Saturday, 29 June 2013

Rolo Cookies

G made these for her snack:

You need:
150g butter
225g caster sugar
100g brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
280g plain flour
Large packet of Rolos

Cream butter and sugars and then once creamed, combine in the eggs and vanilla. Sift in the flour and
bicarbonate of soda and mix. 

 Then take a medium sized ball of cookie dough. Press a Rolo in the centre. Cover the Rolo in the cookie dough.

 Bake at 160oC for 10 minutes on a lined baking tray. Don’t overbake!

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Squeeze and Snap Dough

(So called 'Squeeze and Snap' because you can squeeze it and snap it!) I guess this is like moondough as it is made with Corn flour. It is quite messy as it crumbly so I made P play without outside

What you need:
1 cup of cornflour
2 tablespoons of oil (to start with)
2 tablespoons of shampoo or washing up liquid (to start with)

We put one cup of cornflour into a bowl with the oil and stirred it up.  (it will go lumpy - don't worry!)  Then we added shampoo on one and washing up liquid to another.

This is where this dough can appear a bit tricky. You have to get your hands in and work it for a while before it comes together. If it feels too dry then add more shampoo/washing up liquid. 

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Chocolate Mint Biscuits

G made these for her snacks:
For the biscuits you need:
  • 225g butter
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 220gsoft dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • 2 free-range eggs lightly beaten
  • 375g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 300g plain chocolate chips
For the topping:
  • 150g mascarpone
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • 200g dark ckocolate

  1. For the biscuits, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
  2. Beat the butter, sugars and peppermint extract together until smooth.
  3. Beat in the eggs, a little at a time, until well combined.
  4. Fold in the flour, baking powder and chocolate chips until well combined.
  5. Spoon tablespoonfuls of the mixture onto the baking tray, leaving 2.5cm/1in space between each biscuit.
  6. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until pale golden-brown and still slightly soft.
  7. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for 5 minutes. Carefully remove the biscuits from the baking tray and set aside to cool completely on a wire rack.

    This recipe made quite a lot of biscuits so some we didn't ice at all, some we put melted chocolate on and a few others we made the topping:

  8. For the topping, beat the mascarpone and peppermint extract together in a bowl.
  9. Spoon a little topping onto each biscuit. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in the microwave.
  10. Pour some of the melted chocolate on the top and set aside to harden on a wire rack.

Cambridge Science Centre

Today we visited the Cambridge Science Centre and the girls loved it! It is not big but we happily spend a few hours there exploring the different exhibits and every hour they do a demonstration. The girls enjoyed the sound and light exhibits best as well as seeing which seed design works best.  There were a number of staff members who were on hand to explain how and why!  It is also fairly cheap! We have upgraded to an annual pass.

Then we cycled to Jesus Green to see the communal webs made by the Ermine Moth caterpillar - quite spooky!

Saturday, 22 June 2013

BioBlitz Cambridge 2013!

Today, we dodged rain showers and went to Wandlebury for BioBlitz Cambridge 2013!  There were a number of events we signed up for and the idea is that experts and members of the public count as many species of animals and plants as possible in Wandlebury Country Park.

We did a butterfly talk (as it was too cold for butterflies), a slugs and snail hunt and a tree survey!

It was great - I have learnt butterflies have only 4 legs, Ramshorn snails are the only snails whose blood contains hemoglobinunlike other snails' blood which contains hemocyanin and to identify different types of snails.

The girls loved the tree survey!We can't wait for next year!

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Party Rings

For the biscuits:
90g unsalted butter
100g caster sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
200g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

For the icing:
267g icing sugar
a packet (8g) dried egg powder
Paste food colouring

First, cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl. Then beat in the egg and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt and then add to the original mixture. Stir together until it’s all combined. Once all mixed in, roll the dough into a ball and wrap in clingfilm. If the dough feels a bit too sticky to be rolled out, then add a touch of flour. Leave the dough to chill in the fridge for about an hour.

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C. Sprinkle some flour onto a chopping board or kitchen worktop and roll the dough out until it’s about 50mm thick, adding a touch more flour to the board as you go along to prevent it from sticking. Cut out circles of the dough, and then cut a hole in the middle of each one. G used the screwcap from a elderflower cordial bottle (yes, really) as it was the only thing I could find that was the right size.  I also used a sharp knife to add grooves to each biscuit to match those found on the underside of the real thing.

Party Ring underside

Place the the cut-out circles (groove-side up) on a lined baking sheet (make sure they’re well spaced, or they’ll fuse together in the oven when the dough expands).  Bake for about 12 minutes or until the biscuits are slightly golden around the edges and slightly soft in the middle (they’ll firm up while they cool). Once out of the oven, transfer them to a wire cooling rack to cool down.

To make the icing, sieve the icing sugar into a bowl and add the dried egg powder. Add 48ml of water and whisk until a smooth paste is formed. Now divide into 2 bowls and colour one of them (we actually made 3 colours - blue, pink and white).  Once coloured, use a spoon to spread the icing on. Next, take one of the contrasting colours of icing, get a decent dollop on a teaspoon and drizzle it across the biscuits in zigzags. Then, while the icing is still wet, drag a cocktail stick through the stripes you’ve made to create the marbled effect. It’s best to do a few biscuits at a time, so that the icing doesn’t dry in between.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

chocolate cookes

Grace made these for her snack this week:

Brownie  Cookies

You will need:
375 grams plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
225 grams  butter, softened
300 grams cups sugar
2 large eggs
60 grams  cocoa powder

Preheat oven at 1*0oC.

Whisk dry flour, salt and baking powder in bowl and set aside.
Mix butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and cocoa in mixer. Gradually add flour mixture, and mix until smooth.
Wrap in plastic and chill for at least one hour.
Roll out cookie dough on floured counter. Cut into desired shapes, brushing extra deposits of flour off the top. (It does disappear once baked, though, so don’t overly fret if they go into the oven looking white.)
Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 8 to 11 minutes (the former for 1/8-inch thick cookies, the latter for 1/4-inch cookies) until the edges are firm and the centres are slightly soft and puffed
Transfer to a wire rack to cool.