6 Handprint Art Projects for Kids

Since Lock Down, I’ve had to fill my afternoons with activities for my toddler. Going to the park or soft play or seeing friends/family isn’t an option, so I started doing things like: music time, story time, more garden play, messy play and painting! Olivia gets bored of painting quite quickly and she’s still too little to do proper art projects. So why not have some fun with it? So we tried some handprint art!

I found ton of handprint art for kids ideas on Pinterest so, I thought I would recreate some of my favourites. You can do these in paint or card. You can make these into greeting cards or gifts for loved ones. I love these because not only is it a fun activity for you and your kid but it’s also a treasured keepsake. Something you can look back on and reminisce on when they were small.

All you need for these crafts is:

  • kid-safe paint
  • coloured card
  • scissors
  • tape/glue
  • felt tips
  • pencils/pens
  • child’s hand

1. Flamingo Handprint Card

  1. Make an outline of your child’s hand on pink card.
  2. Draw the neck and head of the flamingo to roughly the same size as the hand.
  3. Cut both out and attach with tape or glue.
  4. Draw some legs, cut out and attach with tape or glue.
  5. Write your message on the back.

2. Dinosaur Handprint Card

  1. Make an outline of your child’s hand on card (colour of your choice) ensuring your child’s fingers line up with the edge of the card.
  2. Fold the card so the fold lines up with the edge of your child’s wrist.
  3. Cut out hand ensuring you cut through both layers of card while keeping the fold by the wrist. You should be left with a hand shaped card.
  4. Draw head and neck of dinosaur in the same coloured card. Cut out and attach to the back of the card with the hand facing down (so the fingers are like the legs and tail).
  5. Draw on eyes, nostrils, mouth and any other features of your dinosaur. You could even use goggley eyes for your dinosaurs to make them extra cute!
  6. Write your message inside.

3. Family Handprint Art

This one is my favourite and makes the perfect gift! You can also do this with paint but I preferred it with card)

  1. Draw an outline of your child’s hand in their choice of coloured card. Cut it out.
  2. Do the same with members of your household until you have a collection of different coloured handprints.
  3. Layer them so the smallest is on top and the largest is on the bottom. Secure together with glue.
  4. Frame for a gift. This would also look great in the centre of a wreath for the holidays or a Christmas ornament. You could write people’s names on them and the date on the back for a memento that will last forever.

4. Volcano Handprint Art

I think this one is so cute! Again, can be made into a card or gift. This can also be done with paint. Instead of cutting out your child’s handprint just get them to make a handprint in paint.

  1. Make 2 outlines of your child’s hand. One on yellow card and one on orange card. Cut them out.
  2. Draw and colour in a volcano. You could print one off or get your kids to draw one (even better).
  3. Use the handprints as lava spewing out the top of the volcano. Glue the card cut-outs or get your kids to make a handprint in paint at the top of the volcano.
  4. Decorate how you wish.

5. The Hungry Caterpillar Handprint Art

We had the most fun making this one!

  1. Paint your child’s palm green with kid-safe paint and their 4 fingers (not their thumb) in blue kid-safe paint.
  2. Make a handprint on white paper/card.
  3. Repeat until you have 3 handprints next to each other.
  4. Paint a red circle for the caterpillar’s head (or use a round sponge stamp like we did).
  5. Once fully dry, draw on the antennae and nose. I made the eyes with yellow card and drew on his pupils then attached with glue.

6. Seasonal Tree Handprint Art

I love the idea of this project because it would be a great activity to teach children about the seasons. You could get them to make 4 of these (one for each season) and make their tree look different for every season. For example, Spring could have light green and pink/yellow dots, Summer could have dark green, light green and red dots, Autumn could have orange, red and brown spots and Winter could have none (make it a snowy scene). I made an Autumn one because it’s my favourite season.

