Tag Archives: sugar

CRAVE IT. COVET. LOVE IT. This Week: Love Organic Honey Sticks

11 May

This week I’m loving a sweet alternative to sugar – honey – particularly when it’s packaged as a honey stick:

We picked these sticks up for 20 cents a pop from Morganic Hilltop Honey, who sets up a booth at our local farmer’s market.  They’re delicious when sucked straight from the straw or drizzled over fruit, bread, yogurt, cake, coffee and tea.

(Word of advice:  the women at the booth look and act like they’ve got a few bees in their bonnets, but their honey sticks are worth it, so don’t be afraid!).

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Shake It Up: Rock Candy Maracas!

25 Feb

Wow, these homemade “maracas” are superfun!  This project was so simple to do and hours of fun afterward.  Your toddler will love putting together these homemade noisemakers and it takes all of two minutes.  It was the perfect activity for Jane (2) and the finished product actually sounds like real shakers you buy at the music store.  (Hubby, a musician, was surprised by the good sound).

You’ll Need:

  • 2 empty baby food jars (washed and thoroughly dried)
  • small rock candy spheres
  • paint (optional)

First, we bought pastel colored rock candy (Kasugai Kanpeito) from our local Japanese food market.

Then, Jane filled the empty Gerber jars with the beautiful sugar.

Finally, I tightened the lids and let Jane shake away!  The great thing about the baby food jars is that they’re really hard for little toddler hands to open so the contents stay put with all the crazy shaking.

*If you want to add some flair to your shakers, just use an opaque paint to decorate them.  I couldn’t get Jane to put her “maracas” down once they were finished, so we never got around to that step.

Sweet and Simple Crunchy Sugar Cookie Sandwiches

18 Feb

As part of our week-long celebration of Valentine’s Day, Jane and I made these scrumptiously crunchy sugar cookie sandwiches today:

It was loads of fun to do together while Sam napped and it’s the perfect toddler baking activity because there are no raw eggs involved, so your child can eat as much of the uncooked dough as s/he pleases.  Here’s what you and your toddler will need to make these yummy treats:

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 cup butter (room temperature)
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups sanding sugar
  • salt
  • powder food coloring (optional)
  • red currant jelly (optional for sandwiches)

Step 1:  Preheat the oven to 325.

Step 2: Mix all ingredients in a bowl.

You can do this by hand or with an electric mixer.

Step 3: Divide the dough into two equal portions and wrap each portion separately in cling wrap.  Chill the dough for at least 10 minutes – chilled dough is easier to work with.

Step 4: Spread the sanding sugar onto your work surface.  If you want to tint your cookies (pink for Valentine’s Day, for example), mix in some powdered food coloring.  You can do this right on your work space with your fingers.  Alternatively, you can also use regular pre-tinted sugar in the color(s) of your liking.

Then roll the chilled dough into the sugar, coating generously.  The sanding sugar granules are what make these cookies delightfully crunchy.

Jane's side project

Step 5: Now use cookie cutters, or a sharp knife, to cut out shapes for your cookies.  Remember to make an even number of cookies if you are going to make the cookie sandwiches.  The cookies are just as delicious and a beautiful gift as single cookies, too.

Step 6: Place the cookies on a dark baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.  The butter in the cookies will prevent them from sticking to the cookie sheet surface, so no need for baking spray.

Toddlers will have their own ideas – of course – about rolling out the dough.  Jane preferred small balls of dough that she could flatten into the sugar with her palm.

Step 7: Cool the cookies on a rack.  Once they’re cool, if you’re going to make the sandwiches, spread the red currant jelly on the bottom of one cookie and then top it with another.

Finally, enjoy or wrap the cookies in colored tissue paper and a decorative tin for a tasty treat that is sure to please everyone.

Happy baking!

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