For happy bunnies this Easter, nothing beats a baking session together. Tots love to explore, and the kitchen is a great place to teach them a whole host of skills.
Here are some of my favourite Easter treats, so fasten those aprons and get rolling, mixing and decorating!
EASTER ANIMAL COOKIES
Preparation 20 minutes • Cooking 12 minutes • Makes approx. 15 cookies • Suitable for freezing
• 185g plain flour
• 1½ tsp ground ginger
• ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
• 50g butter at room temperature
• 85g soft light brown sugar
• 1 egg yolk
• 2 tbsp golden syrup
• Assorted Decorations eg Mini Smarties, M&M’s, Currants or raisins
• Writing Icing or white and pink icing made with Royal Icing mixed with water
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Fan 160°C / Gas Mark 4. Line or grease two large baking sheets with non-stick baking paper.
Sift the flour, ginger and bicarbonate of soda into a mixing bowl. Cut the butter into chunks and add to the bowl. Rub the butter into the flour using your fingers until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs.
Stir the sugar into the mixture, then add the egg yolk and golden syrup and mix everything together using a wooden spoon.
Sprinkle a clean work surface with flour and knead the dough until it is smooth. Cut the dough in half.
Sprinkle the work surface with a little more flour and roll out the dough starting at the centre of the dough and rolling evenly outwards. Repeat with the second ball of dough. Cut into shapes using cookie cutters. Re-roll the trimmings until all the dough is used up.
Place on the lined or greased baking sheets and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. You can add currants for eyes before the cookies are baked if you like.
Allow to cool then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Once cool, you can decorate.
LITTLE CHICK CUPCAKES
Preparation 15 minutes • Cooking 20 minutes • Makes 6 cupcakes • Suitable for freezing
• 55g butter at room temperature
• 55g soft light brown sugar
• 85g clear honey
• 1 egg
• ½ tsp vanilla extract
• 2 tbsp apple purée
• 85g self-raising flour
• ½ tsp ground cinnamon
• ½ tsp ginger
• ¼ tsp salt
• 60g Yellow marzipan for the chicks
• Candy-coated mini chocolate Easter Eggs
• 150g Buttercream for the topping (you can buy this in tubs in the supermarket)
Preheat the oven to 180ºC / 350ºF / Fan 160ºC / Gas Mark 4. Line a muffin tin with six paper cases.
Beat together the butter, sugar and honey until light and fluffy. In another bowl, beat together the egg, vanilla and apple purée then beat this into the butter mixture. Sift over the flour, cinnamon, ginger and salt then fold into the cake mixture.
Divide the batter between the paper cases and bake for 18 to 22 minutes until risen, golden and firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
When completely cool, spread the top of the cakes with buttercream. Make little chicks from the marzipan and sit one chick
on top of each of the cupcakes.
TEDDY BEAR PANCAKES
Preparation 15 minutes • Cooking 5 minutes • Makes 9 • Suitable for freezing if separated by baking parchment
• 125g self-raising flour
• 1 egg
• 125ml milk
• 4 tbsp crème fraîche
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 3 tbsp maple syrup
• Pinch of salt
• 30g butter
Put the flour in a large bowl. Whisk together the egg, milk, crème fraîche, vanilla, maple syrup and salt. Add to the flour and whisk to make a batter (there may be a few small lumps but don’t worry).
Melt the butter in a large non-stick frying pan and tip it into a small bowl. Mix 1 tbsp of the melted butter into the batter. Use the rest to grease the pan.
Drop 2 tbsp batter into the frying pan and cook the pancake for 2 minutes until brown underneath and just set on top (with small bubbles). Flip over and cook for a further 1 to 2 minutes until golden and cooked through.
Serve immediately and decorate with fruit (as above).
MINI MICE MUFFINS
Preparation 25 minutes • Cooking 12–15 minutes • Makes 24 mini muffins • Suitable for freezing (muffins only)
• 150g self-raising flour
• 2 TBSP cocoa powder
• 125g soft margarine (full fat)
• 125g caster sugar
• 2 eggs, lightly beaten
• 75g orange milkchocolate, chopped
• red writing icing
• chocolate buttons
• mini Smarties
• jelly beans
Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4. Line a mini-muffin tray with 24 silicone muffin cases. Sift the flour and cocoa powder into a bowl, and add the margarine, sugar and eggs. Beat using an electric hand whisk or free-standing mixer, until combined.
Stir in the chopped chocolate. Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases – each one should be about two thirds full.
Bake for 12–15 minutes, or until a cocktail stick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Allow to cool for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Using the writing icing as glue, decorate the muffins with chocolate buttons for ears, mini Smarties for eyes and jelly beans for noses.
Finally, use the writing icing to draw on the mouths.
Preparation 5 minutes • No cooking required • Makes 8-10 • Suitable for freezing
• 85g plain, milk or white chocolate
• Black and white writing Icing
• Rabbit Chocolate Mould, available from amazon
• Plastic straws
Melt 85g of plain, milk or white chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water and pour into the lolly moulds.
Push the plastic straw well into the rabbit’s head, allow to cool, and then place in the fridge to set.
For lots more fun food ideas, download Annabel’s Essential Guide to Feeding Your Baby & Toddler app. Recently updated for iPhone and iPad, it offers instant access to more than 200 delicious recipes, as well as a host of features including weekly planners, shopping lists, a kitchen timer, recipe notes, videos and lots more.
Download the new version from the App Store now (£3.99) or visit www.annabelkarmel.com