  1. Place your child’s hand in the middle of the page. Draw around your child’s hand and arm. Colour or paint it in brown. This will be the trunk of the tree.
  2. Using your chosen colours, create the leaves making it more crowded around the trunk of the tree and gradually getting more spaced out away from the trunk. I used felt tips to make the dots but I love the idea of kids using cotton buds and paint to make this.

If you liked this, you may also like: Fathers Day Crafts For Kids
Super Easy Valentine Crafts To Do With Your Kids
At Home Activities For Toddlers
Mickey and Minnie Mouse Cupcakes

If you want to see more fun things to do with your little ones, check out my Pinterest! I have a “Kids Activities” board and a “Toddler Activities Board”: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/ramblingsoflottie/boards/

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. It really does mean a lot. Keep your eyes peeled because I have some very exciting things coming out on the blog in the next week. Two posts in particular I am incredibly excited to announce to you! See you soon! xx

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Mickey and Minnie Mouse Cupcakes

Hi Readers,

First off, I would just like to announce that I am so proud to be working with the Alzheimer’s Society on this post. I really wanted to work with this charity because they have a Cupcake Day coming up and I thought, “What does the world need right now?” Cupcakes!
Although their Cupcake Day event is looking a little different to what they had planned (thanks COVID-19), they need your involvement more than ever!

We’re calling on bakers across the nation to rise as one and support the UK’s 850,000 people living with dementia. 700,000 will now need to self-isolate due to COVID 19. Every bit of dough you raise will help us be there for people affected by dementia at this difficult time. And the icing on the cake: by being part of it, you’ll feel more connected too.

Alzheimer’s Society

How YOU Can Help

You can help, by hosting a: household, online or later date Cupcake Day

Staying connected and having a bit of fun is what we all need right now. And let’s face it, cake is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Whether you’re a baking pro or a make-it-up-as-you-go, anyone can host a Cupcake Day. You can do it whenever you like and it’s super-simple to take part. It’s a great opportunity to join forces with thousands of others in kitchens up and down Britain. Use what’s in your cupboards, get creative and get the kids involved too – or bring your workmates together virtually.

Click here to get your FREE fundraising pack and let’s raise some dough for an amazing cause.

If you really can’t bake or you would just like to donate to this wonderful charity click HERE. They need you now more than ever.

How To Make Mickey and Minnie Mouse Cupcakes

If you’re eager to help but have no idea what to bake, I have created this tutorial for you. Everyone loves the most famous mouse pair in history and anyone can make these. Get the kids involved, make it a family activity or even bake with friends over zoom! Get involved and let’s make some money for charity!

Minnie and Mickey Mouse Cupcake Decorations

How to make Minnie Mouse bows and Mickey Mouse buttons out of fondant icing.
Prep Time10 mins
Active Time20 mins
Resting time1 d
Total Time1 d 30 mins
Keyword: fondant decoration

Equipment

  • 30 cm Ruler
  • Sharp knife or scalpel
  • Small paintbrush
  • Grease-proof paper
  • Rolling pin (small)
  • Small circle cutter or piping nozzle

Materials

  • 30 ml water
  • 50 g icing sugar
  • 1 pack light pink fondant
  • 1 pack white fondant
  • 1 piece yellow fondant

