Honey, Coconut and Peanut Butter Biscuits

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Since Lilah was born two months ago I’ve been trying to eat healthily and shed that sodding baby weight (trying and mostly failing… But it takes time, right?!). But eating healthily over Easter is, frankly, impossible. So I gave up on the diet for 3 days, ate 2 Easter eggs (the average person apparently eats 3 so it could be worse. THREE!) and then decided to make some cookies. I’d seen a really yummy looking recipe here on food blog lacreativitedelafille Which I changed around a bit. These were delicious and healthy*. Read on for the recipe…
*alright, healthy-ish…

INGREDIENTS:
3/4 cup Smooth peanut butter
6 tbsp. honey
1 tsp. almond essence
1 cup Plain flour
1 tsp. baking soda
100g softened butter
1/3 cup desiccated coconut

Preheat oven to 180c. Mix the peanut butter, honey and almond essence until smooth. Beat in the butter then gradually mix in the baking soda and flour until you have a smooth dough.

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Put the coconut onto a plate. Roll the dough into walnut sized balls and drop each ball into the coconut and roll

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Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the dough onto the sheet and press down with a fork.

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Bake for 7-10 minutes, or until golden.

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These are pretty toddler friendly too as they’re naturally sweetened and only have a little butter (but obviously lots of peanut butter!)

Tia x

MAD Blog Awards

MADS-2013-FINALIST-Badge

We are so lucky here at Little Button Diaries to be a finalist for the MAD Blog Awards. The awards, which honour parent bloggers, are the bees knees of blogging awards so we’re obviously very excited.

We’re up against four other great blogs for Best Craft Blog. We’d be so grateful if you could vote for us, Little Button Diaries, here by choosing us from the drop-down menu.

Voting closes at midnight this Thursday.

Thank you so much for reading our blog and for your support in these awards.

~ Laura & Tia xx ~

Favourite 5 Gluten-Free Recipes

We’ve had the pleasure of knowing Simon from Spade Fork Spoon for a while now and he’s inspired us with his homegrown cooking skills. When he offered to write a guest post for us we leapt at the chance. Here’s Simon with his Favourite Five Gluten-free recipes.

nfavorite five spadeforkspoon

Those of you who follow Spade Fork Spoon on Twitter may have noticed an increase in tweets about gluten-free cooking over the last few weeks. This is because my son has recently been diagnosed as coeliac and therefore needs to follow a gluten-free diet. Adapting meals to fit in with his new dietary requirements has been a bit of a challenge, but we’re getting there. When you think about gluten-free, you think that means no bread, pasta and pastry. Prior to his diagnosis, if my son was to list the foods he most enjoyed they may well have included all three of those gluten rich foods! Luckily there are gluten-free alternatives to pasta and Genius produce a great gluten-free puff pastry. However, we’ve yet to find a good bread alternative; however hard companies try, there seems to be no way of recreating the texture and flavour of a good loaf of bread.

We have managed to make some great gluten-free food though, so I wanted to share our favourite five gluten-free recipes with you.

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Mustard Cheese Scones - This is a recipe which I adapted from the best gluten-free cookbook for kids we’ve discovered so far, The Gluten-Free Cookbook for Kids by Adriana Rabinovich. It has given us many recipes and this is a quick and easy way of producing a savoury treat for lunchboxes or after school. We tend to use Doves Farm gluten-free flours, but any gluten-free flour mix is worth a go (they all contain slightly different combinations of potato, tapioca, corn and rice flours).

Carrot Cake - Carrot cake is one of our family favourites and my wife has adapted Nigel Slater’s recipe to work as a gluten-free option. Sift together 250g self-raising gluten-free flour, 1/2 tsp. bicarbonate of soda, 1 tsp. gluten-free baking powder, 1tsp. cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Whizz 200ml of sunflower oil and 250g soft brown sugar in a food processor until creamy, then add 3 beaten egg yolks (retain the whites), followed by 150g grated carrots, juice of half a lemon and 100g chopped walnuts. Fold in the dry mix, then fold in the beaten egg whites. Divide mix into two 20cm tins and bake for 40-45 mins at 180°C. Once cool, turn out onto a wire rack and then ice with a beaten mix of 250g mascarpone, 200g Philadelphia type cheese, 150g icing sugar and the zest of an orange.

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Chocolate Sweet Potato Brownies – The added bonus of this version of the classic cake is you can feel good about eating veg as well as chocolate. We haven’t grown sweet potatoes before at the plot, but I think this year we’ll give it a go, so we can make more of these. Start by baking 2 medium sweet potatoes in their skins for 45 mins. Scoop out the flesh and put 250g in a bowl. Line a 20cm square tin with foil. Gently heat 150g gluten-free chocolate and 100ml olive oil in the microwave until melted. Meanwhile mix 125g gluten-free flour with 1 tsp. gluten-free baking powder and 1/4 tsp. xanthum gum. Beat the chocolate into the sweet potato, then add 2 eggs and 150g soft brown sugar. Add the flour mix, stir well, then pour into tin. Bake for 30 mins, cool slightly and then cut in squares.

