Baking with Kids – Featuring Graffiti Biscuit Kit by BKD

I don’t know about you guys, but my imagination and patience have taken a bit of a bashing since becoming a mum of 3.

Time is precious, messy play brings me out in a cold sweat unless it’s happening outside (oh, and preferably at school!) and if the boys decide to glitter my house (like my good friend Josie’s did the other day – see her facebook page videos for more on that!) I would almost certainly ‘get my Hulk on’.

Quite often my kids will ask to bake something ‘cool’ (i.e; not just plain cookies or biscuits) and I have little imagination to think something up when it’s been a busy week, so when when I was offered the chance to review a baking kit by BKD, I couldn’t say yes quick enough at the opportunity.

We were sent a BKD Chocolate Graffiti Biscuit Kit in the post and the kids excitedly opened up the package as soon as it arrived here.

We read the instructions, planned how we wanted to decorate them and swiftly got our bake on!

The kit was really easy to use, it actually made the correct amount of biscuits it said it would (15, though our photos don’t show all 15 because we might have eaten some…oops!) and the kids managed almost all of it without too much input from me. Yes there was flour to clean off every kitchen surface, yes they ate more icing than went on the biscuits, but they had HUGE smiles on their faces at the end of our baking session and they were really proud of what we had made.

The kit contains almost everything you will need in order to recreate what you see on the packaging. We just needed to add an egg and some butter to ours. There was even a round metal cutter included in the kit which was lovely and can be reused along with the edible writing pens which have plenty of life left in them yet.

We decided we were going to donate the biscuits we made using the kit to the school Christmas fayre bake sale so we decorated them with a festive theme of hashtag Christmas words, such as #bauble, #lights, #stocking, #candycane, etc and pictures.

Here’s a little video montage we put together to explain how the kit works…


Who are BKD?

“How BKD put the fun back into the kitchen!”

Award-winning BKD offer fun, messy kids’ baking kits and events.  All handcrafted in our London bakery.

BKD launched in Summer 2014 from Founder Adelle Frejus’s kitchen in Shoreditch.  What started as fun at home with her son Cai and stepchildren Elsie and Stanley, soon grew as news spread.

Adelle moved out of home with her baking classes to local hip eateries and started working with brands such as Nintendo, Fortnum & Mason, Virgin, Toca Boca, Donna Wilson, Google and many more.

As BKD grew in popularity so did the BKD team, Adelle now employs a team of 4 who assist her at events all over London.

Due to the success of their baking events, BKD launched a range of kids’ baking kits inspired by their classes, allowing kids to join in the fun at home.  Whether you want to bake and decorate their Raspberry Unicorn Biscuits or get creative with their Vanilla Bean Little Monster Cupcakes, they’re the perfect gift for any budding baker!  Since their launch in May 2015, the collection have hit the shelves of major retailers such as Harvey Nichols, Harrods, Fenwick, The Design Museum, amongst many others.

Adelle also signed with management company Essential Lifestyle Media at the beginning of 2015 and has her first baking and cake decorating book coming out July 2016, published by Orchard Books.

Adelle is a self-taught baker, having spent ten years working in Market Research, alongside running the wedding blog Peonies & Pearls.  Adelle also studied Graphic Design, which honed her creative eye and helped her create BKD’s distinctive look.

Adelle says “We want to fuel kids’ imaginations and make baking with your family easy, tasty and super fun!”


The lovely, talented guys at BKD do many other FANTASTIC kids baking kits and they would make the perfect stocking filler for any budding Great British Bake off contestant! I know my boys will be getting one from Santa, that’s for sure.

The boys said they had, “the best fun ever”, and that the biscuits tasted amazing. I am inclined to agree.

You can see their full range of kits and visit their website, here.

Happy Baking!

BKDLandscape


Disclosure: I was sent a baking kit by BKD  for the purpose of this review but all words, thought and opinions are my own.




Dinosaur Week: Day 6 – Dinosaur Lunchbox Ideas

Fussy eaters.

