London Feature: Spelt & Apple Star Biscuits (Baby-Friendly) by theLittleLoaf
Nicknamed aged three by a great aunt who noticed that my appetite for bread was bigger than I was, I’ve always loved baking. When our littlest loaf, Nino, was born back in February, I knew that spending time in the kitchen together was going to be one of our favourite past times.
For the first few months of Nino’s life, he’d happily snooze in the sling as I cooked. As he got older I’d explain what I was doing as he sat and played on the kitchen floor, and even though he’s still a little too young to actively help me out (at nine months his skillset with kitchen utensils is more focused around chewing and banging) he wolfs down the food I make him which, as a food-loving mum, is an absolute joy.
Although I love baking, we try to eat pretty healthily as a family and I’ve made the decision not to give Nino any processed sugar until he’s one (when I’m planning to pull out all the stops for his first birthday cake). These little star biscuits are sweetened only with a little apple juice and make the perfect finger food for babies as they’re easy to grip and dissolve with a few chews.
This recipe barely adapted from The River Cottage Baby and Toddler Cookbook which I’d highly recommend for new mums – it covers everything from purees to baby led weaning and places emphasis on fresh, whole ingredients, a rainbow of fruit and veg and food that the whole family can share. If your baby likes these biscuits, experiment with different juices, citrus zest and spice – in the run up to Christmas why not try orange juice, orange zest and cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger?
Kate’s first cookbook, HOMEMADE MEMORIES: CHILDHOOD TREATS WITH A TWIST, was published on 5th June 2015.
- 200 Grams - Wholemeal Spelt Flour
- 1/2 Teaspoon - Baking Powder
- 5 Tablespoons - Chilled Unsalted Butter, Cubed (75 grams)
- 1/3 Cup - Cloudy Apple Juice (75 ml)
- Pinch Ground Cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (180 degrees C). Line two baking trays with parchment paper
- In a large bowl, sift together the flours and baking powder. Rub in the butter cubes with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs
- Add the apple juice and bring together to form a soft dough. Knead a couple of times then roll out to a 1/8 inch thickness (2 – 3mm) on a lightly floured work surface
- Cut out star shapes – these are easy for babies to hold, or try circles or wide fingers – and place on the prepared trays. Lightly dust each biscuit with a sprinkle of cinnamon then bake for 15 minutes or until lightly golden
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the trays for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely
- Biscuits will keep in an airtight container for 2 – 3 days, or the freezer for up to one month
Kate Doran was named one of the UK's top food bloggers by the SUNDAY TIMES magazine. Her blog - www.thelittleloaf.com - was named one of the UK's best baking blogs by Channel 4 and her work been featured in THE GUARDIAN, THE SUNDAY TIMES, STYLIST, RED MAGAZINE, MARIE CLAIRE, PSYCHOLOGIES, EVENING STANDARD, THE HUFFINGTON POST, WAITROSE MAGAZINE and a number of baking publications. Kate also develops recipes freelance for Great British Chefs and Why Nut Ltd. She lives in south-west London with her husband Luke and ten month old son Nino. Kate’s first cookbook, HOMEMADE MEMORIES: CHILDHOOD TREATS WITH A TWIST, was published on 5th June 2015.