Instructions

  • Roll out the light pink fondant to about 0.5 cm thick on a surface dusted with icing sugar.
  • Cut out 6 rectangles (12 cm x 2.5 cm) using a ruler and a sharp knife.
  • Cut out 6 more rectangles (5 cm x 1 cm) using a ruler and a sharp knife.
  • Brush the middle of one of the smaller rectangles with water and layer a larger rectangle perpendicularly over the top. It should look like a cross.
  • Brush the middle of the larger rectangle with water and fold the ends into the centre.
  • Fold the ends of the smaller rectangle over the larger one so that the ends overlap in the centre of the larger rectangle.
  • Turn the bow over and pinch the back (where the ends have joined) until you're happy with the shape of the bow.
  • Set aside to dry and repeat with the other rectangles.
  • Roll out the white fondant, on a surface dusted with icing sugar, to about 2.5 mm thick.
  • Cut out multiple (about 35) small circles using a small circle cutter or the end of a piping nozzle.
  • Gently attach the circles to the pink bows using water and a paintbrush.
  • To make Mickey's buttons, roll out the yellow fondant on a surface dusted with icing sugar, to 2.5 mm thick.
  • Cut out small circles with a small circle cutter or the end of a piping nozzle.
  • Using a rolling pin, gently roll the circles into even oval shapes.
  • Set all fondant decorations to the side to dry for 24 hours. Make sure they are in a cool, dry place and aren't in direct sunlight.

Once the decorations are dry, you can get on with assembling your cupcakes. I used my Vanilla Cupcakes (click the link to see that recipe) but you can use whatever cupcakes you like.

Next, you need to make the buttercream.

Vanilla Buttercream

A basic buttercream, perfect for piping.

Equipment

  • Mixer (hand or standalone)
  • Spatula
  • Sieve
  • Piping bag
  • Piping nozzle

Ingredients
  

  • 110 g butter
  • 3 tbsp semi-skimmed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 500 g icing sugar

Instructions
 

  • Put the butter, milk and vanilla into a large bowl.
  • Sieve the icing sugar into the bowl.
  • Mix together on a slow speed (you might want to use a tea towel to cover the mixer as the icing sugar can go everywhere).
  • Once the icing sugar has started to combine, increase the speed of the mixer.
  • Once the buttercream is fully combined and achieves a fluffy consistency and light colour, use a spatula to ensure all the ingredients have mixed completely.
  • Decant into a piping bag with nozzle and use immediately or refrigerate for up to 4 days.
Keyword buttercream, icing, vanilla

Once you have made your icing, divide the buttercream into two bowls. Colour one bowl of icing red and one bowl of icing pink. I use the Wilton gel colours because you only have to use a tiny amount for a lot of colour.

After that, put the buttercream into piping bags with nozzles of your choice. Pipe circular swirls onto the cupcakes. Using small round biscuits (I use Oreos) as ears, push them gently into the icing. Finish off your cupcakes with the fondant decorations.

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s come together during these uncertain times and do some good! If you can’t bake or your local supermarket is all out of flour, then please donate to this wonderful charity! They need you now more than ever.

Click here for more information about the Cupcake Day and to get your FREE fundraising pack: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/cupcake-day?utm_source=Blog&utm_medium=eight&four&utm_campaign=Cupcake_Day&utm_content=theramblingsoflottie

Click here to donate to the Alzheimer’s Society: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/cupcake-day/pay-in

 

Fluffy Bunny Pancakes

Tomorrow is Pancake Day! It’s the perfect excuse to have a fun dinner or a sweet treat.

Since this is the first Pancake Day Olivia can take part in, I was trying to think of ways to make it fun. I always love pictures of people making animal pancakes for their kids. There are no rules. You can make teddy bears, butterflies and everyone remembers the pancake art trend. Olivia is still too young to appreciate full blown pancake art but I wanted to practice a simple design that I can make her on Sunday mornings or a grey day to cheer her up and I thought one of the most simple (and cute) designs would be a bunny!

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Although I had a lot of fun making these, I can’t wait until she’s a tad older and can decorate her bunny how she likes. Whipped cream tail? Chocolate whiskers? Strawberry teeth? Banana eyes and blueberry nose? If you do make these, please share your designs with me! I would love to see how you (or your children) decorate them.

Not only is this adorable, but they actually taste so good. I had some left over batter, after making these, and decided to have some for breakfast (as it was just there, and honestly, they’re so delicious!). I topped mine with strawberries and honey (how grown up am I?) but I kind of wanted to cover it in Nutella, whipped cream and sprinkles. Not gonna lie.