I have 2 in my house in the form of my eldest two boys and it drives me, if I am honest, completely up the wall.

Dinner is often a bit of a battle ground, it’s getting easier, but it still isn’t the most fun filled time of the day for us (hmmmm, dinner time seems to correlate to the time of day I most fancy a G&T, who knew?!)

Because of this, the boys have been packed lunches at school for the past year. They did school dinners for a year before that in a bid to see if it would help, but it didn’t and their eating habits didn’t improve and they were just wasting food which is a bug-bear of mine, so I changed them off them and now I make their lunches.

Truth be told, I’m not really one for ‘Pinterest Lunches’ as I like to call them. You know the ones, the photos of a vegetable animal, painfully crafted using 7 different vegetables and some cocktail sticks, the elaborate sandwiches which, once bashed around on the way to school, will look like a car crash scene rather than the intricate and elaborate lion you had made before they left for the school run this morning. Who has time for that anyway?! I was thankful for a luncheon meat sarnie at my Nan’s as a kid (goodness, the thought of eating that now makes me want to vom. Sorry Nan…)

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Photo from blog.jiji.ng

For day 6 of my Dinosaur week, in association with Stickerscape and Kali Stileman, I have come up with an easily achievable version of a themed lunch. A dinosaur lunch!

Here is what I did…

Sandwiches: I used a dinosaur sandwich cutter (I got mine from Ocado.com but these are readily available everywhere – or you could use a cookie cutter and get the same result) to cut out the sandwiches into dinosaurs. These just have ham inside but you can pop whatever your child fancies inside them.

Cheese: I peeled a Dairylea Strip-cheese to make it look like a tree the Dinosaur Sandwich could eat.

Grapes: These grapes can become Dinosaur Eggs (or poop if you have typical poo obsessed kids like mine!) ALWAYS cut your grapes in half for children to prevent choking.  I have only just stopped doing this for my 8 year old but still do for my 6 and 2 year olds.

Cocoa Pops: Chocolate isn’t allowed in our kids lunchboxes at school but cereal is so a few cocoa pops are classed as being fine. I used these to make dirt/stones in a pot to rest the dinosaur footprint biscuit on.

 Dinosaur Footprint Shortbread: I made these with the kids the other day. They’re super simple and you can find the recipe here.

(I didn’t have any left for the photos sadly, but my edible dinosaur eggs would also work really well in a lunchbox. You can find the recipe for those here)

Drink: Water is the only drink allowed at school during the day, but at lunchtime the children are allowed milk, juice or a smoothie. I made some fruit squash and added a tiny bit of green food colouring to the squash to make it green. It’s not really dino related but it looked more interesting and prehistoric!

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I took this opportunity to label the packed lunch box and drinks bottle ready for the start of the school year.

I was sent some amazing name labels by Stickerscape and some of them even had the brilliant Dinosaur designs on our wall stickers by Kali Stileman on them. They’re colourful, durable and just what I needed to help get organised for the back to school chaos that’s looming around the corner! Importantly, they’re also very clear to read and instantly recognisable which is very important when you have a child in charge of looking after their possessions!

If you go to the Stickerscape website, you can view their extensive range of stick on and iron on name labels. They have a huge amount of different designs to suit every age and interest, and with prompt delivery, you’ll have no trouble getting all those items, ‘school ready’.


 Because my middle one is such a fussy eater, and he is only 6, reward charts do still work with him.

When WOW Toys very kindly sent me a, very fancy, reward chart to review, I instantly thought of my 6 year old and his eating habits. We used the snazzy reward chart to get him try a few different foods and do you know what, I worked!

The reward chart is a chart and rewards all in one box. It’s a fab idea!

You move the magnetic star up the chart as they complete a task and when they get to a reward window (on numbers 1, 5 and 10) they get a toy which, in the end, makes up a set! It’s a really fantastic idea and one my 6 year old really loved. It took us less than 10 days to get the chart done and in the process he tried new foods which I could never have imagined him trying a few days ago. It was amazing to be quite honest. Once complete, he ended up with a little dinosaur toy set composed of a cave man, a dinosaur and a carriage for the caveman to sit in. The toys are colourful, durable and I can see them lasting the test of time, even with my heavy handed toddler about!

