One of the activities on our Hajj Activity list last year was to make sheep cupcakes, unfortunately we never got down to it. So, this year when an opportunity came up to write a post for Multicultural Kids Blog I thought why not make them. I searched Pinterest and Google to see what it offered in terms of sheep cupcakes and most results came back with cute little sheep covered in mini marshmallows. Now, mini HALAL marshmallows aren’t the easiest things to find. We’ve been lucky a few times to have them at our local butcher but not this time. After putting a call out on my personal Facebook page, I realised there were many others in the same boat. So, I decided that I needed to come with some other ways to make cute little sheep cupcakes instead. I hadn’t planned to re-invent the wheel on this, but it just seemed necessary.
I made 4 different versions of sheep cupcakes, they all create the same fluffy effect. There’s cupcakes covered in grated white chocolate, cupcakes covered in shredded coconut, cupcakes covered in marshmallows (the big ones – which are much easier to find) and lastly cupcakes frosted to look like wool. Of course if you can’t find halal marshmallows at all, then just use one of (or all of) the other 3 versions and if you’re lucky enough to find minis then use those instead. The faces/heads were created with royal icing, but you could use compound chocolate or candy melts instead. Click the image below for the template or here – Sheep head Template.
I even went so far to create a video tutorial. This is my first ‘voiced’ tutorial and I have to admit, I am a little nervous. I don’t like the sound of my own voice, but I faced my fears just so I could better show you all how to make these cuties. The Eid Mubaaarak cupcake toppers are also free to download. You just need to print them out, cut them, stick onto some toothpick or lollipop sticks and place into your cupcakes.
Pre heat oven to 180c and prepare your muffin/cupcake pans with cupcake liners. In a mixer combine your eggs and sugar and beat for about 1 minute. Add in your oil and vanilla and beat for another minute. Mic together your flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside, you can sift these if you prefer. Measure out your milks and set aside. Add in half the the flour mixture then half the milk then the rest of the flour and follow with the last bit of milk. Mix until just combined.
Fill cupcake liners until ⅔ full and place in the oven. Bake for 13-15 minutes. The tops will be slightly golden and the cupcakes will spring back if touched. Alternatively a clean skewer through a cupcake can be used to check if they’re baked. Set aside your cupcakes to cool.
In the bowl of a mixer, place your butter and beat on a medium to high speed for as long as you possibly can. Anywhere from 5-10 is a good time. This will ensure a fluffy and creamer coloured buttercream (instead of a more yellowy one). Reduce the mixer to a very low speed and add in your sifted icing sugar. Beat until combined. Add in you milk and beat until combined.
Make some royal icing in black and white (you could also use compound chocolate). Pipe out the faces over the template and leave aside to set for an hour. Pipe the facial features on top and leave aside to set for 24 hours. Peel off and keep aside ready for use.
Fill a piping bag with your frosting. Pipe a small dome onto the cupcake. Roll into coconut or grated white chocolate. Then pipe on a tiny dot of frosting and attach a face.
If making with marshmallows, cut them in half and place the marshmallows around the cupcakes. Leave a blank spot to attach the face. Alternatively you could just frost the cupcakes in a dome shape and attache the face. Or pipe around the cupcakes, starting at the edges dragging in and continuing the process for a few layers which creates a cloud like effect. Then attach a face.
Have you ever had Khowsuey? Pronounced cow-seh, it’s a dish that originates in Burma. I had never heard of the dish until moving to Australia, funnily enough from fellow South Africans. For some reason it never appealed to me. A few years ago my sister in law moved back to Australia, she was pregnant – close to the end and I was at the beginning. I was sick, so, so sick. She made Khwosuey and I didn’t want to be anywhere near that table, to be fair, all I could stomach at the time was ice tea and dry cereal. She made it again much later on, this time I was feeling better, and it was delicious. Soft spaghetti, flavoursome meat, silky smooth soup, crispy onions, crunchy potato chips, spicy chopped chilli and coriander. The textures and flavours work so well together, what’s not to love?
Find Aasiya’s recipe below. Enjoy!
Khow suey – a signature Burmese dish
This recipe was shared with me by a good friend. After trialling the dish a few times, I have made a few changes and modifications to suit the taste of my family. The number of components to this dish is enough to scare anyone away, however they are fairly simple to make and they complement each other incredibly! All the different tastes and textures together feel like a party in your mouth! Next time you have family or friends over try surprising them with this treat… It’s sure to be a hit!