The recipe is perfect and you don’t need to run to the shops to get anything ‘special’. Chances are you’ll already have everything you need in the cupboard. So, without further adieu…


Fluffy Pancake Recipe

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Ingredients

  • 135g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 130ml milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Method

  1. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar into a large bowl.
  2. Lightly whisk the milk and egg together in a seperate bowl, then add the olive oil.
  3. Pour the milk mixture into the large bowl with the flour and whisk with a fork until completely combined.
  4. Leave batter to rest for a few minutes.
  5. Heat up a frying pan with 1 tbsp of oil to stop the pancakes sticking (you’ll need to add oil as you go).
  6. Add a ladle of batter to the heated pan. For the bunny you will need 1 large (body), 1 medium (head), two small (feet) and two ear-shaped pancakes. You’ll want to make several of each so you can practice and pick the best ones.
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  7. Once the top of the batter begins to bubble, flip the pancake over and cook until golden brown on both sides.
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  8. Arrange into a bunny shape and decorate!!!
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And that’s it! It’s literally that simple! These are perfect for a spur of the moment pancake craving or a spontaneous weekend breakfast.

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Thank you for taking the time to read. I hope you all have a very yummy Pancake Day!

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I am the owner and creator of all the above content.

DIY Valentine Treats

Looking for something yummy this Valentine’s? Then look no further! I have everything you need for a romantic night in, a gift to share and those who hate V-day. These are also great if you’re having a ‘Palentines’ or ‘Galentines’ get together. If you make any of the following, please tag me in your creations on social media as I’d love to see how you recreate these.

Chocolate Strawberry Hearts

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Everyone loves chocolate covered strawberries on Valentine’s day. Why not make some for your valentine with a twist?

What you will need:

  • Strawberries
  • Chocolate
  • Pink Candy Melts
  • Toothpicks

Method

  1. Cut the tops off of the strawberries and cut in half.
  2. Arrange two halves into a heart shape (flat side down, points together). You may need to trim the edges to be more rounded.
  3. Push a toothpick through the two pieces of strawberry to secure them. Place onto greaseproof paper.
  4. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and drizzle over the strawberries until evenly covered.
  5. Allow the chocolate to set and remove the toothpick.
  6. Melt Candy Melts in a heatproof bowl and drizzle over the strawberries in a zig zag pattern. Allow to set.
  7. Serve immediately or refigerate until ready to serve.

Giant Valentine Cookie

This is the perfect gift! I make this everytime we decide to have a stay-at-home valentine’s. It’s so good to share in front of the TV. If you’re not very artistic and not sure how to decorate it, NO WORRIES! Melt some chocolate over it when it comes out the oven, add ice cream on top and it makes the perfect dessert.

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What you will need:

  • A batch of your favourite cookie dough
  • Royal Icing coloured red and white
  • Sprinkles

Method

  1. Create a batch of your favourite cookie dough. (I used a packet as it was quicker).
  2. Arrange cookie dough into a heart shaped pattern on a lined baking tray.
  3. Bake accordingly and allow to fully cool.
  4. Create royal icing (recipe below). Divide icing into two bowls and dye one of the bowls of icing red.
  5. Decorate the cookie as you would like. I think this looks particularly good with a traditional valentine message like ‘Be Mine’, ‘Will you be my Valentine?’ or ‘I love you’. Add sprinkles or other edible decorations.

 

Anti-valentine Biscuits

Not everyone likes Valentine’s day so if you’re one of those people (or you’re having a ‘Palentines’, this would also be fun) this is for you.

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To make the biscuits

You will need:

  • 100g sugar
  • 200g butter
  • 300g plain flour

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 160ºC/140ºC fan/Gas Mark 3 and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy (take care not to overmix).
  3. Slowly add the flour to the mixture until fully combined.
  4. Use your hands to squeeze the mixture together into a ball.
  5. Gently roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface. Cut your shapes out (I used a large heart cookie cutter). Place the biscuits onto the baking tray and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. Cool on a wire rack.