We loved the fact the star was magnetic and we didn’t have to remember putting sticker on a chart or anything. My 6 year old loved moving the star up when he had tried something new.

The age range on the box said 1-5, but there wasn’t a chance my 2 year old would’ve understood the fact he couldn’t have all the toys out of it in one go (#tantrumcentral) which is why I chose to use it for my 6 year old. I think the chart is great for kids from ages 3-7 personally but they toys inside it would be suitable from 1 year upwards because of their chunky and durable nature.

You can buy the WOW toys reward chart here. They also have a racing car one and a fairy one available.


 Until 10th October 2016, you can get 20% off all Kali Stileman Wall Stickers at Stickerscape if you use the code DINOKALI.

Disclosure: I was sent some name labels, wall stickers and a WOW Toys reward chart for the purpose of this review. All words, thoughts, ideas and opinions are my own.



Dinosaur Week! Day 2 – Get your Bake On: Dinosaur Footprint Fossil Shortbread

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My kids are all Dino mad.

The big one is Jurassic World obsessed, the middle one loves visiting the Natural History Museum, as well as looking at and doodling on his rather snazzy new wall stickers from Stickerscape, and the toddler, thanks to a certain pink talking pig and her Dinosaur mad little brother, loves them now too.

Dinosaur! Grrrrrrrr!”

via GIPHY

Seen as it is the summer holidays. we have been doing lots of baking and crafts at home. This is one of those many baking activities.

I made some shortbread the other day and gave half the mixture to the kids to get creative with.

They washed up some dinosaur toys they had and gave them a dry (good training for dish washing I say!) and then they used the Dinosaurs to make footprint ‘fossils’ in the shortbread dough. Once baked, the Dinosaur footprints are preserved in time forever more, well, by forever I mean until they get scoffed!

Here is the recipe for the shortbread biscuits.

Happy baking Dinosaur discoverers!


  Ingredients

(Makes approximately 20 Shortbread Rounds)

150g Softened Butter

80g Caster Sugar

150g Plain Flour

75g Semolina

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

(extra flour for dusting the surface)

(Toy Dinosaurs, cleaned and ready for Stomping!)


 Method

1 – Pre-heat the oven to 160’c (fan)

2 – Place the softened butter and caster sugar in a bowl.

3 – Mix until light and fluffy.

4 – Add the vanilla, flour and semolina. Mix with a fork until incorporated and the mixture forms a dough like ball.

5 – Place the dough on a lightly floured surface

(TIP: I always place cling film over my worktop and roll the dough out on that so when it comes to clearing up, I don’t have anything to do other than fold the cling film up and throw it in the bin) and roll it out until it is 5mm thick.

6 – Using a circular cutter, or a cutter shape of your choice, cut out the shortbread and place on a baking tray covered in greaseproof paper.

7 – Now take your Dinosaurs and carefully, but firmly, push them down until their feet sink into the dough and leave a footprint when removed.

(Tip: Dipping the Dinosaur’s feet in some flour before stamping helps to stop them getting stuck in the dough!)

8 – Once done, place in the oven and bake for approximately 25/30 minutes. Keep an eye on them from 25 minutes as you don’t want them to colour very much, just a very light brown colour around the edge is perfect.

8 – Remove from oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.

Dino-riffic!

Chomp away!


If you have a go at this recipe, do share it with me over on my Facebook Page or on Instagram by tagging me, @lifeisknutts

Gems.x

Disclosure: The links to Stickerscape in this post are part of my Dinosaur Week I am running with them and Kali Stileman. I was sent some of their Wall Stickers to review. All words, thoughts, opinions and ideas are my own.



Get your Bake On: Poke Ball Biscuits (Pokemon Go!)

