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.
I’ve had this idea for a while now. In fact I had planned to make this last year Ramadan, I just didn’t have the time last year.
This is by no means a new idea (although at the time I thought it was) Lail from With a Spin has a little Gingerbread Masjid and I recently saw the cutest DIY kits by Secubit Bakery (USA) on Facebook. Seeing those kits was part of my motivation for finally getting this Masjid made, the other part was being asked by my friend Razeena over at Read Little Muslims.
As you’ve probably noticed my version is made with chocolate cookies. Why chocolate cookie? Well, I’m not really a fan of gingerbread, plus gingerbread is synonymous with christmas so I thought it would be ideal to try something a little different and it’s chocolate, who doesn’t like chocolate?
I didn’t want to reinvent the wheel when it came to the recipes for these, and it is tricky enough to get a cookie recipe that doesn’t flatten or spread so I’ve adapted recipes from other sources and I used pre mix Royal Icing from Queen to make the whole job a little easier. You could try chocolate for the sticking and decoration but I avoided that because 1. I didn’t have any, and 2. I wanted something that would set hard without me having to worry too much. However, I might try chocolate next time.
I kept the template simple, a dome, minarats and square sides. I left windows out of the masjid so it would be less hassle, but I’ve included it as an option in the templates so you can cut them out if you wish. I used the window template to add the windows in with icing afterward. I also included a people template, but you could use a gingerbread cutter instead. I haven’t included the people in our masjid as we haven’t had a chance to decorate them, I’m waiting to do them with my son, I know he’ll enjoy it. A BIG BIG thank you to Penny Paperoni for transforming my drawings into this awesome template for all of you. Click the image below to download and print your template.
glasses or thin bottles to hold everything in place
Chocolate Sugar Cookie
In a mixer, cream butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla essence until combined. Sift 3 cups flour and cocoa powder and add to the mixture. Mix until dough starts to form, if dough isn’t forming add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time until dough forms.
Place dough into a piece of cling wrap and place in the fridge for 1 hour.
Cutting the Cookies
While the dough is chilling print and cutout your templates. Don’t forget to cut out the door of the masjid. Cut baking paper pieces to fit your cookie trays. I used 2 cookie sheets (and reused 1 later on for the masjid people).
After dough has chilled remove from fridge and split into 2 lots, place 1 lot back into the fridge.
Roll the dough onto the cut piece of baking paper, I found this the easiest way to roll the dough, use flour if necessary. Roll the dough to ½cm thick. Place the templates (1 masjid/minaret piece with one square side fits well together on one sheet) onto the dough and cut it out as close to the edge with a sharp thin knife. Remove the excess dough by gently peeling it off the baking paper, being careful around the edges of the masjid cut outs. Place the excess dough in the fridge as well.
Carefully lift the baking paper and place it onto the tray then place in the fridge to chill for another hour.
Do the same with the other lot of dough, cutting out another square and another masjid/minaret side, place again in the fridge for an hour.
If you have another tray roll out the excess dough on another sheet of baking paper and use the people template to cut out as many people as you like, you could also use a gingerbread cookie cutter.
Pre heat oven to 175c after the cutouts have chilled for 45 minutes. Once heated, place the trays into the oven. The masjid and squares will take 13-17 minutes, keep an eye on it from the 10 minute mark. Your cookie will be done when the middle seems firm and is not wet looking. The people shapes will take from 5 – 8 minutes. I baked the people separately so they didn’t burn.
Cool completely before decorating.
Brown Royal Icing
Measure out your half cup of royal icing mixture and place it into a bowl, add in water a few drops at a time. I used a syringe. It’s easy to get the mixture too wet, so be sure not to add too much.
You want your icing to be thick, a good guide is the 20 second rule. Run a spoon through the mix and count the time it takes for the streak to settle back, it should take at least 20 seconds.
Tint your icing brown to match the cookies and fill into a piping/ziplock bag.
Make another batch of royal icing as you did for the brown icing. This time colour it in various colours of your choice. Use candies, lollies, sprinkles and the like to decorate the sides of the masjid.
Decorate each side of your masjid with the icing and decorations and let it set for a few hours. Get a large flat plate, board or cake platter. To attach the masjid front to the plate, pipe a thick line of brown icing onto the flat surface, remembering to leave a gap for the doorway (use the masjid template cut outs to guide your lines). Hold the masjid front piece onto the icing for 15-30 seconds and place a glass or something firm at the front and back of the piece.
Do the sides next, by piping icing onto the inner side edge of the masjid front and pipe a 12cm line on the the plate. Hold the side in place for 15-30 seconds and place something on both sides of the piece to hold it in place. Repeat with the other side.
Finally the masjid back, pipe a line between the 2 sides and along the inner edge of the piece, hold the back piece in place for 30 seconds and place something firm on either side to hold it in place. Pipe more brown icing into any gaps. Use glass cups to keep everything in place while setting. Set for a few hours.
Once set, remove cups and clean out any access icing by gently cutting away with a sharp knife.
Put on display or serve with tea!