1 tsp chilly powder (adjust for desired level of spice)
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
¼ tsp turmeric powder
¼ tsp garam masala (this can be made by crushing black pepper, clove, elaichi and aniseed)
Spiced potatoes (optional)
½ tsp crushed garlic
½ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp cumin powder
Salt to taste
1 tin coconut milk
1 cup whole milk
1 cup water
1 tblsp desiccated coconut
2 tblsp chick pea flour
2 tblsp oil
½ tsp crushed garlic
Pinch of black pepper
¼ tsp turmeric powder
¼ tsp salt
2 onions Oil
Finely chopped fresh coriander
Red chilli flakes/ sliced fresh green chillies
Original/ plain/ lightly salted potato chips
Bring spaghetti to boil with salt , once cooked strain and mix through oil and keep aside
– Finely chop onion and place it in a pot with oil, braise till slightly brown.
– Add diced beef or chicken, crushed garlic and crushed ginger and stir
– Add all the dry spices and braise for a few minutes on low (add water if mixture is too dry)
– Add finely chopped tomatoes and braise till tomatoes are soft
– Add water and cook on low, stir occasionally and add more water if needed.
– Cook until meat is tender and gravy is reduced to a thick consistency just enough to coat the pieces of meat. (Keep in mind this is not a curry)
– Peel and cut potatoes into small cubes
– Boil until potatoes are cooked through but still firm and strain
– In a pan add oil, cooked potatoes, tumeric powder, cumin powder, crushed garlic , salt and juice of half a fresh lemon or lime
– Stir and keep aside
– Finely chop and braise onion in oil till golden brown
– Add crushed garlic, black pepper, tumeric powder and salt. Stir and lower heat
– Blend together milk, coconut and chick pea flour, once blended add coconut milk and whisk together
– Increase the temperature of the pot to high and add milk mixture to the braised onions
– Add water and bring to boil, stir and lower for a few minutes until it reaches a soup-like consistency. (Add more water if too thick or boil it a bit longer if too weak, keep in mind as it stands it will thicken slightly).
-Finely slice onions
-Deep fry till brown and crispy
In a bowl add noodles and top with beef or chicken gravy and spiced potatoes, spoon coconut soup over and around the noodles. Garnish with chilli flakes/sliced chillies, crushed potato chips, fresh coriander and fried onions. Finally finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon and enjoy!:)
Khow suey for kids
Add pieces of chicken and steamed vegetables to the spaghetti and top with coconut soup for a deliciously wholesome dinner for kids :)
My first guest post is by my blogger friend Henna of My Ninja Naan. Somehow, somewhere in this big blogosphere, our paths collided and we’ve been good friends ever since. While we’ve never met or have spoken face to face (type to type is how we roll, lol) we keep in touch often. Henna is a great friend, her recipes are even greater, if you haven’t already checked out her blog you are missing out. I could go for some of this chocolate ice cream right now.
Today Henna has made M&M Cookies to share. How good do they look? I wish she lived close by.
Salaam and Hello All!
My name is Henna and I blog about my love for all things culinary over at My Ninja Naan. I met Faaiza some time back, and since then we have gotten to know each other on a very personal level. Alhumdullilah, praise be to God, for the connections and relationships that we make with others in all corners of the world through blogging, something that many of us consider a hobby.
The recipe that I am sharing with you today is something that the little ones in your life would enjoy both creating and eating- m&m Cookies! My son, who is now 3 ½, loves to help out in the kitchen whenever possible. Although it can get messy, I love pulling up a stool to our counters and letting him get involved. The excitement that comes from creating, and then waiting for the end results, are so worth any amount of mess
Go ahead and give these a shot, I’m sure you and your children will not be disappointed
And lastly, thank you Faaiza for this opportunity! I pray that you and your family have a wonderful trip to India, and that you return safe and sound. Can’t wait to read all about your adventures!
Yield: 1 to 1 ½ Dozen Cookies
· ½ cup unsalted butter
· ½ cup brown sugar
· ¼ cup sugar
· 1 egg
· ¾ teaspoon vanilla
· 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
· ½ teaspoon baking soda
· ½ teaspoon salt
· 1 cup + more for topping, candy-coated chocolate pieces
In a large bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, sugar, egg, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add all-purpose flour, baking soda, and salt and mix on medium-low speed until thoroughly combined.
Fold in candies, and drop tablespoons of dough, spaced at least 3 inches apart, on an ungreased baking sheet. Gently push a few candies onto the tops of each ball of dough. Refrigerate baking sheets for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Bake cookies for 9 to 11 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. Cool completely on trays.
Today we made teddy bear Hujjaj. It was an activity on our Hajj /Eid table. Chocolate shortbread, white chocolate Ihram! Yum, yum, yum! And yes, there’s a recipe. It’s such a fun activity to do with kids.
Scroll down all the way to the end to see what our teddy bear Hujjaj got up to!