Get your Bake On: Poke Ball Biscuits (Pokemon Go!)

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 If your household hasn’t been bitten by the Pokemon Go bug yet, well done you. I’ve no idea how you have escaped it, but kudos to you.

My boys (not my husband…yet) are obsessed with it and I am 99% sure that this is what our summer holidays will be spent doing.

In fairness, I don’t mind it too much. It’s actually getting the kids asking to go for walks, to spend time outside and to explore. All things I used to do when I was a kid in the summer holidays before numerous on demand TV channels, iPad’s and computer games existed. It’s actually quite nice. The only bummer is my mobile phone has been nabbed by my 8 year old I can’t use it for anything by the time I want to because the battery is so depleted!

Anyhow, in homage to Pokemon Go, and as a summer holiday activity, here is my recipe for (standard) Poke Ball Biscuits! If you google Poke Balls online, there are many different variants of them, but I went with the simplest version for this seen as I am very much a ‘home baker’.

So, here we go!

Gotta catch em all!


Ingredients

For the Biscuit Dough

250g butter, softened

140g caster sugar

1 egg yolk

2 tsp vanilla extract

300g plain flour

For the Icing

500g Box of Royal Icing Sugar (I used this one by Silver Spoon)

50ml Cold Water (in a jug – you may or may not need all of this water)

Red Gel Food Colouring (Gel food colour is much better and gives a more vivid colour than Liquid)

Black writing Icing (Again, I used Silver Spoon)


 Method

1 – Pre-heat the oven to 180’c (160’c Fan) and line a large baking tray/sheet with grease-proof paper.

2 – Mix 250g softened butter and 140g caster sugar in a large bowl with a wooden spoon, or in a freestanding mixer.

3 – Add 1 egg yolk and 2 tsp vanilla extract, then briefly beat to combine.

4 – Sift in 300g plain flour and mix the ingredients until they are well combined

(you might need to get your hands in at the end to give everything a really good mix and press the dough together)

5 – Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out until 1/2cm thick.

6 – Cut the dough using a circular cutter, use whichever size you wish but I used a 3inch one.

7 – Place the dough circles on the baking sheet, leaving a gap of about 3cm between each biscuit, and bake for 15 minutes. The biscuits should still be pale and only lightly coloured on the edges.

8 – Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly on the tray. This is important, otherwise your biscuits will be too fragile to move and will possibly break.

9 – Once cooled slightly, remove from the baking tray and place onto a cooling rack so they can cool completely. Repeat this baking process for the remaining uncooked biscuits.

Now you’re ready to decorate!

Whoop!

1 – Empty the contents of the Royal Icing box into a large mixing bowl, I used my stand mixer for this part.

2 – Add water, slowly, until the desired consistency is reached. For me, this desired consistency is known as the 5 second stage, in that the icing, when dropped from a height, takes 5 seconds to mix back into the icing in the bowl. Quite firm but runny enough to pipe.

3 – When the icing has reached it’s desired consistency, pour half of it into a disposable piping bag

(Tip: I place my piping bags in a pint glass and pull the edges over the top of it to keep it in place. I then put the icing in and it is fairly mess free!)

4 – Colour the remaining half of the icing using your Red Gel colouring and mix well. I used about 1/2 a teaspoon of colouring, but judging it by eye is always your best bet. You want a vivid red for these Poke Ball biscuits.

5 – Pipe half of your biscuit with the white icing, doing the border first and then filling it in.

(Tip: I always keep a couple of cocktail sticks handy so I can move the icing about/fill in any gaps on the biscuit easily)

6 – Leave to set for 10 minutes.

7 – Now repeat this step with the red icing on the other half of the biscuit.

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8 – Now leave to set for a bit again, 15 minutes or so just to be sure.

9 – Take your black writing icing and pipe a line across the middle of the biscuit to hide the join line between the white and red halves.

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10 –  Now pipe a black circle in the middle of each Poke Ball, about the size of a 10p.