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To Decorate

You will need:

  • 3 egg whites
  • 500g icing sugar (sifted)
  • 3 tsp water
  • red food colouring

Method

  1. Whisk egg whites until white and fluffy with soft peaks.
  2. Slowly add the icing sugar 1tbsp at a time and mix thoroughly.
  3. Mix until the icing forms a soft peak on the whisk. Not stiff enough to stand straight but just loose enough for the point of the peak to slowly fold over.
  4. Seperate the mixture into two bowls. Dye one bowl of icing red and put half of the red icing into a piping bag with a small round tip.
  5. Carefully pipe a boarder around the heart biscuits and leave to set.
    IMG_8163
  6. Add 1tsp of water at a time to the remaining red icing until it is slightly runnier. 
  7. Carefuly pipe the runnier icing onto the biscuits and use a toothpick to ensure the icing evenly flood the biscuit to the boarder.
  8. Once set, put white icing into another piping bag with a small round nozzle and pipe words in the centre of them. You can pipe any words. You could even make these like traditional candy hearts by using different colours and ‘lovey dovey’ expressions.

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I really loved making all of these and I can honestly say they are all delicious! Thank you for reading and please check out some of my other posts. I recently did a post you might like called ‘Super Easy Valentine Crafts To Do With Your Kids’, although to be honest anyone could do them!

I am the owner and creator of all above content.

Super Easy Valentine Crafts To Do With Your Kids

Simple and fun crafts to do with your little ones.

These are all really easy and simple, fun crafts to do. All of the following activites have no more than 6 steps and you probably already have everything you need to do them in your home. 

I love doing holiday crafts and as my daughter gets older, I look forward to being able to do more crafts with her. I have very fond memories of sitting at my dining table with my Mum doing different crafts throughout my childhood and I hope to give my daughter the same memories. I am also hoping that doing themed crafts will get Olivia excited about holidays just like me. 

Here are some of the crafts we did this week and some I hope you can have fun with your kids too.

Valentine Card

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This is one of the easiest cards to make with your baby or toddler and it looks so good. It’s perfect to keep as a momento and is super fast to make during painting time.

What you will need:

  • Blank greetings card
  • Craft card
  • Tape
  • Finger paint

Method

  1. Cut out a heart shape out of craft paper.
  2. Using tape, attach the cut out shape to the center of a blank greeting card. This can be done by folding the tape against itself to create a piece of double sided tape.
  3. Let your baby/toddler fingerpaint over the shape and on the card. You can use paint brushes, sponge stamps, paint rollers or simply their hands.
  4. Before the paint drys, carefully remove the shape and tape from the greeting card and leave to dry.

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LOVE Canvas Art

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I really loved making this. Not only is it a perfect gift for Valentine’s but it’s also a great decor piece for your home. Is there anything better than having your baby’s hand and footprints to look at years later when they’ve all grown up?

What you will need:

  • Blank canvas
  • Finger paint
  • Acrylic paint/sharpie

Method

  1. Mark out on your canvas where you would like the handprint and footprints to go.
  2. Paint your baby’s hand and gently press it onto the canvas.
  3. Paint your baby’s feet and gently press them onto the canvas in a V shape.
  4. Draw out the L and E and, once you’re happy with them,  go over it with black paint or a sharpie (I used a black felt tip and a fine liner to go around the edges of the letters).

Hanging Paper Hearts

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These are so simple! This is probably something to do with slightly older children but they sure do brighten up the place. You can hang them on banisters, door handles or even a small decorative tree or branch. I have hung them on my ugly serving hatch as we’re having it patched up at the moment before we remove it and redo the whole wall! For now it will hang these paper hearts.

