Category Archives: Sticky fingered chefs

Cooking with Kids: Valentine’s Biscuits by Piccolo

Need to feel some love in the kitchen? Get the little ones baking up hearts with this recipe, created  by Alice Fotheringham, the Infant Nutrition Expert at organic baby food brand Piccolo


125g unsalted butter
60g (3oz) caster sugar
60g (3oz) soft light brown sugar
1 egg
½ tsp vanilla essence
200g plain flour
pinch of salt
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
80g dried cranberries, chopped
60g white chocolate chips plus 60g white chocolate for drizzling


  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/Gas mark 3.
  2. Cream together the butter and both types of sugar, then break in the egg, add the vanilla essence and mix well together.
  3. Sift together the flour, salt, cinnamon and bicarbonate of soda, then add to the creamed mixture until a dough forms. Lastly stir in the cranberries and chocolate into the dough.
  4. Wrap in cling film and put in the fridge for half an hour to an hour. Flour a surface and roll out the dough until it is around 1 ½ cm thick (if the dough is too wet, sprinkle flour over the surface of the dough). Using cookie cutters, make shapes out of the dough and place on a baking sheet lined with baking paper.
  5. Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cookies are a light golden on top. Leave on the sheets for about 10 minutes to cool and set before transferring to a wire rack.
  6. Melt the white chocolate for drizzling, and once the cookies are cool, drizzle over with a spoon.

Makes: 8 cookies Cooking: 10 minutes Preparation: 20 minutes

Read our interview with Cat from Piccolo in the current issue of Slick Mummy Magazine too…


Sticky fingered chefs: Honey Cake with Elderflower icing

Thanks to GBBO Finalist Ian Cumming and Belvoir Farms Elderflower Cordial for sharing this recipe for Honey Cake, topped with Elderflower icing… Not only will this one taste delicious but you’ll be lending your support to Friends of the Honeybee and the British Beekeepers Society.

cakeHoney Cake with Elderflower Icing

Makes two-layered 20cm cake



220g unsalted butter (room temp)

140g light muscovado sugar

140g honey

½ tsp of salt

4 large eggs

280g self-raising flour

2tsp baking powder

3 balls stem ginger

3tbsp milk

2tbsp Belvoir Elderflower Cordial.


100g double cream

200g mascarpone cheese

50g Belvoir Elderflower Cordial

100g icing sugar


  1. Grease and line two x 8 inch (20cm) cake tins.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  3. Finely chop the stem ginger.
  4. Using an electric mixer beat the butter, sugar, salt and honey for a few minutes until light and fluffy.
  5. One by one beat in the eggs making sure each is well and truly mixed in before adding the next.
  6. Sift in the flour and baking powder and carefully fold in.
  7. Carefully fold in the stem ginger.
  8. Finally fold in milk.
  9. Split between the two tins and bake for approx 25 minutes or until a knife comes out cleanly from the middle.
  10. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before turning out from tins and placing on cooling rack.
  11. Pour 1tbsp of cordial over the top of each cake.
  12. Meanwhile put the double cream in a mixing bowl and whisk until just starting to thicken. Add remaining icing ingredients and very briefly beat until combined – be careful not to overbeat.
  13. Place one of the cakes on the plate on which it is going to be served.
  14. Put approx a quarter of the icing in a freezer bag or in icing bag. Snip off corner and then pipe 1 to 2 cm circles all around the edge of the bottom cake. Pipe the rest inside the circles and then use up to another quarter of the icing to cover the rest of the cake.
  15. Gently place other sponge on top. Spread remaining icing over top. Pipe rosettes around edge if you have the necessary piping bags / nozzles.

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Sticky Fingered Chefs: Grainy Brainy pancakes from Sweetpea Pantry

Just add egg and milk to this ready mix in order to whip up a batch of quinoa and buckwheat pancakes. Get the kids to stir the batter (it’s not too sloppy so easy for them to maneuver) and then ladle into a hot skillet.

