Make a wish with Pepparkakor

lick n drip caramel cake-2.jpgHow did I not know about Pepparkakor!

Whilst munching on ginger snaps, my friend cracked hers in her hand and said

“oh I didn’t get to make a wish”.

…puzzled… I then had to know what she meant. After a quick conversation and a Google search I was quick to learn that Pepparkakor is a traditional Swedish festive treat, baked with dark flavoursome spices and rolled nice and thin for that lovely crisp snap. Pepparkakor is an integral part of the Christmas feast in Sweden and is also used to decorate their Christmas trees, often iced with decorative patterns and images.

Swedish customs says you should place the Pepparkakor in the palm of your hand and press it with your thumb. If the biscuit breaks into 3 you get to make a wish!

So I get to eat biscuits AND make wishes!

All my dreams had come true!

I simply HAD to make some!

My children were so excited that we were making a wishing biscuit that all 3 decided they wanted to take some to school so ALL their classmates could try the custom too.

Overall we made around 90 biscuits in a very short time, so easy to make and beautiful and crisp, it’s ridiculously hard to resit eating them as soon as they come out of the oven!

The recipe for Pepparkakor is right here if you want to try it.

PEPPARKAKOR RECIPE

Pre heat oven to FAN 180

Line several large baking sheets with greaseproof paper

Ingredients

250g Butter

300g Caster Sugar

1 egg

1 tablespoon golden syrup

450g plain flour

2 tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda

2 teaspoons of cinnamon

2 teaspoons of ginger (more if you really like ginger!)

2 teaspoons of ground cloves  (we omitted these as no body likes them in our house!)

METHOD

In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar.

Stir in the egg and syrup.

Sift together the flour, spices and bicarb and add to the mixture.

Roll into a dough.

Roll out till its approx 0.25cm thick and cut into shapes using a cutter.

Place on baking tray and bake for approx 20 minutes or until flat, dark and crisp.

Cool on cooling rack until cold and store in air tight container.

May I suggest a lovely stroll, on a long winding path, surrounded by trees whispering in their branches, a river gently ebbing and flowing, a pocket full of wishing biscuits and a loved one by your side, break the biscuits and wish for your future adventures.

x

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Kid chaos in the kitchen

It’s the weekend!

It’s time to slow down the usual morning rush around and enjoy the comforts of being at home…but I soon get itchy fingers and want to get baking! It’s the weekend and weekends mean the kids get to bake too!

My 3 young children Tom, Robin and Libby see me baking ALOT, and often sit and watch, stir, throw things in the bowl, pester me until I forget what I’m doing and wait around until it’s licking time…the bowl that is! Sometimes I banish them from the kitchen altogether if what I’m doing is for a client or is very important, and that makes me feel bad because they want to learn, but because of all the questions, and pestering, and poking, and licking, sometimes its just not feesible, so out they go!…until the weekend!

Questions, pestering, poking and licking!

So this weekend we decided to make a Treacle Spiced Traybake ..(insert yummy, yummy noises here…)

It’s a really easy recipe that involves putting 8 ingredients in a bowl and mixing like crazy!

So I put my 6 year old in charge of the weighing scales, (this will obviously help with his maths I’m thinking) and my 5 and 2 year old in charge of dumping in the ingredients and mixing!

Weighing out is great for number recognition, adding and subtracting!gingerbread traybake-2.jpg

Of course there’s always one who doesn’t like their designated job and soon starts to squawk and chirp about the fact that “Libby is mixing too hard and I can’t get my spoon in”..or  “why has Libby got to break in 2 eggs and I’ve only got to break in 1?” (cos theres 3 kids and 4 eggs love and she’s the cutest, decision made) .

Remember your baking ‘memories’

In all seriousness though, baking with children is a fantastic shared experience, you’re giving them a skill for life and hopefully providing happy memories (unless I’m your Mum  and then you get some nice memories followed by a personality change into Gordon Ramsey when my OCD kicks in about how much mess 3 kids can make in half an hour! )But honestly, if you can stop worrying about how much mess it makes, and time (it takes sooooo much longer!), the experience you get when baking with children is amazing, and they amaze themselves too when they see what a few simple ingredients make.

If you are a brilliant parent you can actually get your children to clean up with you afterwards, but my kids are too busy licking the 20,000 spoons they have used and any cake batter that has happened to fall on the counter with their tongues! gingerbread traybake-3.jpg

When we finished our bake I said to my children, so ‘who’s had fun?”

 

3 little hands went up…and thats why we bake x

gingerbread traybake-4.jpg

Recipe -Treacle spiced traybake

Ingredients

225g soft margarine

175g caster sugar

225g black treacle

275g self-raising flour

2 tsp baking powder

4 eggs

4 tablespoons milk

Icing sugar to finish

Method

Pre-heat oven to Fan 160, 180, gas 4.

Grease and base line a 12 x 9 inch tray with greaseproof paper.

Measure all ingredients into a bowl and beat well for  2 minutes until well blended.

Turn the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 40 minutes.

Leave to cool in the tin.

Finish with water icing or a dust of icing dust of icing sugar, whichever your preference.