It was my birthday at the weekend and the rule at my work is that the person who’s birthday it is has to bring in cakes…for the whole company. That’s a few hundred people.
Being one for an easy life, I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t going to have to be in the kitchen all night so I decided to go back to basics and make some simple party treats. These are things that my Mum used to make for our parties and are perfect bite size pieces that are quick and easy to make in bulk, don’t involve too many ingredients and don’t cost too much money. Ideal for baking en masse.
These are a classic and were an absolute triumph. No one had ever seen them before which shocked me because for me they were the ultimate item found in party bags. I haven’t put measurements as you can make as many as you want. If you have leftover chocolate, you can use it for the traffic light fingers or crispy cakes.
- Dip the larger end of the marshmallow in the chocolate and place on a piece of greaseproof paper face down (i.e. the chocolate end touching the greaseproof paper) to harden.
- Dot a little spot of melted chocolate on top of each marshmallow and stick a smartie on top.
TRAFFIC LIGHT FINGERS
We always knew these as traffic lights but if you only used the red, orange and green smarties, you would need a lot of packets of smarties. Instead choose any three colours of smartie.
- Dot a small amount of melted chocolate in a strip along the top of the chocolate finger. This acts as the glue to make the smarties stick. Then simply stick three smarties on top and leave the chocolate to harden and cement the smarties in place.
As though it could get any simpler.
BEJEWELLED CRISPY CAKES
I had leftover chocolate so simply added some cornflakes to it, mixed and then spooned into paper cases. Because I love a bit of presentation, I matched the sprinkles on top of the crispy cakes with the paper cases so used pink, green and blue sugar crystals to match the floral pattern in the cases. You don’t need to do this but I think it looks quite nice and means that everything is co-ordinated.
MINI VANILLA BUTTER CREAM CUPCAKES
I decided to make mini cupcakes simply for ease. This way I could use one mixture and make 24 cupcakes. It is also nicer for people to just take a small bite (that’s what I was telling myself anyway).
275g butter, softened
2 free range eggs, beaten
125g self raising sugar
2 tablespoons milk
200g icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 – 2 tablespoons water
For the cupcakes:
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
- Cream together 125g butter and the sugar until light and creamy.
- Add a spoonful of beaten egg along with a spoonful of flour and mix. Repeat until all of the egg has been added. Then fold in the remaining flour. Add the milk to loosen the mixture and mix well.
- Line a mini muffin tin with cases and fill each of the cases about 3/4 full.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until golden and a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool before icing.
For the icing:
- Cream together the remaining butter (150g) and icing sugar along with the vanilla essence. Next add the water to get to the desired consistency. You want to icing to be creamy but not too thick so the water will help loosen the icing a little.
- Place the butter cream icing in a piping bag and pipe dots of icing on to each cupcake. The beauty with mini cupcakes is that you don’t need to worry about doing neat piping, just a simple dollop.
- Top with some sprinkles. I chose the same sugar crystals as the crispy cakes to make everything match but choose as you wish.
Simple treats which everyone will love.