While I am in no way, shape or form a baking queen, I do rather enjoy dabbling in the kitchen – especially with the kids. Or that is, I used to love it. Since becoming a mama of three I feel like I’ve done it less and less, and as the boys have started going to school and preschool more often, I feel like they are less interested in baking with mummy and more playing with their toys. Alas, it is tough to be unwanted and Edith is such a law unto her own that doing anything with her, from baking to crafting, is more than taxing. The kid was given some felt tips and coloured in a block of the sofa last week, I mean, c’mon!
Still, I find myself more and more inclined to banish those “holy shit how much mess have you made” feelings deeeep down and get into the kitchen with Edith. I did it with the boys so I really want to encourage her to join in, plus, it’s something I enjoy doing and I really do feel that teaching kids to bake it a great skill. The Autumn months mean several things to me. One, Great British Bake off has been going on and the abundance of baking stuff is rife which means you can’t help but feel driven to get ya bake on (or fake on if you really are not a dab hand with the ole pastry brush), and two, it’s time to start making Christmas hamper delights that need months to stew/prep like apple brandy, Christmas cake and general tasty goodness.
We have so much left over Halloween “candy” from America that I genuinely have no idea how we will ever make it through without using at least some of it in baking! When we were at Disney World we went to the Mickey’s Not-so-scary-Halloween party and it was epic, but the treat or treating was like nothing us stoically British natives have seen before. Handfuls, nay, goat carrier bag fuels of sweets were just being given out left right and centre. Weren’t happy with one bag full? No worries, you had ten stops to make with unlimited returns. Yeah.
M&M’s were the sponsors of the Halloween event, so it’s only right that they were given a good showing in the spoils, but there really are only so many M&Ms one can nibble on before you begin to wonder how much you can allocate to a new wardrobe out of your monthly wage. So, in order to persuade people to take them off our hands, we’ve baked M&M cookies – Grandma can’t refuse them if the kid’s have baked them right? I measure everything in the American style of cups as it is easiest for the kids to do (and should Reuben grace us with his presence, I get to practice fractions with him) and I also allow the kids to add everything into the mixer, plus crack the eggs in a separate bowl… shell is not a taste sensation any of us like.
Here’s the recipe for our very unimpressive, yet highly delicious cookies. Mary Berry eat your heart out.
- 2 1/4 cups of plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup butter, melted
- 3/4 cup caster sugar
- 3/4 cup soft brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups M&Ms Original
- 1 cup of milk chocolate chips
Pre-heat the oven to Gas Mark 5/375C
Combine your sugars and butter and cream together until a scrumptious fluffy mixture appears. Add one table spoon of flour, followed by one egg and blend. Repeat for the other egg and then mix the rest of the flour, baking powder and salt. Add in the vanilla extract and then gently fold in the M&Ms and chocolate chips (or what is left of them if the kids have been around… or you’ve not applied your self restraint).
Place a heaped teaspoon sized dollop of cookie mixture on a greased (or lined) baking tray and bake for 10-12mins until turning slightly golden on the edges.
Share them. Maybe.
I love these because they are easy and as with all cookies they aren’t too complex for the kids to do almost solo while I supervise. Also, cookies are pretty cheap to cook, I worked out that using value ingredients and a packet of M&Ms we would spend just under a fiver. If you did want to push the boat out and try your hand at something like the marvels that the Great British Bake off present us with, then you can find a nifty cost comparison for each week already done for you by on voucher box’s blog.