I decided to make some biscuits the other day and Eddy, my eight year old, offered to help me.
For the record I didn’t decide on a simple recipe to make life easier for Eddy, it was entirely for my culinary-limited benefit
Now, I’m guessing that Eddy is like a lot of boys his age in that if he’s not got his finger stuck so far up his nose that it makes him wink then he’s diving around in the garden, collecting lumps of mud like iron filings to a magnet.
So, he washed his hands.
And apart from a few choice words when he dropped a block of butter into the bowl of icing sugar and caused a giant snowy explosion, we had a lovely time. We spent a good two hours mixing, kneading, coating our clothes with ingredients, eating raw dough, prising sticky dough from our ‘under-floured’ work top and cutting out shapes…..and I spent a further hour clearing up the aftermath.
The end result was worth it though – and not a bogey in sight!
1. Cream together 225g unsalted butter and 75g icing sugar. Add 1tsp vanilla extract and mix again. Sift in 225g plain flour and a pinch of salt.
2. Beat the mixture until smooth (tip: at this point try to resist the urge to snatch the spoon from your child and take over. It used to wind me up when my Mum did it and I quickly discovered that it also had the same effect on Eddy, as he removed himself from the kitchen to take a few moments to calm himself down). Flatten the dough into a disc. Wrap in clingfilm (the dough, not your child) and chill until firm.
3. Preheat oven to 180C, Gas 4 and line a baking sheet with parchment.
4. Dust the surface with LOTS of flour and roll the dough until 3mm thick. Cut out lots of shapes and arrange them on the baking sheet.
5. Bake on the middle shelf for 12-15 mins until the shapes are crisp and golden and have started to mutate and merge into one. Prise them apart and cool on a baking sheet.