Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Festive Treats for Everyone - Part 1
Now this is not strictly baking, it's child friendly no-bake baking.  And the good news is, these treats incorporate just about everyone: they're designed to celebrate Spring and Easter, but with a couple of small modifications they're also Passover friendly, dairy free, gluten free and nut free.  Not bad for kids' treats.  More good news: if you're looking to involve children in the process, the Krispie Treats are ideal:  everything happens in a big bowl with a big spoon, in a microwave, and with your hands.  Oh, and there's very little chance of sticky fingers being wiped on clothes or surfaces because they'll be thoroughly licked clean!!  I'll start with the easy ones first: the idea for the sheep was inspired by The Decorated Cookie's lambs made from cake, which can be found here.  But I wanted my 3 year old to be involved and rolling small amounts of sponge cake without squishing it into oblivion may be beyond him...so I went for Krispie Treats instead.
For the sheep:
150g / 6 oz mini marshmallows
25g / 1 oz butter
1 1/2 cups Rice Krispies
12 pretzel sticks - swap for 24 matchsticks for the Passover/gluten friendly option.
6 sugared almonds - swap for full size marshmallows for the nut friendly option.
2 squares of white chocolate melted - swap for melted marshmallows for dairy free.
  1. Place the butter and marshmallows in a microwave friendly bowl and cook on high in 30 second bursts, stirring each time you check them, until you have a light liquid consistency.
  2. Add the Kripspies and stir thoroughly until they are all coated.  Make sure you use a BIG bowl otherwise the cereal will go everywhere.  Allow the mixture to cool for about 10 minutes.  If you're using pretzel sticks, cut each one in half so you have 24 pieces.
  3. Pour about a teaspoon of oil onto a paper towel and lightly rub it over the palms of your hands.  Then, take a couple of teaspoons of the mixture and roll it into an oval or egg shape, squeezing the mixture together as you do so.  Push 4 pieces of pretzel (or 4 matchsticks) into the krispy ball to act as legs.  Try your best to get them roughly even although sheep that look a bit tipsy are very cute!  Leave the shapes to dry on a lined baking sheet for about 30 minutes.
  4. Finally, dip a sugared almond - or full size marshmallow - in a little melted white chocolate and press on to the body.  You will need to prop up the sheep until the chocolate sets as the almond makes the front of the sheep heavy.  I propped mine up on a little stack of cupcake cases.

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