Baking is an enjoyable way to introduce mathematical concepts such as numbers, weight, shape and size to your child. It is also valuable sensory play as you can handle different textures and smells and see how they combine. Today we made Raisin Oat Cookies – really easy and very popular with all the kids who were here for tea. They’re healthy-ish too, with oats and dried fruit. I made them with my three year old, who was able to join in at each stage and was especially proud that she cracked the egg all by herself, with no bits of shell in the mix! Here’s the recipe:
Raisin Oat Cookies
Makes about 12
You will need:
kitchen scales, large mixing bowl, teaspoon, wooden spoon, cling film, sharp knife, two baking sheets, cooling rack
175g plain flour (plus a little extra for dusting)
1/2 tsp baking powder
85g porridge oats
175g caster sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
140g butter, chopped (plus extra to grease the baking sheets)
50g chopped apricots
How to make them:
1. Gather all the utensils and ingredients and see if your child knows what they’re all called.
2. Weigh/ measure out the flour, baking powder, oats, sugar and cinnamon. Feel and talk about the different textures and smells. Put them all in bowl and give them a good mix.
3. Add the butter and rub it into the mixture with your fingers until it has disappeared.
4. Stir in the raisins and apricots.
5. Crack the egg into a separate bowl (so you can fish out any shell!). Let you child have a try at this. Get them to listen to the sound of the shell tapping, to hear how it changes when it cracks. Explain they need to put their thumbs in to pull the shells apart.
6. Add the egg to the mixture and stir it all together with the wooden spoon until it comes together into a big ball. You might need to squash it with your hands too.
7. Lightly flour the work surface and then roll the dough into a fat sausage (about 6cm across). Wrap the sausage in cling film and chill it in the fridge until solid. (We popped ours in the freezer as we were hungry and couldn’t wait!)
8. Heat the oven to 180C / gas 4.
9. Unwrap the sausage and slice into thick discs. What shape are they? Lay them out onto the baking sheets leaving a little room between each cookie.
10. Bake for around 15 minutes. When they’re done leave them on the baking sheets for a couple of minutes, then transfer them to the cooling rack to cool completely.
An added bonus to this recipe is that the unbaked dough freezes really well – and you can slice and bake the cookies from frozen (bake for about 20 minutes instead of 15). So you could make double the amounts and stash some away for another day. The cookies are great in school lunch bags.
Hope you like them!