Pre heat oven to 170c. Line a cookie sheet with baking paper. In a bowl of a mixer, throw in all your ingredients except the white chocolate and mix on a medium speed until it forms a dough. Flip onto a floured surface and roll to about 7mm thick. Use a teddy bear (or gingerbread men) cutter to cut out your hujjaj. The dough will be quite soft, slide a flat knife or spatula under the cookie and carefully place onto your cookie sheet. When all your dough is finished and cookies cut, use a toothpick to mark the eyes and nose. Place the sheet in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes or until edges are crisp (the inside will firm up as it cools). Once cooled, melt white chocolate in the microwave. Fill into ziplock bags and decorate away.
We did the eyes and nose while the cookies were still hot from the oven, I had forgotten to do them prior to baking. Doing it before will give you a cleaner finish. Or you could use white chocolate dots to do the eyes and nose like we did for some instead.
I absolutely couldn’t resist so I made this video! Isn’t it the cutest teddy bear Hajj video you’ve ever seen? (It has to be, right? How many of those are even out there?)
The cookie monster and I made Ramadan cookies, it was one of the activities in our advent calendar. Mini M&M cookies count as Ramadan cookies, don’t they? They’re so cute and quite festive with all the bright colours, screams Ramadan don’t you think? If we had time it would have been nice to take a star and crescent cookie cutter to them, maybe next time.
Sharing is caring right? That’s how the saying goes. Whoever thought that must never have eaten mini M&M cookies. You just can’t put sharing and mini M&M cookies in the same sentence, but…
We decided to share his cookies with his little friends. I made a cute printable (you all know how much I love making printables), we packed them up and went for a cookie drive. The cookie monster was so excited and wanted to hand the cookies to each friend himself, a lot of them weren’t home unfortunately, I had to trust that they would be safe at doors and mailboxes (and they were).
When I suggested the idea of sharing with his friends he jumped on it, while it wasn’t necessary to share his cookies I think it was an important lesson for him. Ramadan is about sharing, and even though sharing his cookies meant very little left for him he was happy to do it, he has a kind heart, Alhumdulillah. Sharing his toys however, that’s another story 😉
In your mixer, cream your butter and sugars until thick and smooth. Add in your eggs and vanilla essence and beat until combined. Add in your flour, baking powder and Bicarb. And mix until combined. Throw in the M&Ms and mix by hand. Roll into balls using 1 tsp of cookie dough. Lay on a tray and store in the freezer for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 170c. Freeze for 15 minutes. Bake for 10 minutes, or until crisp and golden on the edges and slightly soft in the middle. Bake for an extra few minutes if you prefer a firmer cookie.
Potstickers are an Asian dumpling that is lightly fried before being steamed in the same pan. Mr Munchies loves Asian food, me not so much. I’m constantly trying to come up with authenticish (totally a word right?) dishes, which have that Asian flavour, are simple to make and suited to my palette as well. Potstickers are a favourite in our house. Even the cookie monster loves ‘stick pots’.
You can use the recipe as a standard dumpling mixture to make steamed dumplings, add them into Asian soups or follow the instructions below to make potstickers. Crunchy bottoms with a juicy smooth filling.
3 tblsp soy sauce (I used kacup manis, but normal soy is fine too)
1 green chilli (optional)
1 tsp crushed garlic
3/4 tsp crushed ginger
2 packs wonton wrappers*
a little water for sticking the wonton wrappers
*I use the round wrappers which are called Gow Gee, there’s usually 30 wrappers in each bag
2 tblsp oil
3/4 cup water
Finely chop your coriander, be sure to use the stems, it’s packed full of flavour. Finely slice your spring onion. Combine this and all other ingredients with the chicken mince and mix thoroughly.
Set your wonton wrappers out on a clean surface. Place a flat level teaspoon of the chicken mince mixture into each wonton wrapper. Dip your finger into the water and run it around the edge of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper in half, pushing out any air and sticking down the edges. You can crimp the edges, but it’ not necessary.
You could just let them be at this point, poach or steam them and they make delicious Asian dumplings. Or an addition into an Asian soup.
To enjoy them as potstickers place a large pan on the stove and set to a medium to high heat. Add in your oil and wait for it to get hot. Place you dumplings filling side down into the pan. You may need to press on them a little to flatten the bottom so they stay standing in place. Fry the potstickers until they start to get golden and crispy. Add in your water, cover with a lid and let simmer for 5 minutes, remove the lid and let the water cook out. Once the water is cooked out serve these hot.
To make a simple sauce, add in a few tablepoons of chopped coriander with a finely chopped green chilli to 3 tablespoons of soy sauce.
Alternatively you could use 500g breast fillets and process it up with all the filing ingredients.