11 – Finally, pipe a little white dot into the middle of the Poke Ball, on top of the black circle you just piped.

12 – Leave to dry, preferably for 4 hours or overnight. Once the icing has dried, you’re safe to place the biscuits in an airtight container or zip-lock bag for a couple of days…if they last that long!

And there we have it!

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Poke Ball biscuits fit for any Summer Holiday Pokemon hunter, or for a kids birthday party!

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 If you have a go at these biscuits, do let me know by sharing your photos on my Facebook page or by tagging me over on Instagram @lifeisknutts.

Have a super (Pokemon Go!) Summer Knutters!

Gems.x

PS: Here is a photo of the Toddler after munching one of these…it’s safe to say he enjoyed it! 😉

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You Baby Me Mummy



Get your Bake on: Purple Fruit Rippled Meringues (using an Ella’s Kitchen Fruit Pouch)

Purple Fruit Rippled Meringues

(using an Ella’s Kitchen Fruit Pouch)

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I have been meaning to make some large, individual meringues for a while now, but I just don’t seem to have the time. Today, however, I have been quite productive (no idea why, I must be coming down with something) and managed to make some.

I keep seeing delicious rippled meringues in the shops and they look so amazing that I had to have a go. Mine are definitely ‘rustic’ and home-made, but that’s half of their charm, right?! 😉

These aren’t your traditional rippled meringues using fruit you puree you made yourself, however. For these ones, I used an Ella’s Kitchen, ‘The Purple One’ Pouch to ripple through the meringue which makes for a nice change and also gives the meringues a bit of a jammy texture in places which I really like. Who doesn’t love a sticky, chewy meringue?!

Sorry toddlers, but the Ella’s Pouches are mine now, hand them over…

So, without further ado, here is the recipe!


 Ingredients

(makes approximately 5 large meringues)

(Prep time – 15 minutes)

(Baking Time – 2 hours 20 minutes)

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1 Ella’s Kitchen, ‘The Purple One’ Pouch

15g Icing Sugar, sifted

 295g Caster Sugar

5 Large Egg Whites (Please don’t bin the yolks – why not make some homemade Custard or Mayo?!)

Fresh Fruit of your choice and Cream to serve


Method

 1 – Turn the oven on and pre-heat to 180’c and place some Grease-proof paper on a couple of large baking sheets.

2 – Place the contents of the Ella’s Kitchen Pouch into a small bowl and add the 15g of sifted icing sugar. Stir well.

3 – Place the egg whites in a bowl and, using a hand or stand mixer, whisk until stiff peaks form.

4 – Gradually add a tablespoon of sugar at a time until all the sugar is incorporated. The mixture should be very thick and glossy, and stand in peaks on it’s own, once ready.

5 – Spoon large mounds of Meringue Mixture onto your baking sheets (I would say about the rough size of a saucer) until all the mixture has been used up. Ensure you leave a little growing room around each meringue mound, about 4cm should do it.

6 – Drizzle a tablespoon of the Ella’s kitchen and icing sugar mixture gently onto the top of each meringue and, using a skewer or cocktail stick, swirl it into each meringue mound. Do not fold it in or your Meringues will collapse.

7 – Place in the oven to bake/dry out for 2 hours 20 minutes – IMMEDIATELY TURN YOUR OVEN DOWN TO 110’c as you place them in there.

8 – Turn the oven off and leave inside to cool down.

9 – Once cool, remove from the oven and serve as you wish, but some fresh berries and some whipped double cream (with a bit of vanilla stirred through) would do the job nicely in my book!

*These should keep well for a couple of days in an airtight container. The perfect make ahead, hassle free pudding for when you’re entertaining!*

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 If you have a go at this recipe, do share it with me over on my Facebook page (you can give me a like while you’re there too if you fancy it, I’m very friendly…and only a little bit bonkers) or over on my Instagram by tagging me @lifeisknutts.

You can find more of my recipes in my, ‘Not quite Mary Berry’ series, by clicking here.

Happy Baking!

Gems.x

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