Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Wintery Cookie recipes and ideas for Intentional Learning| The Kitchen Series

Intentional learning at home shouldn’t be hard work. It’s about creating opportunities in everyday life for building knowledge, developing confidence and learning life skills. I have two children at different developmental stages and l try to be mindful to provide opportunities for both of them to develop their skills and explore their environment in a positive way. These last few weeks outdoor nature studies have been put on hold due to the Arctic winds and constant rain. We have explored the seasons in play, watched the seasonal garden from our front window and spent time in the kitchen.
There is something comforting about the smell of cookies baking, bread rising and the smell of slow cooked spaghetti sauce. In the kitchen our lessons have focused on reading ingredients together, weighing out ingredients, mixing, pouring and rolling out mixture to cook, bake and make dinner. Today l am sharing two of our cookie recipes for the Kitchen series that we have enjoyed munching on in our home not to mention the cookie jar full to the brim that has been gobbled up by all our friends too. There really is nothing better than cookies just out of the oven, pizza scrolls cooking for lunch and babycinos with sprinkles at our place {I'll share that pizza recipe with you tomorrow in the next kitchen class, perfect for the weekend ahead or a lazy Thursday night dinner in our case}.


Wintry Sugar Cookies

ingredients
¼ cup (55g) of white sugar
1 tsp of cinnamon
200g of fresh dates, seeded and chopped
1 tbsp of boiling water
1 tsp of vanilla extract or a vanilla bean pod
1 ¼ cups (220g) brown sugar
100g of softened, unsalted butter
1 egg
1 ¾ cups (260g) plain flour, sifted (plus ¼ cup set aside for rolling out and dusting later on)
¼ tsp bicarbonate of baking soda
1 egg white, lightly beaten


How to make (normal)
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Place the white sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and mix to combine. Set aside. 
  2. Place dates, water and vanilla and brown sugar in a food processor and process until a smooth paste forms. 
  3. Place the date mixture, and softened butter in an electric mixer and beat for 8-10 minutes or until pale and creamy. 
  4. Add the egg and beat until well combined. 
  5. Add the flour and baking soda and mix together until a smooth dough forms. Bring the dough together and on a lightly floured surface shape into a ball. 
  6. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 
  7. Roll the dough out on a well-floured surface to 5mm- thick. 
  8. Using a cookie cutter, cut cookies from the dough and place on a lightly greased baking trays lined with non-stick baking paper, leaving some room for the cookies to spread.
  9. Brush with the egg white, sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar and bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges are golden. Makes 20.
How to make (thermie)
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Place the white sugar and cinnamon in the TM bowl and mix to combine speed 5/5 seconds and then set aside in separate bowl.
  2. Place dates, water, vanilla, butter and brown sugar in the TM bowl for 45-60 seconds/speed 6 until pale and creamy. You can combine for another few seconds if needed. 
  3. Add the egg through the lid and mix speed 5/5 seconds till well combined. Remove the lid and add the flour and baking soda and mix together speed 5/45-60 seconds until a smooth dough forms. If mixture gets stuck remove mixture from the TM bowl and place in a mixing bowl and stir with spatula to combine fully. 
  4. Turn out onto a floured bench and bring the dough together and on a lightly floured surface shape into a ball. 
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 
  6. Roll the dough out on a well-floured surface to 5mm- thick. Using a cookie cutter, cut cookies from the dough and place on a lightly greased baking trays lined with non-stick baking paper, leaving some room for the cookies to spread.
  7. Brush with the egg white, sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar and bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges are golden. Makes 20.




Note| 
We made double batches both times. This meant that at the final stage we needed to combine in a big bowl to bring all the ingredients together. I got Miss four to measure all the ingredients and count out the timer on the thermomix. I then had her stir the mixture towards the end and get her brother to help with this. Rolling out the dough was a little hard for the children so l got Miss 4 to cut out the cookies and prepare the baking trays for cooking. The egg wash and sprinkling of the sugar took a little practise.
Lesson one | Focused more on adding ingredients, measuring and learning how to stir, roll and cut dough with a little less instruction. We celebrated that last Autumn leaves falling by using a maple leaf, hearts and butterfly cookie cutter as we were having a nature study walk.
Lesson two | Miss 4 was more independent in making the cookies and l assisted with the preparation and making of the dough. We used people cookie cutters, and love heart cutters. This provided opportunity for us to talk about the importance of being loving to our friends and within our family. Mandala paintings were done as the cookies were baking and play centred around sharing and using figurines to make families.
Recipe Source: Donna Hay, Issue 68 Apr/May, 13 pg. 76




Chocolate and Macadamia Cookies 


Great cookie for little ones (18 months+) to practise measuring ingredients, mixing and then rolling out mixture.


ingredients


1 1/2 cups (225g) of plain flour, sifted
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp table salt
150g of butter, softened
1 cup (175 g) packed brown sugar
3/4 cup (165g) white sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 free range eggs
1 cup of Macadamia nuts chopped finely
440g of milk chocolate bits




how to make (normal)
  1. Preheat oven 160 degrees for fan forced oven.
  2. Beat butter, sugar and vanilla until creamy 8-10 minutes
  3. Scrape down sides of the bowl
  4. Beat in the egg and gradually add sifted flour, salt and baking powder. Stir till dough forms.
  5. Add chopped chocolate + macadamia cookies and stir well or use a KitchenAid until mixed through
  6. Roll tablespoonfuls of dough at a time into balls.
  7. Use back of a fork and press each ball slightly to flatten on the tray.
  8. Place on greased baking trays lined with baking paper, allowing room for cookies to spread.
  9. Bake 18-20 minutes until edges are golden
  10. Take cookies out of oven and let cool on trays prior to transferring them to a drying rack.
  11. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

how to make (thermie)
  1. Preheat oven 160 degrees for fan forced oven.
  2. Add macadamias to TM bowl, speed 2/5 seconds then set aside in separate bowl.
  3. Add butter, sugar and vanilla to TM bowl speed 5/15-20seconds bursts then scrape down sides, mix again until creamy.
  4. Through TM lid add egg.
  5. Beat in the egg 5 seconds/speed 4.
  6. Take off lid and scrape down sides, and add sifted flour, salt and baking powder. 
  7. Mix Speed 5/25-30 seconds till dough forms.
  8. Take mixture out and place in a mixing bowl.
  9. Add chopped chocolate + macadamia cookies and stir well with spoon.
  10. Roll tablespoonfuls of dough into balls.
  11. Use back of a fork and press each ball slightly to flatten on the tray.
  12. Place on greased baking trays lined with baking paper, allowing room for cookies to spread.
  13. Bake 18-20 minutes until edges are golden. Take out and let cool on tray for 5-10 minutes.

What have you been cooking? 
I'd love you to share a recipe or let us know what has been inspiring you in the Kitchen. Feel free to link up with Instragram @thepoppyfox or shoot me an email so l can share the recipe here. You can read all The Kitchen Series here by the way, feel free to share the links and recipes they have become our favourites. 
x Mummafox
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