Sponge Toffee Lollipops

Are you ready for kitchen magic? This is the longest recipe in this book, but it doesn’t take long to make! Be amazed as the batter turns into crunchy sponge toffee!
2 rimmed baking sheets, parchment paper, bowls, sifter, measuring spoons, measuring cup, baking spatula, dinner knife, ordinary teaspoon, 7 wooden sticks or skewers (at least 6 inches/15 cm long)
3 Tbsp (45 mL) icing sugar
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) baking soda
¼ cup (60 mL) instant skim milk powder (spoon in, level)
3 Tbsp (45 mL) firmly packed light brown sugar
1 Tbsp (15 mL) whipping cream (35%)
2 Tbsp (30 mL) runny honey
¼ tsp (1 mL) vanilla extract
pinch of salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 250°F (120°C).
  2. Line the baking sheets with parchment paper. (In this recipe, it’s important to have two baking sheets, since the batter might stiffen up too much in the bowl while you’re waiting for the first baking sheet to cool off. If you have only one baking sheet, ask a friend or neighbor if you can borrow another—then thank them with a lollipop!)
  3. In a big bowl, sift in the icing sugar and baking soda. Mix in the skim milk powder (don’t sift this ingredient because it won’t fit through the little holes of the sieve). Set aside.
  4. In a big microwave-safe bowl and using a baking spatula, mix the light brown sugar, whipping cream, honey, vanilla, and salt. Heat in the microwave at 50% power for 30 seconds. Carefully remove from the microwave, stir, and heat again for 30 seconds at 50% power until the brown sugar is melted and the mixture is smooth (you may need to heat and stir once more to make sure the brown sugar is completely melted).
  5. Gradually stir the icing sugar mixture into the melted brown sugar mixture. Mix well. It will turn into a sticky batter. Use a dinner knife to scrape sticky ingredients from the spatula so everything is well blended. The bits of milk powder don’t have to melt completely.
  6. Let the bowl of batter sit for 5 minutes before continuing with the recipe. Don’t stir it or do anything else with it for 5 minutes—just be patient and wait. It’s very important you do this step because—even though you can’t see anything happening—something is happening to the ingredients that will help them turn into sponge candy later in the oven.
  7. Before you touch the batter, read this step first so you know how to do step 8 properly. The batter spreads like crazy when it bakes so it’s very important to keep the blobs of batter well away from each other and the edges of the baking sheets. Use up all the batter to make seven lollipops. Each lollipop is made from about two spoonfuls of batter. Let the batter spread out slowly on its own, until it stops on its own. Don’t try to spread it with your spoon.
  8. Okay. Now use an ordinary teaspoon to scoop the batter. Use your finger to push the blob of batter off the spoon onto the parchment. Drop another spoonful of batter right on top of the first one. They will spread into one circle. Let this pool of batter stop spreading before you start making another one, so you can leave enough space between blobs.
  9. Drop the next blobs at least 5 inches (12 cm) away from any batter already on the parchment and 2 inches (5 cm) from the edges of the baking sheet. Make three or four pools of batter on each sheet, for a total of seven. Try to use the same amount of batter for each pool.
  10. To add a handle to each lollipop, lay a wooden stick across the middle of each pool of batter. Make sure the wooden stick goes across the entire circle of batter and does not just stick part way into it. The more of the stick that’s stuck into the batter, the better the lollipop will hold onto it after baking. Also, check that the handles of the sticks aren’t too close to the other pools of batter.
  11. your sweet treats } everyday kitchen for kids
  12. Use the handle of the teaspoon or another stick (or skewer) to press down on the lollipop sticks so they sink into the pools of batter. Don’t be afraid to press down until the lollipop sticks almost touch the parchment paper. But they don’t need to be covered by the batter.
  13. Bake, one sheet at a time, for 29 to 32 minutes, or until the sponge toffee is deeply golden. Watch them carefully in the last few minutes so they don’t overbrown. The lollipops will puff up in the oven at first, then flatten out again as they turn crispy. Cool completely on the sheets to firm up before lifting off to eat. Do not touch them before they have cooled. Enjoy and share with others shortly after you make the lollipops because they soften up after an hour or two and aren’t nearly as much fun to eat as when they’re fresh and crunchy!
Makes 7 Sponge Toffee Lollipops.

Buttery Granola Bars

A bit like granola bars and a bit like oatmeal cookies, too. Scrumptious!
food processor (for helper); measuring cups; bowls; measuring spoons; 8-inch (20 cm) square glass, ceramic, or metal baking pan; foil; pastry brush or plastic wrap; wooden spoon; dinner knife
1 cup (250 mL) rolled oats, traditional or quick-cooking (but not instant)
1/3 cup (80 mL) all-purpose flour (spoon in, level)
¼ cup (60 mL) unsalted sunflower seeds
½ tsp (2 mL) baking soda
¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
soft butter for foil
½ cup (125 mL) soft unsalted butter (see “Butter”)
1/3 cup (80 mL) white sugar
1/3 cup (80 mL) firmly packed light brown sugar
1 egg yolk (see “Eggs”)
½ tsp (2 mL) vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Get help to blitz the rolled oats in a food processor to the size of coarse salt and pour them into a big bowl. Now you can take over the work!
  3. Use a wooden spoon to mix the flour, sunflower seeds, baking soda, and salt into the bowl of blitzed oats. Set aside.
  4. Line the bottom and sides of the baking pan with a large sheet of foil. Use a pastry brush or a scrunched-up piece of plastic wrap to butter the foil. Set aside.
  5. In another big bowl, use the back of the wooden spoon to cream together the ½ cup (125 mL) butter and the white and light brown sugars until blended. Then mix in the egg yolk and vanilla. Use a dinner knife to scrape sticky ingredients off the wooden spoon.
  6. Stir the oat mixture into the butter mixture. Mix well.
  7. Scoop the mixture into the buttered, foil-lined pan. Use the back of the wooden spoon to press the mixture evenly in the pan.
  8. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 25 minutes. The mixture will puff up during baking, then flatten out again. Cool in the pan until just slightly warm. Get help lifting out the foil together with the granola mixture. Peel off the foil and get help slicing the granola into bars or squares.
Makes about 20 Buttery Granola Bars.

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