It's a wet, wet day today. I know that it's physically possible to get out and about on a wet day and, indeed, many families have totally made rainy days their thing. They're off visiting a crowd-free zoo, taking long nature hikes in gumboots and sailing choppy harbour waters with their faces turned up to the rain.
At our place we prefer to stay indoors climbing the walls and staring mournfully at each other all day.
I don't mind the rain. A splash in a puddle after a Summer downpour is a favourite and as far as I know I don't melt when wet, but it's just so difficult when it's wet and cold. You can't have your kids racing about wet and cold. So, despite a myriad of waterproof and warm gear options on sale every September, we remain climbing the wall and staring. Oh, the endless staring.
Today we played Junior Scrabble (The Badoo is like some freaky idiot savant scrabble master - she thrashes us every time, even though she doesn't really know what Junior Scrabble is). And we made Honey Jumbles.
I am assuming they are called Honey Jumbles because after you let the kids make them - including rolling the '2cm round sausage shapes' that are really more like 0.5 - 4cm sausage shapes and 'cutting them into 5 pieces each' with a butter knife - they really are a big jumble. And that's before the pink, stretchy icing gets involved. A big, delicious, messy, pink and gooey jumble.
It was the first time I think I actually enjoyed baking with the kids. Like most mother-child activities, baking with the kids is an activity I enjoy a lot more when the kids aren't involved. There are a lot of activities like that - baking, walking to school, playing Junior Scrabble. My kids have a way of spoiling all my best parenting moments. (And yes, I am sort of joking.)
But Honey Jumbles are meant to be jumbled, right?
Here's the recipe, modified from the AWW Cooking School for kids book; it's a bit complicated, but that just extends the fun. Happy rainy daze to you.
Jumbled Honey Jumbles
Jumbly jumbled jumbles
60g butter, chopped
3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup self-raising flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 cups pure icing sugar, sifted
A little lemon juice (about 2 teaspoons)
1 drop pink food colouring
Combine butter, honey and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until butter has melted and all ingredients are smooth. Transfer mixture to a large glass bowl and leave to cool for 10 minutes.
Stir in the egg then sift in the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, mixed spice and cloves into the wet mixture. Stir to combine and bring together into a dough. Sprinkle a little flour on your clean kitchen bench; put the ball of dough onto the bench; knead the dough by pressing down on it lightly with the heels of your palms until it's all smooth. Pull into a flat ball, wrap in cling wrap and put it into the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Line 2 large baking trays with baking paper.
Take dough out of the fridge and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead lightly. Divide dough into eight portions. Roll each portion into a 2cm thick sausage shape, approx 30cm long and cut into 6 x 5cm-long pieces. Place on prepared trays, leaving room for spreading. Using a wooden spoon, flatten each piece of dough a little. Bake for about 15 minutes or until light golden. Once golden, take trays out of the oven and leave them to cool.
Make icing: In a small bowl, beat eggwhite lightly with a fork until foaming. Gradually beat in icing sugar and flour a little at a time; stir a little well into the eggwhite before adding more.Add enough lemon juice to make the icing easy to spread. Put half the mixture into another bowl. Tint pink with food colouring. Spread half of the biscuits with pink icing. Spread remaining biscuits with white icing. Set aside for 30 minutes or until set.
Do you enjoy baking with your children?