On a wet day at home, a spot of baking will keep the children entertained – and introduce them to some essential kitchen skills. Try our recipe for children’s homemade jammy dodgers – it could be the start of a lifelong biscuit habit!
Baking Biscuits With Children
If you’re baking with the kids, choose simple recipes to get them started. Those that deliver great results are best for beginners! Even simple recipes will introduce your children to some basic lessons in the kitchen. Start with good hygiene, making sure everyone washes their hands thoroughly and puts on aprons. Creaming butter and sugar (an important technique in baking) can be done using a wooden spoon: the children can take turns to watch as the butter and sugar transforms into a light, fluffy mass. Young children can also help with sifting and stirring; let the older children do some of the rolling and cutting.
Our homemade Jammy Dodger recipe, below, can be adapted to make any type of Cut-out Cookies. It’s the perfect base for iced cookies: drizzle them with Lemon Icing or melted chocolate for a sophisticated flavour, or let the kids loose with sprinkles for a more kitsch finish.
Homemade Jammy Dodgers
These easy Shortbread Biscuits can be rolled and cut into all kinds of shapes – and there are lots of fun cookie cutters on the market now. You will need a small (1.5cm diameter) cutter to make the holes. If recreating your favourite childhood biscuits appeals to you, also look up the homemade custard creams in Nigella’s ‘How to Be a Domestic Goddess’!
- 110g (4oz) butter, left out of the fridge for at least half an hour to soften up
- 110g (4oz) caster sugar
- 225g (8oz) plain flour, sifted with 1tsp baking powder.
- 1 egg, beaten
- Pinch of salt
- Half a jar of raspberry jam
Preheat the oven to 160ºC. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer or wooden spoon, cream the butter and sugar until it’s pale and fluffy.(Note: you can really taste the butter in these biscuits, so it pays to choose a good one. The best we’ve found is a yellow, creamy butter made by a local farm, but if you’re at the supermarket, we think Lurpak is nice too.)
Add the beaten egg and keep beating the mixture until it’s smooth. Now sift the sifted flour, salt and baking powder over, and combine carefully. Wrap the soft dough in clingfilm and put it into the fridge for half an hour.
After half an hour, the dough will be easier to roll. Lightly flour a board and roll it out to 1/2cm thickness. Cut shapes of your choice, re-rolling the scraps until all of the dough is gone, and putting the shapes onto baking trays as you do them. Using a small cutter of about 1.5cm diameter, cut peep-holes in half of the biscuits. Re-roll the scraps – you’ll get another one or two biscuits from them. (The repeatedly-rolled dough will tend to be tougher, so these last biscuits could be your testers!). Put into the oven and bake for 10 minutes, or until tinged pale gold. Turn onto a wire rack and cool for five minutes.
Being generous with the jam, sandwich the biscuits together in pairs, with the peep-holes uppermost. Return to the wire rack to finish cooling.
More Children’s Recipes
If you and your children have enjoyed making these biscuits together, why not try out our Children’s Cupcake Recipes, which features some scrummy double chocolate brownies and easy-to-make non-baked cupcakes.