Friday, 2 December 2011

Things to do with your child #11 Chocolate Shortbread Stars

Things are getting festive in Disgrace Towers. Well, we've got an Advent Calendar and Mr Disgrace and I are knocking back the mulled wine like there's a world shortage, so I think that counts.

Inspired by the season, I decided to bake cookies with Rory today.  Now, my Christmas cookies are not traditionally Christmassy, but they still count as they're what my mum used to make for me when I was little because I didn't like mince pies or Christmas cake or Christmas pudding (still don't - anything with raisins in should be buried in a big hole).  They're also possibly the easiest thing in the world to make, so ideal for a toddler.  Or so you'd think.  Abandon hope all ye who enter here:

Chocolate Shortbread Stars


150g plain flour
15g cocoa powder
125g butter (at room temperature)
70g caster sugar
Couple of drops of vanilla extract if you're feeling posh

You'll need some star cutters.
Pre-heat oven to 170 degrees C.


1. Set out all your ingredients and equipment in a smug fashion.

2. Sterilise toddler. Failing that, scrub their hands thoroughly. They've more likely than not been dibbling in the potty with them while you were setting everything out on the worktop.  Don't pretend they haven't.

3. Weigh out flour & get toddler to tip it into the bowl. You're supposed to sieve it, but giving a sieve and 150g of flour to a toddler is asking for a snowstorm in the kitchen. Lets save the masochistic tendencies for the bedroom, eh?

4. Sweep up flour from floor where it has just been poured.

5. Repeat step 3 with more vigilance.

6. Add caster sugar and cocoa powder and mix, then add chopped up butter.

7. Get toddler to rub butter into dry ingredients.

8. Remove toy pirate from the mixing bowl.

9. Rub butter into dry ingredients yourself.

8. Get distracted by toddler snorting cocoa powder up nose and sneezing cocoa-y snot into the mixing bowl.

10. Rub remaining butter plus snot into dry ingredients with a couple of drops of vanilla extract.

11. Swear a bit and  get the electric hand mixer out to do it for you.

12. Debate with toddler the wisdom of removing trousers and underpants whilst covered in butter and flour and balancing on a chair in the kitchen.

13. Remove Thomas the Tank Engine pants from mixing bowl where they were thrown during the above tantrum.

14. You should now have a dough.  roll this out and try to interest toddler in cutting star shapes out of it.

15. NO!  NO NO NO.  DON'T EAT THE DOUGH.  Cut STARS out of the dough.  Sweet baby Jesus, get your TONGUE OFF THE GODFORSAKEN COOKIE DOUGH.

16. That's better.

17. Try to calm your inner perfectionist and not twitch at the crappy stars your toddler is cutting out.

18. Give up and let them chuck any old bit of dough on the baking sheet.

19. Have little swig of cooking sherry and put stars in oven for 10 minutes.

18. Hose down toddler.

19. Hose down kitchen.

20. Hose down self.

21. Put power hose on Christmas list for future such activities.

22. Smell burning and rush to oven only to find that toddler has turned the temperature up to 240 degrees.

23. Remove charred chocolate stars/crumbs from oven.

24. Leave to cool.

25. Sprinkle icing sugar on top (see: 'Polishing a Turd' in the dictionary).

Happy Christmas.

I am linking this up to the Gingerbread Snowflakes 2011 Holiday Cookie Swap.  Click the link for lots of delicious recipes and no delinquent small children.


  1. Yum. I love pants in a cookie mix! Ethan and are are planning to bake cookies next week..

  2. What a delightful way to begin my day - first finding this recipe in the cookie exchange and then reading this hysterical post! And I LOVE the image - the pretty chocolate shortbread sitting on the starry plate. I adore stars so my eyes too are happy!

    Thank you so much for sharing your recipe and for your de3lightful sense of humor. Shortbread is one of my favorites - but I have never tried chocolate! No excuse now!

  3. Oh I love your writing, you should publish a book, it would be a bestseller among all mothers!
    The Thomas pants don't look like a sign of a tantrum, but as if you were using Mrs Doyle's recipe to make a jumper cake!

  4. I made gingerbread men with my 2 year old patience wore very thin, especially when I looked down on my carpet to find the dough squashed into!

  5. Found your blog on the Gingerbread Snowflake cookie exchange, you are fantastic! As a mom to a now 8 years old, I remember these toddler days and very much enjoyed reading (and remembering) making cookies with him. :) Enjoyable and fun reading and I agree with Ladymoonlight, you should write a book.