Issue 4 of the Little Cooks Dora the Explorer magazines brings us the Amazing Apple Cake. Unfortunately, by the time I got to actually making the cake, the black spot on my apple had turned into a gaping big hole inside. I didn’t stick around to find that worm. Instead, I found a half a cup of frozen berries in the freezer, and topped them up to a full cup with boiling water. The result was a delicious, moist berry cake that didn’t last the day – we gobbled it up in one sitting!Read more: Little Cooks – Amazing Apple (Or Berry) Cake
I really like the Little Cooks recipes, because they’re generally pretty simple, and not too unhealthy either. I was quite excited by the Strawberry Sundae recipe as I thought it would be nice and healthy and fun to make. Unfortunately it really wasn’t and I can’t say we’ll be in a hurry to make it quite like this again. It was so, so sweet, even my sweet tooth and I couldn’t finish it.Read more: Little Cooks – Fruit Smoothie Recipe
We’ve taken a bit of a break from baking, since our labour cake and having a baby and all that, but we’re back, and we’ve got plenty of catching up to do as our Dora The Explorer Little Cooks Collection mags are up to issue 7 already! None the less, here’s the recipe as we did it for issue 2’s very tasty Butterfly Biscuits.
I love savoury biscuits, and I love cheese so this recipe really appeals to me – but it does use a lot of cheese.
Yesterday I shared a Banana muffin recipe from the Little Cooks Collection and today I have the opportunity to share more about it with my readers, and offer one of you the opportunity to win a subscription of your own!
The Little Cooks Collection is based on Dora the Explorer. While Ameli has never seen an episode of the TV Show, she has thoroughly enjoyed the magazine.
You can see for yourself what each magazine holds, but I’ll walk you through it anyway.
Each copy comes with a freebie, and in the end you’ll have this whole collection of usable kitchen goodies – I say usable as they’re not just toys, they can actually be used in real cooking.
The mag starts with fun activities around what you’re cooking with, so in the first issue you bake Banana muffins and have a page of ‘circle the banana’, colour this and get your goodies ready activities.
Next up you have the recipe pages. Nicely illustrated, and easy to follow, the recipe – at least in the first issue – is really simple and quick to do, with minimal clean-up. (Often children’s recipes seem to require masses of bowls and mixing and preparation – this didn’t at all!)
While your muffins are baking in the oven, there are plenty activity pages for you and your child to do together. There are fun facts, more snack ideas – banana ice cream, simple smoothie, banana breakfast and a banana lolly- drawing activities, cutting and sticking activities and once you’ve had enough of all that, you can eat your muffins and read the story together.
Overall there’s a good few hours of activity in each book and you can add to and take away from it as you wish.
I didn’t really expect much from the goodies that come along with the magazine, but have been really impressed. The plate is dishwasher safe (I think, since it survived the dishwasher!) and the silicone cups are totally fabulous. They fit in our muffin pans, although that’s not essential – the hold themselves up, as compared to the paper cups that tend to flop about a bit. Once out the oven they cool pretty quickly, and they they peel off the muffins without taking chunks of muffin with it. The result is a beautifully smooth finish on your banana muffins, without fishing bits of paper out your mouth either! The silicone cases have really impressed me so much, I’m on the lookout for these in the shops so we can buy another set (the first book only costs 99p).
For subscription information, check out the website. (Issue 1 is 99p, Issue 2 is £2.99 and thereafter they’re £4.99 every two weeks.) You can pick these up at your local supermarkets and so on, but if you subscribe you also get a whole bunch of free goodies.
I absolutely love baking and cooking with Ameli. It’s something we do regularly enough, and it’s fun for both of us, most of the time. While I don’t tend to use ‘dumbed down’ recipes specifically on her behalf, it is sometimes easier if I’m just looking for an afternoon activity for us to use a child friendly recipe that has few ingredients and little effort.
We came across the Little Cooks Collection, featuring Dora the Explorer and decided we’d try out the recipes. You subscribe and receive two magazines a month, complete with recipes, activities, and a child’s kitchen set to collect.
The first recipe was for Banana Muffins, so here they are with our take on it:
This recipe is supposed to be for four muffins. Four seemed a low number to turn the oven on for, so we immediately doubled it and somehow ended up with 11 muffins – no one was complaining!
- 2 bananas
- 80g soft brown sugar (although we used white as that’s what we had)
- 4tbsp rapeseed oil (that’s 60ml)
- 2 small eggs or 1 large one
- 130 ml (1/2 cup) milk
- 200g self-raising flour
(I think next time I’ll add a pinch of salt too, to deepen the banana flavour.)
- Peel and mash the banana in a bowl
- Mix in the sugar and oil
- Add the egg
- Pour the milk and stir together
- Add the flour and stir
- Spoon the mixture into your Dora muffin cases (we only had four so used paper for the rest – but the silicone muffin cases are excellent and I’m going to look out for another copy of the first book so we can have another set of the silicone muffin cases which come with the 99p book.)
- Bake for 15 – 20 minutes at 190C/365F/gas mark 5
The book also recommends adding either 50g of chopped nuts, blueberries or apple pieces. I think that can only add to the flavour so we’ll try that next time. Something else that works well with banana is coconut, so we could try that too.
Flavour-wise this is a really basic recipe and I do think salt could bring out more of the banana flavour, but it’s perfectly suitable for children and packed in an air-tight container makes a lovely breakfast for the next day too.
Simplicity-wise, however, there couldn’t be an easier recipe for a two-year old to follow with Mama’s help – older kids will need even less help.
Find out more from the Little Cooks website, where you’ll find information on subscribing, all the freebies you’ll receive and you can see what the inside of the magazine looks like too. We are loving the Little Cooks series, and highly recommend them!