What you will need:

  • Coloured craft card (I used pink and red)
  • Stapler
  • Scissors
  • String

Method

  1. Cut coloured paper of various lengths and widths. I started with red strips of 2cmx21cm to create the chain of hearts.
  2. Fold strips equally in half.
  3. With the fold at the bottom, bend the ends together to make a heart shape and staple together. If you want to make a chain, tuck the fold of the next heart in between the edges of the first.
  4. If you are making a nest of hearts, join all edges of hearts together, bend and staple all together with one end of a piece of string in between.

You could even use the chain method to make a wreath or a long paper chain to wrap around your banister or hang on your mantle. 

Woollen Heart Garland

I love how this turned out! Again, this is probably something to do with older children (or by yourself like I did) but it looks so cute. I did different sized hearts along the garland just because I thought it was pretty but you could do the same sizes, different coloured hearts or even different shapes like stars!

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What you will need:

  • Cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Stapler/tape
  • Red wool

Method

  1. Cut out several heart shapes from the card board (or double up craft card).
  2. Staple the end of the red wool to the heart.
  3. Randomly wrap the red wool around the cardboard shape until no cardboard is shown.
  4. Secure the end of the wool by tying it off or using a stapler.
  5. Repeat the above until all shapes are covered.
  6. Measure out desired length of wool and attach the hearts in equal lengths.
I hope that you try some of these crafts. If you do, please take a picture and tag me in it so I can see your creations! 
I will shortly be uploading a Valentine Treats post so keep your eye out for that!

 

I am the owner and creator of all images in this post.

The Blue Month

First of all, Happy New Year! I can’t believe we’re in the year 2020 already. Unfortunately, with the new year comes the worst month. January, yuk.

January is just the longest month but also the most miserable. Not only do you have to suffer the financial backlash of Christmas and wait even longer until the next pay day but there is so much social pressure to better yourself, make big changes to your life and announce them to the world. Why? There’s a huge fad to start diets with the new year but I honestly think that this is the worst time of year to do it. It’s still winter! Biologically, our bodies are still craving comfort food and foods with higher calorific value. Only a few generations ago, we had to consume more food to survive the winter and since it was in short supply we had to find food with higher fat content.

Do you also find yourself struggling to get out of bed in the mornings? Its thought that our ancestors slept longer in the winter in order to burn less calories as food supply was low. Instead of getting up at the crack of dawn to work in the fields and burn more calories, they would sleep longer and conserve energy.

I, personally, feel the lowest in January (and usually February) mostly due to coming down from the hype of Christmas. Now, the days are still short, the home looks bare and no one is celebrating. People don’t go out together because they’re trying to make it through until payday, people aren’t drinking or eating ‘naughty’ foods and people bully themselves about what they need to ‘resolute’.

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Every year I find myself in a grey day slump for 2 months. Last year, I was too busy to notice with a new baby. This year, I prepared. For Christmas, I asked for lots and lots of books. I thought I would read my way through the slump and therefore my mind would be on vacation for the majority of it. I think I will do this every year. Not only did my mind have the opportunity to transport somewhere else, but even when I wasn’t reading, my mind thought of its vacation spot. While changing Olivia’s nappy, my mind wondered to ‘Feminists Don’t Wear Pink and other lies’ instead of how miserable the weather is. Before I fall asleep my head thought of ‘The Proposal’ rather than my never ending to do list.

It’s not just the reading. It’s transforming it into a form of self care. I light a candle, I cuddle up to Cody with a blanket, take a few deep breaths and immerse myself in the moment. It’s a great way to be present and switch off.

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I also started journaling. At first, I was using it as a way of dumping my thoughts, worries and hopes but after reading ‘The Witch’s Book of Self Care’ by , I tried other methods of journaling for self care. It took my mind off my worries and made me focus on the things I love and am grateful for.

