I made these biscuits in 2005 for a stall at my son’s primary school. The prep grade used to get in caterpillars and watch the whole cycle to butterflies. It was a zoo funded program I believe, but the funding stopped. The prep teacher still wanted to have the butterflies but needed to raise $120 to have them. So I made these biscuits. I think it was a simple biscuit, then iced and decorated. Of course I made more than 120, allowing for breakages and “testing”. It took me quite a few hours to make the biscuits and only a few minutes to sell.
Yesterday I baked. I found cute little bear cutters at Daiso on Saturday in the city. I just had to give them a try. The recipe is from Martha Stewart, Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies. Not really a dough to be rolling and cutting, but I hadn’t made them before so didn’t know. I just rolled out a little bit of dough and cut a few little bears, then rolled the rest into round biscuits. I was also going to decorate with icing eyes, but ended up dusting them in icing sugar. They are very yummy cute little bears.
We arrived home last night after a lovely week in Sydney spending Christmas with family. Some of the presents were pottery platters with some gingerbread trees and slices. I took the ingredients for the slices with me and made them there. The gingerbread trees I made at home, transported to Sydney, then my son and I decorated them with icing and lollies. My husband and Mother-in-law took these photos of us making a big mess and having lots of fun.
I have been baking again. Yesterday I made Pumpkin Snickerdoodles from the latest Martha Stewart Living magazine. Again, an odd biscuit, but rather tasty. Frankly they don’t look much different after baking. I didn’t flatten them like the recipe said to. They are a soft biscuit, not crunchy, although I suppose that is just about how long you leave them in the oven.
Yesterday I made dessert with our dinner since it was Fathers Day. The recipe came from Martha Stewart’s website. Keeping in the key lime theme, my husband’s favourite at the moment. I haven’t made these before and I have to say I won’t make them again. They are very odd. They are kind of a cinnamon cakey buscuity kind of thing with a lime cream cheese filling. It was a batter for the biscuits, but it was thick and rather sticky, it went into the fridge for half an hour after mixing, great time for it to rest. Sometimes there are discrepancies when making American recipes regarding the weights, sticks of butter, tablespoons of this, cups of that, I’m sure they are all different sizes. I can usually work out the conversions, but that wasn’t the problem here as the recipe was in proper weights. I think the birds might be getting the rest of these ones.
These clowns were made as a reward for winning a competition. I was writing a cook book to sell at the school fete one year. I made a call for recipes from the families of the school, the class with the most recipes donated would win morning tea, made by me. Well, there were lots of recipes handed in, and would you believe, there was a tie in the results, so I had to make morning tea for two grades. Morning tea was one of the clown cakes and some fruit cordial.
The clown cakes have a base of a chocolate cupcake, royal icing (mix of pure icing sugar and egg white) is used for glueing things together and the white lines on the eyes and around the mouth. The eyes are M&Ms and a cachous, nose is a Jaffa, mouth is half a jelly ring, hair are Musk Sticks, hat a Freckle and a small baking marshmallow.
I made this gingerbread house a couple of years ago on a bit of a whim. Just felt like making one. It was rather tall, so I had a bit of trouble constructing it, hence the large amounts of royal icing filling in joints.
We travel to Sydney each Christmas to spend it with family. The house made the journey to Sydney, about 11 hours driving. It was wrapped in bubble wrap, then in a box. Most surprising. It was displayed on the coffee table at Robin’s house, then two days later my father-in-law closed the drawer on the coffee table and the house collapsed. Solved the problem of where to start, and it was very tasty.
I’m off to Crafty Hijinx today, should be lots of fun, I’m really looking forward to it.
Another biscuit decorated to sell a the school fete. Once again started with a Chocolate Ripple Biscuit base (plain chocolate biscuit), it is covered with a green butter icing (icing sugar, butter, green food colouring and milk, mixed to a thick consistency). The eyes are marshmallows cut through the middle, so they are still circles, which keeps an eyeball shape. The pupils are M&Ms, green speckled ones. The fete was held in October, so they must have been special halloween M&Ms. The teeth are Pez and the nose some kind of jube that was nose shape (sorry don’t recognise it, usually just walk around the supermarket and find things that are the right shape to use). I usually use royal icing to glue everything together, but everything just squished into the butter icing, but worked one at a time before the icing began to dry.
This week for something food like on Sunday, I thought I would give you a recipe. Pumpkin Date Cakes are really quite delicious. And with most things are better eaten on the day, although they are still tasty the next day. Hope you enjoy.
Pumpkin Date Cakes
185g softened butter
1 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup cold mashed pumpkin
1 cup SR flour
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarb of soda
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon mixed spice
1 cup dates, chopped
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped
Preheat oven to 190oC. Lightly grease baking trays.
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs and vanilla, then the mashed pumpkin.
Sift together the flours, salt, bicarb of soda and spices. Add to the pumpkin mixture and mix well. Stir in the dates and walnuts.
Drop dessertspoonfuls of mixture onto baking trays and bake for 10-12 minutes.
Sprinkle with icing sugar when cool.
I’m sorry I don’t remember where I got the recipe (bit of a recipe hoarder and don’t always keep the source). If someone knows the source, let me know, happy to acknowledge.
These little mice were made for a fete or cake stall. The ball is a Coconut Ball. (250g packet of plain biscuits crushed, 1 cup coconut, 2 tablespoons cocoa, mix together and mix in one can condensed milk. Roll into small balls and coat in extra coconut. Chill.) Again everything is glued with royal icing (a mix of pure icing sugar and egg white). The ears and nose are Jube lollies, cut up into the required shapes and the tail is a Snake, cut up too. The little mouse fits into a mini patty case.