Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Super-Simple Sweet Treats (for Mothers Day)

I've just spent an hour and a half making sweets with my Brownies (I'm now a bit of a sticky mess!) and I thought the recipes I used would be nice to share with you in time for Mothers day on Sunday (don't forget!!!); after all if 7 year olds can manage them, even the most kitchen-phobic of you will have no trouble making them for your mum this weekend (or for yourself at any time of the year!)

I really love handmade sweets, I think they're so much more thoughtful that a box of chocolates you can buy, and although they're never going to be healthy, at least you know exactly what's going into them :)

First up is the simplest sweet I made- peppermint creams. There are two ingredients: a packet of ready roll icing and a few drops of peppermint extract- and it's so easy to do I refuse to even call it a recipe! All you need to do is knead the icing a little (on an icing sugared surface) to soften it, add a few drops of peppermint extract into the centre of the icing and knead it in until it's all mixed through evenly. Then you can either roll it out (about 2cm thick) and cut out shapes- hearts would be cute- with biscuit cutters, or just grab pieces and roll them into small balls.

If you (or should I say, your mother) don't like mint you can use orange or lemon extract to make orange/lemon creams, and you can also add food colouring to make them pretty colours- with St Patricks Day coming up you could make fun green ones in shamrock shapes! If you're feeling fancy you can also coat them in melted chocolate (refrigerate them first or they'll get too soft in the chocolate) :)

Next is coconut ice (my favourite!) you need:

250g icing sugar
250g condensed milk
200g dessicated coconut

All you need to do is place the three ingredients in a bowl, and mix (for aaaaages) until it's properly combined. Then press the mixture into a cling film lined (deep-sided) dish or tray and let it chill in the fridge for about an hour to set. Take the coconut ice out of the tray and cut into squares!

If you want to you can split the mixture in two so you can have pink and white coconut ice (mix pink food colouring to one half and layer the two colours in the tray) and if you prefer you could also roll the mixture into small balls.

And finally, the easiest chocolate truffles recipe I've ever seen! You will need:

200g cream cheese
350g icing sugar
500g dark chocolate

In a large bowl mix the cream cheese and icing sugar together, then melt the chocolate and stir that in (it will start getting stiff as the cold cheese mixes with the warm chocolate). Leave the mixture to set in the fridge for about an hour, then roll into balls. You can coat them in cocoa powder or icing sugar (or a mixture of the two) and leave them to set again.

This makes quite a lot of truffles- at Brownies I think we made about 80!- so you may want to halve the recipe (or just have a lot of truffles to eat!)

If you want to you can add alcohol (baileys or whiskey or flavoured liqueurs might be nice!) but you may need to add a little more icing sugar to keep the mixture at the right consistency :)

I'm sorry I don't have any pictures to show you, my Brownies took all of their sweets home! I assure you they're very yummy though (there may have been some spares left over at the end that the leaders shared out!) As always, I'd love to hear if you make any of these- and if your mums like them!


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