After a blustery walk home from playgroup this week, biggest suddenly requested some baking time with mummy. It wasn't on the agenda, but I had a niggling feeling it was a thinly veiled request for quality time so I thought on my feet. Lying on the worktop were the new leaf stamps I had bought for some seasonal craft. I wondered if they'd work in biscuit dough. We didn't really have time to decorate biscuits in the afternoon, what would happen if we coloured the biscuit dough itself? I didn't fancy more gingerbread biscuits, could I adapt it for a simple two-step bake, but make it more autumnal? The results were accidentally great. The biscuits came out as bright and squishy as playdough and tasted deliciously warm and comforting. Perfect for a blustery day with warm milk of hot chocolate or on the go clasped in gloved hands, wellies stomping through puddles, faces to the wind. Don't you love autumn?
150g golden syrup
60g golden caster sugar
250g plain flour
1/4tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Melt the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a pan. A likes watching me do this, it's sort of magical as all the ingredients turn into sweet, golden liquid. She stands on a chair at the worktop a safe distance from the hob. However, she's pretty well trained in kitchen safety these days, so always best to do this bit in advance of smalls getting involved if you can. This also gives the melted ingredients time to cool slightly so they can pour it when the time comes.
You can pre-weigh all of the dried ingredients together into one bowl, so all you need to do is tip wet ingredients into dry and then stir and squish with your hands until a dough forms. If you need to you can add a few extra sprinklings of flour to make the dough easier to handle.
Split the dough into as many sections as you want colours. We made three different colour leaves. A red, yellow and brown. The brown ones were the natural dough and the others were coloured with gel paste food colouring - a few drops kneaded through the dough before rolling out to the thickness of a pound coin.
We used our leaf stamps on the dough, pressing down hard enough to make the imprint, but not so hard as to go through the dough. If your little one finds this tricky then try making the dough a little thicker to start with. We then used a round scone cutter to cut out a biscuit shape around the leaf.
Lay the biscuits on a baking tray and bake at 180° for 12 minutes. Biscuits should be firm enough to lift from the tray, but still soft in the middle. They will continue to harden as they cool and you want a nice soft cookie for these beauties. Cool on a wire rack or chopping board.
Whilst they were baking I quickly washed the stamps and we used them with our Little Brian Paint Sticks to do some autumn leaf printing.