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Friday, 8 July 2011
Winos and Foodies. I checked with my sister Susie and my niece Maddy who liked the idea. Then my mum and I made plans. She bought ribbon and I bought lollypop sticks and sprinkles (from Cake Deco). On the morning of the birthday lunch, just a small family gathering, mum and I made the biscuit dough. We made a batch of regular dough and a batch of gluten free dough.
Susie and mum had made delicious food for lunch. Mum made regular and vegetarian sausage rolls (with my usual sausage roll filling), Masterchef's Caramelised Leek, Goats Cheese and Sage Tart (with a gf pastry option) and Donna Hay's Cocoa Brownies (with gf flour). Susie prepared dip with crudites and crackers, hotdogs in rolls, a grapefruit juice and lemonade punch with pineapple juice ice cubes, and a platter of fruit and marshmallows.
Once the kids had finished their turn, we invited the adults to decorate a wand. Wary at first - they just don't have the easy enthusiasm of the kids - they all joined in eventually. Quin helped to decorate a few extra gf bikkies without sticks. Everyone had fun.
The wands looked gorgeous and colourful. Next time I would colour the icing rather than just using plain old white. I didn't do the piping around the edges like the Kids Cakes book suggested. As an aside I found some of the terminology alien to me - "pastry cones", "half sheet pans" and "sanding sugar". I am not sure if that is due to my lack of decorating prowess or my living over the other side of the world from the author.
It occurs to me that it would be a great team building exercise. I much prefer to be doing something with my hands than having to make small talk with strangers. One of my favourite conference activities was decorating clap sticks. It was relaxing to be doing something and just chatting when we felt like it. I much prefer this sort of activity than paintballing or getting drunk in a pub. Sadly it is not everyone's cuppa tea.
Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
This time last year: Falafel for E, Pizza for Sylvia
This time two years ago: Breakfast Burritos – My Way!
This time three years ago: Curious Chipotles and Bonza Burritos
This time four years ago: Peanut Butter Brownies
Adapted from Kids' Cakes from the Whimsical Bakehouse: And Other Treats for Colorful Celebrations
Makes approximately 24 to 30 wands (I don't think we got so many)
125g unsalted butter
2/3 cup sugar (I think we used about half of this)
½ tsp vanilla extract
1-½ cups plus 2 tablespoons plain flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Cream butter and sugar. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until creamy. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl and mix until the dough comes together into a ball. My mum did this by hand but the dough was quite soft so she said she would find it easier to do this in the food processor and could have added a little extra flour and made it more manageable for rolling out.
Cool on a rack before checking that the wands can be held upright. Decorate with icing and sprinkles. The book suggests when decorating that you hold the cookies when rather than the sticks to stop them collapsing.
GF Sugar Cookies
Adapted from Louise Blair's Great Gluten Free Baking
Makes about 10-15 cookies
200g brown rice flour
1/2 tsp xanthum gum (we used some gluten substitute instead)
1 tsp baking powder
50g brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
2 tbsp golden syrup
In a food processor, mix dry ingredients. Add butter (cold from fridge) and process until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix in remaining ingredients in the food processor until a ball is formed. You can use straight away or keep in the fridge wrapped in clingwrap until you need it.
Bake 10-15 minutes at 180 C oven until a very light golden (I will check about this). Decorate as above.
On the Stereo:
Ultra Lounge vol 1: Mondo Exotica: Various Artists