The pancakes themselves are delicious – best made into dropscone sizes we found as the mix is quite thick – and then sprinkle with something yummy (like brown sugar)…

Order yours from Ocado.

Sticky Fingered Chefs: Reindeer Cookies from Elf Magic

If you haven’t yet checked out the adorable Elf Magic elves yet (who says it’s too early for Xmas?) their site is guaranteed to make you smile. What’s not to love about those festive green guys?

Why not whip up some reindeer cookies to get yourself in the mood…?


  • Cookie dough (get the ready to roll stuff or make your own)
  • Chocolate-covered mini pretzels
  • Red and brown M&Ms

To make

  1. Form dough into 1-inch balls. To make reindeer-shaped cookies, pinch the bottom of the ball slightly to form a point, and then gently flatten with your hand. Space cookies about 2”inches apart on a greased cookie sheet and bake by package directions, watch until set or just beginning to brown.
  2. Remove from oven and immediately and gently press two mini pretzels into the tops of the cookies for the reindeer’s antler. With the M’s not showing, press two brown M&Ms in for their eyes and one red M&M for the nose.
  3. Allow to cook a couple of minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer to a wire rack or flat surface to cool.

Shop for your own Elf chum – complete with outfit – at HappyMummy.

Sticky Fingered Chefs: Mushroom Lasagne from Castle MacLellan

If you need some comfort food, give this recipe a try; courtesy of Castle Maclellan. Kids will love layering the lasagne sheets and even those who normally turn their noses up at mushrooms will like the cheesy, cosy, garlicky taste.



2 packs of Castle MacLellan Oven Roasted Mushroom Pâté with garlic and thyme

4 fresh pasta sheets – from a 250g packet

6 spring onions – discard outer leaves, wash and finely chop.

1 medium courgette – approx 250g – washed and chopped into 2-3cm pieces

300g mushrooms – finely chopped

1 small clove garlic – finely crushed

1 tablespoon tomato puree

half vegetable stock cube – mixed with 230ml of hot water

1 tablespoon plain flour

1 tablespoon fresh Italian herbs – finely chopped (basil, marjoram, oregano etc)

170ml of fresh milk

salt and freshly ground black pepper

50g Parmesan cheese – grated

1 tablespoon vegetable oil


Set oven to 170C/Gas Mark 4
In a medium bowl mix the two packs of Castle MacLellan Oven Roasted Mushroom Pâté with the fresh milk and leave aside
Put the oil into a medium sized saucepan on the heat and sauté the spring onions and garlic until softened. Add the chopped courgette and mushrooms. Add the plain flour, stirring well and cook for one minute, add the tomato puree and gradually add the vegetable stock stirring well.
Add the fresh chopped herbs and season well. Bring to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer 10/12 minutes until the sauce has reduced slightly, thickened and the vegetables are cooked.
Place lasagne sheets in a large shallow dish. Pour over enough boiling water to cover the pasta. Cover with foil and leave for 2 minutes until pliable.
Take out, drain and lay each sheet out on a clean tea towel
Lay one sheet of pasta in the base of a square lasagne dish covering the whole of the base.

Layer 2 – Vegetable mixture
Layer 3 – Pasta sheet
Layer 4 – Mushroom pâté/milk mixture

Repeat the 4 layers and top with the grated Parmesan cheese
Cook in a preheated oven for approximately 30 minutes until golden brown.

Editor’s tip: Mummy and Daddy might like this dish even better with a rich Pinot Noir, like the 2010 Chacra 55.

Sticky Fingered Chefs: Squeaky Cheese and Pepper Wraps from Paediasure Shake

For a yummy supper that can be assembled and rolled by little fingers or wrapped up in foil and eaten in the garden, try these halloumi wraps, recipe courtesy of Paediasure Shake Fussy Eaters tips. 


• 4 thick slices of halloumi cheese • ½ tbsp mixed herbs (optional) • 1 tbsp sunflower or rapeseed oil • 4 large flour tortillas • 2 peppers (red, orange or yellow) • 4 lemon wedges • A handful of shredded lettuce

Download the recipe here.