Polenta and Parmesan Chicken Goujons – This recipe is a revelation. We often used to have breadcrumbed chicken pieces for tea, and needed an alternative now that my son needed a gluten-free diet. Polenta is a good gluten-free option, and the addition of a few gluten-free breadcrumbs and a little parmesan cheese, creates the best crispy chicken ever! To make enough for two for tea; slice a couple of chicken breasts into goujons, then dust the chicken in some gluten-free flour. Dip the dusted goujons in a beaten egg, followed by a combination of polenta, gluten-free breadcrumbs and grated parmesan. Heat some butter and a dash of oil in a frying pan and fry the goujons for 2-3 minutes, turning, until golden. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 5-6 minutes in a medium oven until cooked through.

Pizza – Probably one of our family’s favourite foods, a good gluten-free pizza was always going to be needed. This recipe is as close as I’ve managed (so far) to get to a wheat flour pizza dough. It makes enough for 12 small pizzas, or 4 decent size ones. Mix 500g gluten-free bread flour (I use Doves Farm) with 15g gluten-free yeast and 15g fine salt. Pour in 300ml tepid water and 2 tbsp. olive oil. Form into a ball, then knead on a floured surface for 5/6 minutes (it doesn’t need as much kneading as there’s no gluten to get working). Cover with cling film and leave to prove for an hour or so. It won’t rise as much as wheat-based doughs, so don’t panic if it doesn’t double in size. You want to cook your pizza as hot as your oven goes; when hot, roll balls of dough into thin discs, place on baking tray dusted with polenta and top with chosen topping. Cook for 10 mins or until crisp.

For more recipes from Spade Fork Spoon or you can follow him on twitter.

Scribble Top Table

chalkboard table upcycle

I love any project that involves upcycling furniture. When I was recently given an old table and chair I decided to give them a make-over and turn them into a scribble top table with a chalkboard top for Little Button to get creative on, with a matching chair. She’s now at the age where not everything goes straight into her mouth, so this table is a nice way to introduce drawing.

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For this project you will need:

  • A table and chair in need of love
  • A sander or sandpaper
  • Undercoat and primer
  • Chalkboard paint
  • Bright gloss paint

 chalkboard paint table  chalkboard table diy

Begin by sanding down your chair and table, making sure to wipe away any old paint remnants with a cloth when you’re finished.

Apply the primer and undercoat. I used an all-in-one to save a bit of time.

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Once the undercoat has dried apply two coats of your bright gloss to the legs and side of the table and the chair. When dry, apply the chalkboard paint to the top of the table. This paint dries quickly, but will need a few layers for a nice even finish.

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Finally, I drilled a hole in a plastic cup and attached that to the table leg, to use as a chalk pot.

Now all I need to do is find a few more chairs to upcycle for Little Button’s chums to use. Let the scribbling commence!

For more furniture upcycling ideas see herehere and here!

We’re so lucky to have made the finals of the MAD Blog Awards for Best Craft Blog. If you have time, please could you vote for us here.

MADS-2013-FINALIST-Badge

~ Laura xx ~

Make your own Fuzzy Felt Activity Board

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Remember Fuzzy Felt?! Hours of fun (ok, maybe not quite hours) sticking little felt people and shapes onto boards to make pictures. My toddler has reached an age now when all she wants to do is make/paint/build/destroy stuff. That’s where we are at the moment. So I thought I would have a go at making my own fuzzy felt activity board. Amelie loves it, and the best thing is that its mess free!

You will need:
Assorted felt sheets
contrasting fabric
bias binding tape
Thick card
Scissors
PVA glue.

1. Begin by cutting a thick piece of card to the size you want your felt board to be. Glue the card and stick felt in place to create a background scene. The edges do not need to be that neat.

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 2) Glue the reverse of the board, attach some contrasting fabric and smooth down. To cover the edge of the board, glue on bias binding (in the same way you would sew it on).

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3) draw and cut various shapes, figures and objects from scraps of felt. Fun bit! To strengthen the shapes, glue each onto a large piece of felt and, when these are dry, cut out.

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All finished, ready to entertain your toddler for at least 8 minutes. That’s enough time to drink a cup of tea!

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We’re so lucky to have made the finals of the MAD Blog Awards for Best Craft Blog. If you have time, please could you vote for us here.

MADS-2013-FINALIST-Badge

Tia xx

Salted Caramel Millionaire Shortbread

 mini egg salted caramel millionaire shortbread recipe

As it’s nearly Easter I’ve been on the hunt for some recipes to try for next weekend. When I came across this on Good To Know Recipes I knew I had to try it! The recipe was easy to follow and the results were so good (even if I say so myself!). Because this is such a sweet treat you only need a little slice. It was such a hit in our house that I can’t wait to try Good To Know Recipes other mouth-watering delights.