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One of the books I started reading was ‘Notes on a Nervous Planet’ by Matt Haig. In this beautifully outlined book, Haig talks about his own personal struggles, the trial and errors he went through to solve them and why society may be feeling this way. Tucked between this are beautiful quotes and pieces of texts on the matter that I found very resonating. The chapters are short and for that reason I like this book as a bedtime read. You don’t have to force yourself to persevere 5 more pages until the end of the chapter as your eyes get heavier.

 

The Best Gingerbread Biscuits

I think my most favourite part of this festive season is the baking. One of the best things to bake, that will most definitely get you in the Christmas spirit (and make your house smell amazing), is gingerbread. I recently made a batch and I forgot how much I love to bake and decorate biscuits. I got fully immersed, to the point where I didn’t realise hours went by. This is only because I was doing really intricate decoration and I’m a perfectionist. The average person will do this in way less time. Especially when each batch only takes 10 minutes in the oven!

These biscuits are perfect to make with kids. You can make the dough ahead of time. Just allow 10 minutes after taking it out of the fridge for it to de-chill and simply roll it out onto a floured surface. You’ll want to roll it out to about 4 mm thickness. If you wish for your biscuits to be crunchier and have a snap, roll them slightly thinner. Similarly, if you wish for them to be more chewy, roll them slightly thicker.

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When it comes to decorating, I always favour a simple plain white royal icing. Royal icing is harder than water icing so your design is more likely to last longer. I prefer not to colour it as I think the white looks so elegant against the dark brown gingerbread. If you’re decorating with children, I recommend lots of different colours and perhaps using a simple water icing. I get a lot of enjoyment from piping so I spent a lot of time preparing my designs and getting them perfect.

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Below you will find the gingerbread biscuit recipe I use and also the royal icing recipe.

Gingerbread Recipe

Ingredients

  • 400g Plain Flour
  • 3/4 tsp Bicarbonate Soda
  • 2 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Mixed Spice
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 180g Butter (soft)
  • 125g Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 125g Black Treacle

Method

  1. Sift flour, bicarbonate soda and spices together into a large bowl.
  2. Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy.
  3. Add the egg and treacle. Mix until combined.
  4. Slowly add the flour mixture gradually as you mix until it is all combined and forms a loose dough.
  5. Divide the dough into 3 and wrap individually in cling film.
  6. Chill overnight – 2 days.
  7. When you’re ready to bake the biscuits, preheat the oven to 170°C (fan).
  8. Remove the dough from the fridge and allow to de-chill for 10 minutes.
  9. Roll out dough onto a floured surface 4 mm thick.
  10. Cut biscuit shapes out and place on a lined baking tray.
  11. Bake for 8-12 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the tray then transfer onto a cooling wrack.

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Royal Icing Recipe

Ingredients

  • 325g Icing Sugar
  • 2 Egg Whites
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice

Method

  1. Sift icing sugar into a large bowl.
  2. Whisk egg whites in a stand mixer or hand held mixer with lemon juice until frothy.
  3. Slowly add icing sugar until all combined.
  4. Whisk until it forms soft peaks.
  5. Pour into a prepared icing bag if you wish to pipe your designs. Otherwise, you can store in an air-tight container in the fridge for a week.

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Then, start having fun! You can get the family involved or use it as some therapeutic me time (like I did). You can add sprinkles, edible glitter or sweets. Go wherever the Christmas spirit takes you! I would love to see your creations so please share them!

Merry Baking!

I am the owner and creator of all images in this post.

Minecraft Cake Tutorial

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This weekend, my younger brother turned 12 and he requested a Minecraft themed party. I volunteered to make him a Minecraft cake and he was so excited. It only occurred to me later on that I was going to have to figure out HOW to do it.
So, if like me, you want to make a child’s birthday or you’re just wondering how to do it, I’m here to help!
My brother told me he wanted a chocolate cake but you can make any flavour cake you’d like. I used a 10 inch (25cm) square cake pan.

