeast
- 60ml warm water
- 325ml warm milk
- 120g caster sugar
- 200g icing sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 150g butter
- 630g plain flour
- 330ml vegetable oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
In a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let stand for five minutes – it should be foamy and bubbly before use. Using a large bowl and a hand-held mixer on a slow speed, gently combine the yeast mixture, milk, sugars, salt, eggs, 70g of the butter and 315g of the flour. Mix for a few minutes at low speed. The dough will be wet but don’t worry.
Beat in remaining flour, adding a serving spoon’s worth at a time, until the dough no longer sticks to the bowl. Tip out on to a floured surface and knead for about five minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Using a little of the vegetable oil, place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling film or a tea towel.
Set in a warm place to rise until double the size, which should take an hour or so. The dough is ready if you gently press it and the dent you’ve made with your fingers stays. Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface, and gently roll out so it is around 1.5cm thick.
Using a round doughnut cutter or a drinking glass and an egg cup, cut out ring doughnut shapes until you have around 18 rings. Place on a lightly greased surface and cover with cling film or a tea towel until the doughnuts have doubled in size again. They’ll be delicate to handle now so be careful.
In a pan on a medium heat mix together the remaining butter, icing sugar and vanilla extract. Once combined, remove from the heat and add a teaspoon of water at a time until you have a glaze consistency.
Heat the oil on a medium heat in a deep pan and gently slide the doughnuts into the oil one at a time. When they rise to the top after a few minutes, use two wooden spoons to gently flip them and cook for a few minutes on the other side.
Remove from the oil and place on a sheet of kitchen paper to remove the excess oil before dipping them in the glaze and sprinkling with some icing sugar – or caster sugar if you prefer – before serving.
Jam thumbprint cookies
Serves 15 — costs £2.33
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking/mixing time: 15 minutes
- 210g butter
- 210g caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 340g plain flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 60g raspberry or strawberry jam
Preheat oven to 180C/160 fan/gas 4 and line two baking trays with parchment paper. In a bowl, use a hand-held mixer to beat together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
Add the egg and vanilla extract, mixing thoroughly until blended. Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt before mixing again. When it starts to form a dough, roll into small balls, the same size as golf balls, and place on to baking trays.
When all the dough is used, you should have around 30 little balls. Using your thumb or the back of a measuring spoon gently press the centre of the ball so you end up with a thumbprint sized hollow in the centre of the biscuit.
Using two teaspoons, and making sure you only get jam into the hollow, add ½ tsp of jam to each biscuit until filled. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden and the jam is bubbling. Remove from oven and place on to a wire rack to cool. Enjoy!
Lemon meringue cupcakses
Makes 12 — costs £1.65
Preparation time: ten minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
- 150g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 250g caster sugar
- 150g butter, softened
- 2 unwaxed lemons, juice and zest only
- 4 eggs, 2 beaten, 2 for whites
- 6 tsp lemon curd
Preheat the oven to 180C/160C/gas 4 and place 12 paper cupcake cases in a muffin tray. Sift together the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
In another bowl, beat together 150g of the sugar and butter or spread until smooth and creamy. Stir in the lemon juice and zest then add two beaten eggs along with 1 tbsp of the flour mix.
Add half of the flour mix, stirring gently but firmly – don’t beat it. Add the remaining flour mix and repeat. Divide the mix equally between the paper cases and bake for 18-20 minutes until just golden and the cakes spring back when touched gently.
Leave the cupcakes in the tray for a further ten minutes before removing from the tray to cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on. Use a sharp knife to cut a cone shape out of the top of each cake.
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Don’t cut through to the bottom. Add ½ tsp lemon curd inside each cake then replace the sponge you’ve just cut out and place the filled cupcake back in the muffin tray.
Whisk the two egg whites for two minutes, building up the speed, until it looks light and fluffy. Slowly add the rest of the caster sugar. Use this meringue mix to ice the cupcakes.
Return the cupcakes to the oven for ten minutes to cook the meringue. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with edible stars.