It's Z's birthday on Friday.
You probably already know this if you live within 150 miles of us, because Z has told EVERYONE. His entire school. The postman. The staff in Tesco. The woman from Freecycle who came to collect a car seat. Absolutely everyone.
Anyway, he's having a birthday party at home, with a sleepover for some of the kids afterwards. He wants to watch a movie with popcorn and eat a party tea of macaroni and cheese, pizza and scotch eggs and possibly melon. Bizarre, but there you go. He also wants a chocolate cake, traffic light jelly, whoopie pies, cookies, cupcakes and "just whatever else you want to make, Mummy."
Aw, thanks, chick.
Oh, and could I please bake cookies for his class of 31, possibly M&M ones and maybe little ones saying Zach Is 8 or something?
I think we'll just go with M&M cookies, myself. I'm all for simplicity, it's my new plan.
Last year I let myself get talked into tiny cupcakes with the initial of each child in the class piped on. That was a nightmare; it took us a good hour to remember the names of everyone in the class and I was all uptight that we'd have forgotten someone who would then be all upset. (We didn't) Anyway, I don't need that kind of palaver and with a college course, work cakes to do and a large number of party cakes requested all to be done Thurs/Fri, I think 31 M&M cookies is more than enough work.
My preferred recipe is from the lovely Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage Family Cookbook. It's a super book, so do go and buy it if you haven't got it already. It explains the history and science of food as well as how to cook stuff. It's ace.
So, M&M cookies mostly like Hugh's recipe except he used chunks of chocolate -
125g melted butter
100g sugar (granulated or caster, whatever you've got to hand)
75g soft brown sugar
mix the butter and sugars together until well combined.
1 free range egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
and beat until smooth.
150g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
into the batter and then stir in
100g of M&Ms (or chocolate chunks or smarties or whatever you like)
This is a very sloppy liquid mixture. Splodge tablespoons of it on lined baking trays and bake for 8 to 10 minutes in a medium hot oven (around 190 degrees - nearly everything is cooked at that sort of temp) Do leave plenty of space between the cookies because they will spread.
Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes or so before you move them to cooling racks.
Makes about gooey 18 cookies.
By the way, as there is no creaming of butter and sugar needed and the batter is very liquid, it is a great recipe for kids to do. It's dead easy and really good.