For this recipe you will need:

For the shortbread base:

  • 150g butter
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 200 plain flour

For the salted caramel:

  • 150ml double cream
  • 100g light muscovado sugar
  • 20g salted butter
  • Pinch of sea salt

For the chocolate topping:

  • 200g milk chocolate
  • 1 pack Mini Eggs

mini egg salted caramel millionaire shortbread recipe

Begin by preheating the oven 180°C. To make the base, beat the butter and sugar until pale. Add the flour and mix until combined. Tip the mixture into the baking tray and bake for 30 minutes until golden, leave to cool.

mini egg salted caramel millionaire shortbread recipe mini egg salted caramel millionaire shortbread recipe

To make the salted caramel, place the cream, sugar and butter in a small pan and heat gently, stirring until the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted. Bring the mixture to the boil and then simmer for 2 minutes until it begins to thicken. Add the salt. Pour the salted caramel over the cool biscuit base and leave to cool in the fridge for about 20 minutes.

  mini egg salted caramel millionaire shortbread recipe mini egg salted caramel millionaire shortbread recipe

Crush the Mini Eggs in a small sandwich bag using a rolling pin.

mini egg salted caramel millionaire shortbread recipe mini egg salted caramel millionaire shortbread recipe

To make the topping melt the chocolate. Pour over salted caramel and sprinkle with the Mini Eggs. Pop in the fridge until you are ready to serve.

 salted caramel millionaire shortbread baking recipe mini egg salted caramel millionaire shortbread recipe

Happy Easter!

~Laura xx~

Exciting News & Easter Goodies

how to make your own toy bunny tutorial

We’re really happy to announce that, as of today, we are going to be regular bloggers on the Hobbycraft website! This is so exciting for us as Hobbycraft is our absolute favourite place on the planet (we’ve happily whiled away many a Saturday in there with bored husbands sitting outside!)! The craft superstore have an excellent blog full of different craft tutorials. We will be bringing you monthly craft projects and our first one is this cute Easter bunny rattle. For the full tutorial hop over to Hobbycraft’s site.

how to make your own creme eggs

We are also featuring over at Brighton Mums – a site which celebrates parenthood in Brighton and has a variety of interesting lifestyle posts. We will be bringing you baking and craft delights monthly. We started with how to make your own Chocolate Creme Eggs. (warning – these are awesome and addictive).

If you are looking for more Easter treats then there is still time to make our bunny dresses and our mini hot cross bun bites! Click on the photos for the full tutorials.

How to make a children's bunny dress tutorial mini hot cross bun bites recipe

We’re super lucky to have made the finals of the MAD Blog Awards, the parenting blog awards, for Best Craft Blog. If you have time, please could you vote for us here. Thank you!

MADS-2013-FINALIST-Badge

~ Laura & Tia xx ~

Hot Cross Bun Bites

 

mini hot cross bun bites recipe

With Easter fast approaching I wanted to try to make a treat for Little Button and myself. But at one year old, she’s only just getting used to ‘grown-up’ food, and a lot of treats are for big appetites only. So we’ve been doing a lot of – well, what’s the opposite of super-sizing? – shrinking. Hence: Hot Cross Bun Bites – just big enough for little hands.

To make 24 bites you will need:

  • 450g white bread flour
  • 65g caster sugar
  • 7g pack of dried fast-action yeast
  • 300ml full fat milk
  • 65g butter, melted
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 75g mixed dried fruit

For the crossing top:

  • Enough flour and water to make a thick paste

 

mini hot cross buns recipe

Measure out the flour, yeast and sugar into a mixing bowl. Gently heat the milk and add it to the flour mixture along with the egg and butter. Mix until all the ingredients are combined and the dough is sticky.

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Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface.

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Knead the dough until it is elastic and smooth (about 5 minutes). Get some little hands to help you if you have some available!

mini hot cross buns recipe

Put the dough into a bowl with cling film over the top to rise for approximately 2 hours (or until it has doubled in size).

mini hot cross buns recipe

Once the mixture has risen, let some of the air out of it by pushing the heel of your hand into it. Add in the dried fruit and knead until it is combined. Place back in the bowl for another hour with cling film on top again. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C.

mini hot cross bun bites recipe mini hot cross bun bites

Roll into ping-pong sized balls and lay them spaced out on a baking tray. To make the crosses, mix a thick paste using water and flour. I used a spoon to draw the crosses on but a piping bag would be even neater.

mini hot cross bun bites recipe mini hot cross bun bites recipe

Place in the oven for 15 minutes or until the buns are golden brown. Serve warm or toasted with a dab of butter.

~ Laura x ~