Sticky Fingered Chefs: Green Slime Eyeball Pasta with Very Lazy Garlic

We were sent this fabulous recipe from Very Lazy – the makers of chopped cooking ingredients – and we thought we’d share as it’s a great school holiday lunch for little witches and warlocks…



1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp Very Lazy Chopped Garlic

2 tbsp Very Lazy Chopped Chilli

400g tin chopped tomatoes

10 cherry tomatoes

100g (about 20) mini mozzarella balls, drained

4 basil leaves

200g fresh green tagliatelle

½ jar pesto


  1. Start by making the tomato sauce. Fry the garlic and chili for 30 seconds in the olive oil. Add the tinned tomatoes and simmer for 5-10 minutes, until thickened.
  1. Meanwhile, halve the cherry tomatoes and use a small, sharp knife to remove the seeds. Stuff each half with a mozzarella ball. Cut the smallest circles you can from the basil leaves and place one at the centre of each mozzarella ball.
  1. Boil the pasta according to packet instructions. Once done, drain then stir through the pesto and divide between 2 shallow bowls. Spoon over some tomato sauce, then arrange the stuffed tomato eyeballs on top.

Editor’s tip: make this dish for grown-ups too and serve on a rustic stoneware plate such as these moss green ones from Lizard Orchid.


Sticky fingered chefs… Sweetpea Pantry

Baking is obviously a great way to kill a bit of time in the holidays, but if your repertoire extends as far as rice crispie cups, then help is at hand by way of innovative company Sweetpea Pantry.

You can order from their range of bake-at-home mixes for biscuits, flapjacks, pancakes and pizza dough (all available from the website or from Ocado), they arrive in delightful boxes with nice clear instructions. In fact the instructions are mostly ‘mix in a bowl, maybe add a bit of honey, pop in the oven…’ so they are engaging enough for young toddlers and nothing will go drastically wrong if a bit of the mix is spilled or eaten from the bowl.

Better still your child won’t even notice how jam-packed with good stuff these products are; raw cacao, rye, flaxseed, quinoa, coconut… all unprocessed and so beneficial you’ll be fooled into thinking you are reading the menu at a posh spa.

Our SM tester writes: I honestly didn’t think my three and a half year old would be fooled by Chocolate Giggles (as it’s normally Jaffa cakes or a tantrum’ but not only did he scoff them but also said ‘Mummy these are the best things you have ever made’. I must confess, I *did* take the credit…

Sticky fingered chefs: Minted Beetroot dip with Manomasa chips

This is a lovely recipe to make together with the little ones as afternoon snack during the holidays; plus it is a stealth way to get some beetroot into their tummies.

The dip is a delightful pink colour so we’d suggest taking it outside for a picnic (so no furniture gets stained) and invite the ladies of the toybox to dine too.

Whizz it all up in a blender in less than fifteen minutes and it serves four (or one hungry mummy, two kids, a couple of dolls and a fairy).

And obviously you could make this for grown ups as well…

Beetroot Dip

You’ll need:

250 g (9 oz) pack cooked beetroot in natural juices

11/2 teaspoons harissa spice paste

1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

110g (4 oz) feta cheese, drained, crumbled

3 stems fresh mint leaves torn from stems

4 tablespoons 0% fat Greek yogurt

1/2 pomegranate, seeds removed

160 g pack Manomasa White Cheddar Tortilla Chips

  • Drain the beetroot juices into a processor or stick blender cup. Roughly chop the beetroot then blitz with the harissa, vinegar and a little salt and pepper until a coarse puree.
  • Reserve one quarter of the feta and a few tiny mint leaves for garnish, strip the remaining leaves from the stems and add to the beetroot with the yogurt. Blend again until smooth.
  • Spoon the dip into a bowl, garnish with the remaining feta, reserved mint leaves and pomegranate seeds. Serve with the tortilla chips for dunking.