My Nanny’s Shortcakes

When I was younger we would go to my Nanny and Grandad’s house every Saturday morning, and without fail my Nanny would have made shortcakes.  Now my Nanny was far from a baker, in fact she was actually rubbish at cooking anything, vegetables were always boiled to a pulp and she once went to the supermarket asking the fishmonger for mong-e-trout!She was however the only person I know who can eat a whole box of Magnums and still want more and was the queen of Mars Bar Cake and Shortcakes!

When I moved out, my mum (who is an amazing cook, taught by her Nanny!) gave me a recipe book with all of my favourite things in, as well as her go to recipes.  Nanny’s Shortcakes were right at the front!  The taste and smell remind me of really happy times with two of the most important people who have shaped my life.

Ingredients:-

  • 1lb of self raising flour;
  • 2 oz marge;
  • 3 oz caster sugar;
  • sultanas;
  • egg;
  • milk;
  • extra caster sugar to dust the top.

Method:-

Put flour, sugar and marge into a bowl and rub together (like you would for scones) until there is no marge left.  Add a handful of sultanas.  Crack one egg into a separate bowl and make up to 1/2 pint with milk.  Add to the dry mixture and mix together.  It can be quite wet, but that’s ok.

Put onto a lined baking tray and flatten with a spatula or knife.  Sprinkle caster sugar over the top and bake for 15-20 mins (until brown).  Sprinkle more caster sugar on the top when it’s taken out of the over and still hot.  Let it cool (but not too much as they are delicious hot) and cut into pieces.

The corners are by far the best pieces to get and we’ve had many fights over them.  I even remember my Nanny seeing us pull in her drive and her hiding a corner in the kitchen drawer so she’d get one as we would always take them all!

They are best eaten on the same day, which lets be honest, isn’t really a problem is it?!

 

 

Double Chocolate Smartie Lollipop Cookies

Double chocolate cookies are my favourite treat and I’ve tried several recipes trying to find the right one! This has to be my favourite. Quick, Simple and so easy the children can make them!

Ingredients

4 1/2 ozs of chocolate

4 oz butter

7 oz sugar

1 egg

7 oz plain flour

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

2 oz cocoa

1/2 tsp salt

Method

Preheat oven to 175 degrees;

Melt chocolate and set aside;

– Mix butter and sugar together;

– Add egg;

– Sift flour, cocoa, bicarbonate, salt and melted chocolate and mix into the egg mixture to form a dough;

– Roll into balls and place (do not press down) on a tray at the end of the lollipop stick. Allow space for the cookies to spread;

– Cook for 10-12 mins. Remove from the oven and add the smarties whilst they are still hot and soft. Leave to cool for a few minutes and then transfer to a wire rack.

I prefer a more crunchy cookie so bake them until they start to crack on the top, for a softer gooey cookie take them out just before they start to crack.

These also work well by adding chocolate chips to the mixture and making them just as cookies without the lollipop sticks. I added the lollipop sticks when it was a someone’s birthday as something a bit more special. They are always very popular at the school bake sales too.

Marshmallow Play dough

I can’t tell you how excited I was to find this recipe for marshmallow play dough – yes that’s right a play dough that is made from marshmallows, and that you can eat!

As a parent I have spent many days playing play dough and then finding it all over the furniture and picking it out of the carpet. We’ve made our own before, you know the salty one that smells a little bit odd? It was great because I could throw it away when the children mixed it together and made a lovely brown colour.  I’m sure I can’t be the only parent that spends all their time saying “don’t mix the colours together!”.

This recipe couldn’t be simpler; a jar of Marshmallow Fluff (you can melt marshmallows but this is easier!) and 250g icing sugar!

Empty the marshmallow fluff into a bowl and add the icing sugar (I added 1 cup at a time).  It’s very sticky, but keep mixing until it makes a non-sticky dough.  If you add too much icing sugar and the mixture is too dry you can add a few drops of oil.  I found I didn’t need to do this.

It was a lot easier to use your hands once you reached a semi-formed dough.  You can use food colouring to change the colour if you want, but remember this will make the dough wet again.

 

Any Bake Off fans may remember that Candice made this as a fondant roll out icing for one of her cakes and this recipe would be great for that too – It is quite sweet but very pliable and tastes lovely!

The children did a combination of playing, eating and icing biscuits with the dough and really did enjoy doing something a little bit different to standard play dough.