We’ve been busy little bunnies in the baking and crafting departments this week. There have been fewer groups due to the holidays, so I’ve been thinking of ways to keep Andrew amused. I can’t really go wrong with baking, especially biscuits as he loves cutting them out and of course tasting them 🙂 Granny was with us yesterday when we baked these bunny biscuits, and we made them with wheat-free flours so that Grandma can enjoy them too.
There seem to be quite a few Easter cakes in the shops now that are basically slightly different versions of brands that are available all year, usually involving lemon or yellow colouring in some way, for example Mr Kipling lemon tarts or Cadbury’s lemon mini rolls or Jaffa Cakes lemon cake bars. But I rarely see Simnel cakes around these days – a light fruit cake with spices such as cinnamon and ginger and a layer of marzipan in the middle and on top. I love marzipan and I like fruit cakes, so I enjoy Simnel cake. Traditionally it has 11 balls of marzipan on the top, which are said to represent the 11 disciples of Jesus minus Judas who betrayed him.
We didn’t have the time or attention span (in Andrew’s case) to make fruit cake, so we made biscuits based on the idea of Simnel cake. The spices are in the biscuit dough and the fruit is sandwiched between the biscuit and a layer of marzipan on top. We used a bunny shape cutter, although I was convinced I had seen an egg-shaped cutter in Andrew’s bumper pot of cutters when we were doing play-dough the other day, but I couldn’t find it when we came to bake the biscuits, so we had to switch from the egg-shaped biscuits that I had intended to make originally.
If you fancy having a go, here’s the recipe, which makes about 20….
- 60g sugar
- 120g margarine
- 180g flour (I used 60g cornflour and 120g gluten-free flour)
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp groung nutmeg
- about 30g raisins
- 1/2 pack ready to roll marzipan
- Pre-heat the oven to 150ºC (fan) and prepare two baking trays with greaseproof paper.
- Cream the margarine and sugar until smooth and fluffy.
- Add the flour and spices and mix with a spoon until a dough starts to form; then use your hands to bring it together as it gets too stiff for the spoon.
- Roll out the dough to about 1/2cm thick on the greaseproof paper that you put on the baking trays, and cut out the biscuit shapes. That way, when you’ve cut out the shapes, they are already on the place where they will be baked, and you avoid breaking them in transferring to the paper once cut out.
- Once you’ve cut out all the dough, press a few raisins onto the top of each bunny.
- Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes until lightly golden.
- Remove and allow to cool.
- Roll out the marzipan on a lightly floured board to about 1/2cm thick.
- Cut out the same number of shapes as the biscuits, and place on top of the biscuits, sandwiching the raisins between the biscuit and marzipan layer.
- Eat as fresh as possible!