 

1. Make the Cake

Ingredients
For the cake:

  • 280g (10oz) butter, room temperature
  • 280g (10oz) caster sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 250g (9oz) self raising flour
  • 25g (1oz) Cocoa Powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (160ºC fan, Gas 4) and thoroughly grease a square 10 inch (25cm) cake tin.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy.
  3. Sift the flour, cocoa and baking powder and mix well.
  4. Add eggs to butter mixture, one at a time, and add 1/5 of flour mixture after each egg.
  5. Pour in vanilla extract and mix until combined and pour into cake tin.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 50 minutes, until a skewer, inserted in the centre of the cake, comes out clean.
  7. Allow cake to cool for 10 minutes in the tin before turning out on a wire rack.

2. Assemble the Cake


For the filling:

  • 200g Cadbury dairy milk (or your favourite chocolate), melted

Method

  1. Once the cake is fully cooled, level the chocolate cake by cutting the top until flat then divide the cake length ways through the middle. Put the shaved off chocolate cake to one side to use later.
  2. Pour over 3/4 of the melted chocolate on the bottom half and sandwich the other half on top.
  3. Cut out a section of the cake. You can use my template below or create your own (but remember to make the shape out of squares, like Minecraft!).
  4. Layer the cut out piece on top of the cake using the remaining melted chocolate to fix it to the cake.
  5. Place cake onto a cake board (you can also use some melted chocolate to fix the cake to the board).

Template

16.5cm

3. The ‘Dirt’

For the chocolate buttercream:

  • 225g butter
  • 175g melted chocolate, room temperature
  • 250g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1tbsp semi-skimmed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Method

  1. Melt the chocolate in a bowl. I used the microwave, heating it at 30 second intervals and stirring in between to avoid burning the chocolate.
  2. Leave to cool slightly.
  3. Mix the butter, milk, vanilla and icing sugar in a mixer until smooth.
  4. Add the chocolate and mix until thick and creamy.

For the ‘dirt’:

  • 15 chocolate digestive biscuits
  • left over chocolate cake

Method

This will be used to pat on the side of the cake to give the soil look of the grass square in Minecraft.

  1.  Put chocolate digestives into a zip lock bag and close it up. With a rolling pin or a mallet, beat the biscuits into crumbs.
  2. Crumble the left over chocolate cake shavings into the bag and mix until it looks like soil.
  3. Pipe the chocolate buttercream on the sides of the chocolate cake using a piping bag and a round nozzle. Then, pat the ‘dirt’ mixture onto the sides.

4. The ‘Grass’

For the vanilla buttercream (the grass):

  • 110g butter
  • 500g icing sugar, sifted
  • 60ml (3tbsp) semi-skimmed milk
  • 2tsp vanilla essence
  • green food colouring (preferably gel)

Method

This will be dyed green and will be the grass on top of the ‘dirt’ squares.

  1.  Mix together, butter, icing sugar, milk and vanilla essence in a mixer until combined.
  2. Scrape down the sides with a spatula and add green food colouring (I use gel food colouring as it gives a stronger colour and doesn’t add extra liquid to the mixture).
  3. Mix in the food colouring until the colour is even throughout.
  4. Put buttercream into a piping bag with a star tip.
  5. Pipe small spikes all over the top surfaces of the cake in neat rows to look like grass.

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Finishing Touches

I piped more of the green buttercream onto the cake board to give the effect of layered grass. It also allowed me to secure fondant figures from Minecraft to the cake board. These figures were bought online but if you have time and the skill, you could make them yourself ahead of time. I added the element of sand to the cake board by crumbling plain digestive biscuits and securing it using edible glue (you could also use water icing). Similarly, I used edible glue to secure blue fondant to the cake board to add water to the scene.

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I was really proud of this cake, mostly because my brother was super happy with it and was so excited to see it. This is a really simple design for Minecraft. If you have the imagination, you can create different scenes using this basic technique.

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I own all the images in this post.