It has been a strange month. Life has changed significantly, but as we approach Easter I am remined of new opportunity and being grateful for everything that we have. I am trying to tell myself that this extra time with the children and their dad at home is a blessing, but I am constantly reminded of my shortcomings and lack of patience as I try and help them with their school work and have them ‘helping’ me with the chores, making them take three times as long. I find safety in familiar ground with them and for me that is cooking with them. We have cooked in the happiest and hardest times of my time as a mum and for me this period is no different. In all the time we have spent in the kitchen we have had some wonderful successes as well as monumental failures. Examples the latter would be a whole bottle of coconut essence working its way into a batch of cupcakes or neglecting to add sugar to another batch… But I have to say I don’t remember how either of those bakes turned out, what I remember is the delight in my kids’ voices when they have been able to do something they hadn’t managed before, or their happy chocolate-stained faces after licking the bowl.
The kids and I frequently make soup in the slow cooker and have also used it to make a delicious steamed lemon sponge, but after brainstorming Easter cooking activities with my cook books all around me, I realised that the base of my slow cooker is shaped like an Easter Egg. When I pointed this out to the kids, they were excited. They could tell their mum was about to suggest an activity and indeed I was; a Slow Cooker Easter Egg Cookie.
For the cookie:
- 350g plain flour
- 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1tsp baking powder
- 200g softened butter or margarine
- 250g caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- 200g chocolate chips/dried fruit
- 50g icing sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- Decorations of choice
- Generously grease the inside of the slow cooker with butter or cooking spray.
- Cut two long, thick strips of baking parchment and put in the slow cooker in the shape of a cross. You need to ensure that the parchment is long enough to reach over the edges of the slow cooker. If using cooking spray, spray again.
- Cream together the butter and sugar until pale using an electric hand mixer.
- Add the egg and vanilla and combine.
- Gradually sift in the flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder and mix to form a stiff dough.
- Once all the flour has been incorporated, add the chocolate chips and dried fruit and mix.
- Dollop into the slow cooker and spread all around with the back of a spoon.
- Cover and cook on high for 1hr and 45 minutes. Remove the slow cooker bowl using oven gloves and place on a heat proof surface to cool for at least half an hour.
- Gently remove from the slow cooker either by using the baking parchment or by turning out onto a cooling rack. You may want to loosen the edges with a table knife before removing.
- Once fully cooled, make up the icing by mixing the water and icing sugar. Add more icing sugar for a thicker consistency and then use to stick on decorations.