Baking with little ones is never quite as easy as you think it’s going to be. The image you have of parent and child, having fun choosing what to make, weighing out the ingredients and lovingly crafting the mixture into biscuits or buns never really goes to plan in my house. The reality is more a scene of flour and sugar on every work surface, half the cake mix being eaten by the tiny chefs and masses of icing and sprinkles.
Well we had most of that this time, but we still had lots of fun. For the first time, we baked all together and both my children enjoyed getting involved and helping each other along the way. Oh and they had a mad five-minute Benny Hill style moment, where they each took a spoon to lick and chased one another round and round the table in fits of giggles. Cuteness interspersed with moments of mama stress!
We made these thumbprint jam cookies and they turned out ok – not quite as big as I’d hoped (I imagined the mixture would spread in the oven, but it didn’t). Still, they passed the taste test and for an easy fun bake, I’d make them again. Here’s the recipe, courtesy of The Big Book of Cakes and Cookies by Hannah Miles.
85g icing sugar
225g plain flour, sifted
1tsp vanilla extract
4 tbsp jam
Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Put the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat using an electric hand whisker or spoon until light and creamy.
Add flour, vanilla extract and mix with your hands to a soft dough. Add a splash of milk if it’s too dry.
Put cake cases into a bun tin (I made about 15 with this amount) and put two large spoonfuls of dough in each one.
Press down in the middle of each one with your thumb and fill the hole with jam.
Bake for 15-18 minutes until golden brown. Eat!