Storage The assembled cookie will last 1-2 weeks in cool weather, be sure to keep it covered with cling film to avoid dust, dirt and pests getting into it. If baking to assemble at a later date, store your pieces in an air tight container in the freezer. When ready to decorate and assemble, remove all your pieces and let them thaw separately, then decorate, set and assemble. If baking and decorating to assemble at a later date. Decorate your pieces and let them set. Wrap each piece in cling film and freeze. Before thawing, remove each piece from the cling film and allow to thaw separately. Assemble and enjoy!
I was recently working on a post for Read Little Muslims about DIY bookmarks. These are bookmarks you can easily make at home for yourself or with your kids with fairly standard craft supplies. Most of them were super easy and I made them in just a few minutes.
You’ll be able to read that post soon, but for now I wanted to share a tutorial to one of the bookmarks I shared in that post, a DIY Magnetic Bookmark.
A while ago I noticed Mr Munchies used a magnetic bookmark in his English translation Quran. The one he has is from Kikki.K. I thought these were such a brilliant, yet simple idea and had planned to make one of my own. I have made versions of it over the years, some with card, some laminated, some with craft paper. They are simple and you can have fun with the way you make and decorate them. Like the name suggests the bookmark is magnetic, it has 2 sides, each side with a small piece of magnetic tape/paper that holds your page between the 2 sides.
The thing I love about it is that if you’re making your own, you can make the 2 sides different, for instance one side can be plain and the other have some writing on it. This way you can easily tell which side of the book you’re on. I one like this a while back which I printed and laminated, it’s the one I currently use for my Quran. This bookmark had my name on one side and Bismillah printed on the other, I’ve found this as such a blessing in being able to determine which side of the page I continue reading from.
To make your own, simply watch the tutorial below. You don’t really need much instruction for these but the video can help you along the way.
I was approached recently to do a cake pop demo for the local mosque’s Family Fun Day fundraiser. I accepted and a few days later got hit with the worst flu I’ve ever had. Alhumdulillah I’m much better. I thought it would be a nice idea to create a tutorial for the blog as well as an extra visual reference for anyone who needs one after the demonstration.
2. Roll into even sized balls (approx. 1 inch diameter).
3. Place on a baking paper lined surface or a Styrofoam block,
4. Place the cake balls into the fridge/freezer until chocolate is set.
5. Dip your sticks into the melted chocolate about 2cm up.
6. Press the chocolate coated sticks into the cake pop just over half way in.
7. Place the cake pops in the fridge/freezer until chocolate is hard.
8. Ensure chocolate is still liquid and remove the cake pops.
9. Dip each cake pop into the chocolate ensuring all the cake pop is covered.
10. Gently tap off the excess dripping chocolate.
11. Decorate the cake pops as you wish.
How to make cake pop mixture
Standard cake pop
Bake a cake. You can use a box mix or your favourite easy recipe.
Once cooled crumble the cake and add frosting.
You’ll need approximately 1/3 cup of frosting per 3 cup of crumbed cake.
Remember this could vary greatly depending on the type of cake and it’s moistness. Add a little frosting at a time until you get a moist mouldable mixture that will hold shape.
Oreo cake pop truffle recipe
250g softened cream cheese
Crush your oreos until they’re fine crumbs. Add in your cream cheese and mix extremely well. Roll into balls.
Cake pop baking mould
Use your favourite moist cake/cupcake recipe. Fill the mixture into the bottom rounds of the pan. Keep an eye on them baking, these will bake a lot quicker than normal cupcakes.
-coloured sugar (simply mix food colouring with sugar and let dry)
-extra chocolate (or candy melts)
-food colouring pens
Are you familiar with the petal decorating technique? I’m sure most of you have seen it (if not tried it). Well, I decided to shake things up a little. The flow of the petal technique is so pretty, but I get a bit OCD about things and don’t like the fact that on a round cake you have to end the flow with a column of dots. This is a little hard to explain, but if you know the petal technique, you’ll know what I’m talking about. So, I decided to go vertical instead.
Watch my tutorial if you’d like to see this technique in action.
Of course you can be neater about it and line the petals up vertically, but I wanted a slightly rustic look. I’m really loving how it turned out, love the look and the bright yellow.
My son is that age where he can put on most of his shoes by himself. The problem is he gets mixed up with right and left, as most kids do, I suppose.
I saw a picture of shoe stickers like this online once and thought it was brilliant. If your kids need a hand with left and right too, give this a go.
Read the instructions below or check out my quick YouTube tutorial.
a piece of felt
good quality craft glue (non-toxic)
Cut small pieces of felt into shapes (go for shapes that don’t have pointy edges, see a list of ideas below) . Cut each shape in half. Stick the right side of the shape into the inner left of the right shoe, and the left sticker into the inner right of the left shoe. When you put the shoes together, they stickers should line up.
Here’s more shape ideas (for boys and girls):
circles (soccer, tennis, basket, beach ball)
squares or rectangles
cars or other vehicles
bolts or other tools
The next time your child wants to put their shoes on, they can easily line them up. It may not solve the problem completely, but it’s definitely a start.
Hope this helps some kids out their still finding their feet (excuse the pun). As well as mummies or daddies that have the tiresome job of having to swap their kids shoes around all the time.