Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Pizza Biscuits

My 6 year old calls these pizza pucks, my 4 year old just calls them yummy. This is a very easy twist on baking powder biscuits that helps me get a little more meat into my kids diets.

2 Cups Flour
1 tbsp sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup chopped pepperoni (I just used one 100 gram pepperoni stick)
1/2 cup grated cheddar
3/4 cup milk

Pre-heat oven to 450*
Mix the dry ingredients together. Use a pastry cutter to add in the margarine until it's really nice a crumbly looking. Add the pepperoni and cheese. Stir in the milk (dough will be quite sticky).
Flour a flat surface and kneed the dough until soft and workable (flour your hands really well too for this). Roll out about 1/2 inch thick. Use a circle cutter (I use one of my kids plastic cups, about 2'' in diameter) to cut out the biscuits. Place on non-stick sprayed sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. This recipe makes about 16 biscuits.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sheep Cupcakes

Aren't these cute! This was my craft idea for last night's messy church at my church. Messy church is a once a month event that we have for families. Each "Messy"
involves a craft, an interactive lesson and dinner for families. Last night's theme was "The Good Shepherd knows his sheep". I knew we hadn't had a food craft in a while and have never done cupcakes, so I googled sheep cupcakes to see what I could find. I found the idea for these on the Food Network's Site. Their cupcakes are slightly different than the ones we did. You can see theirs here. We couldn't quite find all of the decorating ingredients that they used (the candy eyes and the gumdrop noses) so we improvised and used mini M&M's. I also didn't make their cupcake recipe so I don't know what that part tastes like. I did make their icing, but had to abandon it as it was too thick and tearing the cupcakes apart. Fortunately, I discovered this as I was making the sample 45 minutes before the event started and had time to head out to the store and pick up some ready made. The ready made worked well and was easy for the kids to use. The kids and parents really loved this craft. And that is what I would recommend it for, a craft. It is very time consuming - unless you are the kind of person who loves to spend all afternoon decorating cupcakes like this.

How to make:

Make the cupcakes first, try out the foodnetwork.com recipe, your favorite recipe or cheat like me and use a box mix - let cupcakes cool.

For decorating:
-marshmallows (1 per cupcake)
-mini marshmallows (24-30 per cupcake)
-mini M&M's (3 per cupcake)
-purple mini jellybeans (4 per cupcake)
-pink mini jellybeans (2 per cupcake)
-licorice shoelaces (cut into 1cm and 3cm pieces - 1 each per cupcake)

Frost the cupcake. Stick a large marshmallow on top to be the sheep's body. Use the frosting like glue for the rest of the stick on ingredients, putting the frosting on it first and then sticking on. Start with the Mini M&M's for eyes and nose. Use the 1 cm licorice shoelace for the mouth. Start at the bottom and work your way up and around with the mini marshmallows to make the sheep's wool. Use the 4 purple jellybeans for feet and the pink ones for ears. Take the 3cm licorice shoelace, curl it and stick it on for a tail. So cute!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Sugar Cookie Icing

This week my husband and I celebrated our 9th Wedding Anniversary. These cookies were my anniversary gift to him. These are no ordinary cookies. These are our wedding cookies. Cookies were a significant part of our courtship. As such our wedding gift to our guests were these fantastic cookies (you know instead of mints, or whatever other token gift is on the reception place setting). A friend of my mom's (Lori) did all the baking for our wedding. She made these cookies, which my husband declared the best cookies he had ever had. They were 2 sugar cookies, iced and in the middle sticking them together was a little bit of jam.
This past Valentine's Day I made sugar cookies with cookie icing for the first time. Sugar cookies I had made lots before, the icing was new to me. As he ate them he told me that this was it, these were the cookies similar to what was at our wedding. So for our anniversary, I made the cookies, complete with the jam filling as a gift to him. I did the icing here yellow as yellow was our wedding theme colour.
Here is the recipe for Sugar Cookie Icing. It is so easy to make. I recommend putting the icing on with a butter knife or icing spreader, I found a pastry brush was too tricky to get the icing to spread just right.

1 cup icing sugar
2 teaspoons milk
2 teaspoons light corn syrup*
1/4 teaspoon almond extract**
assorted food coloring

*Can use honey or maple syrup in place of corn syrup
**Can use any flavor extract, I used vanilla

In a small bowl, stir together icing sugar and milk until smooth. Beat in corn syrup and almond extract until icing is smooth and glossy. If icing is too thick, add more corn syrup.
Divide into separate bowls, and add food colorings to each to desired intensity. Dip cookies, or paint them with a brush (or spread with a butter knife).