While the kids are home from school, embrace the opportunity to whip up a little Easter magic with your budding junior chefs. To save you the Easter recipe hunt, here are some of Newbie’s favourite recipes.
Easter Egg Cookies
Calling all little cookie monsters! Why not bake our favourite biscuit for a special Easter treat, complete with soft centre and chewy, crisp edge. We like to add chunks of chocolate and mini eggs to the mix, though you could customise with other fillings such as banana chips, toffee pieces and orange zest.
- 175g butter, softened
- 200g light brown soft sugar
- 100g golden caster sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 250g plain flour
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 50g white chocolate, chopped into chunks
- 100g bar dark chocolate, chopped into chunks
- 100g mini chocolate eggs, lightly crushed with a rolling pin, leaving some larger pieces to decorate
Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Line two baking sheets with baking parchment. Tip the butter, sugars and vanilla into a bowl. Beat with a hand-held electric whisk until pale and fluffy. Add the egg and beat again. Tip in the flour, bicarb and a pinch of salt, then use a spatula to mix together before adding the chocolate chunks and about half the crushed mini eggs (set aside the larger pieces) and mix again until everything is combined.
Scoop golf-ball-sized mounds of cookie dough onto the baking sheets, making sure you leave plenty of space between each one. (You should fit 4-6 cookies on each, so you’ll have to bake in batches to make the total 20 cookies.) Push the remaining mini egg pieces into the tops. Can be frozen at this point for up to three months. Defrost thoroughly in the fridge before baking. Bake for 15-18 mins, swapping the sheets around halfway through. For soft and chewy cookies, the cookies should be golden around the edges but still pale and soft in the middle. If you prefer a biscuit texture, you will need to bake them a little longer.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 mins before transferring to a wire rack, then bake the second batch. Continue until all the cookies are baked
Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Buns
Spend an afternoon in the kitchen and fill your home with the aroma of sugar, spice and melting chocolate with this lovely Easter recipe. As well as kneading, shaping and piping, little chefs can also practise their division skills.
- 400g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
- 50g golden caster sugar, plus 1 tsp
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 250ml warm milk
- 1 medium egg, beaten
- 50g butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
- 100g chocolate chip (milk or dark, whichever you prefer), or currants or raisins
- 50g plain flour
Mix the bun ingredients. Put the strong flour, yeast, caster sugar and 1 tsp salt in a bowl with the spices and mix. Make a well in the centre and pour in the milk, egg and butter. Start mixing with a plastic or wooden spoon and finish with your hands. If the dough is too dry, add warm water, or extra flour if it’s wet.
Now stretch the dough – this is called kneading. Knead the dough on a floured surface for 10 mins until it becomes smooth and springy. This will be a bit too much work for children, so get them to start the kneading, then when they get tired, take over.
Leave the dough to rise until doubled in size because of the yeast. Transfer to a clean, lightly greased bowl and cover loosely with a clean, damp tea towel. Leave in a warm place to rise until roughly doubled in size – this will take about 1 hr depending on how warm the room is.
Add the chocolate chips and do some division. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and flatten. Scatter over the chocolate chips (or dried fruit), and knead the dough a few more times. Divide it into 8 even portions – halve the dough, then halve each portion twice more, and explain the maths.
Roll the dough into buns. Roll each portion into a smooth round and place on a greased baking sheet in 2 rows of 4, leaving some room between each bun for it to rise. Cover with a tea towel again and leave in a warm place to prove for 20 mins, until almost doubled in size again or just touching.
Make the crosses on the buns and bake them. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Mix the plain flour with 1 tsp sugar and 4-5 tbsp water to give you a thick paste. Spoon into a piping bag and pipe white lines on the buns to make crosses. Bake for 20 mins until they are light brown.
Brush them with jam if you want them to be nice and shiny. If you want to enjoy the buns un-toasted, gently heat the jam in a pan or the microwave, and brush over the buns using a pastry brush. If you are going to toast them, then don’t glaze them as the jam will burn.
Crackin’ Cress Eggs
Little Ones will adore making these crackin' cress eggs and can get as creative as they like when it comes to decorating – no idea is too big or too small. The cress hair will start growing in a few days, and you can always give your creation a stylish haircut if you want to indulge in an egg and cress sandwich or two.
- 2 eggs
- You'll also need
- 2 tsp cress seeds, 2 cotton wool balls, felt-tip pens or acrylic paints
Carefully remove the tops from the eggs, leaving the bottom two-thirds of the shells intact. Empty the shells (save the eggs for another time), then carefully wash them out. Decorate the shells with pens or paint, then leave them to dry.
Dip the cotton wool balls in a little water, squeezing off any excess. Place 1 ball inside each shell, then sprinkle 1 tsp cress seeds onto each one. Sit the filled shells in eggcups and leave in a dry, well-lit place for a week – a windowsill is perfect. Your cress will start to grow within a few days, perfect for making egg & cress sarnies!
Enjoy baking, stay safe and stay home!