Old Fashioned sweet shop: Lemon and Orange sherbet dips

Sherbet Lollypops

The first month of a whole new year and I am hoping that this year will be another exciting year.

I love making and eating sweets so I decided to start my 2019 with something that I was excited to try for a while, both because of its simplicity and because there really is nothing more that epitomises a classic sweet shop item – Sherbet dip lollies!

When I was a kid, I usually bought these for 20p from the local shop (from that you can probably work out whether I am younger or older than you) although honestly age is very irrelevant with sweets anyway, just ask my dad!

For these I used a recipe from The Vintage Sweet Book by Angel Adoree to create both the lollies and the sherbet.

For flavouring I went for a classic lemon sherbet, though I decided not to colour it yellow and for the lollies I made them orange flavoured and coloured them using a peach gel colour. Orange and lemon, you can’t really go wrong with that can you?

I have an idea for a fun children’s party – bowls of different flavour sherbet, sugars and lolly pops.

Different colours and flavours with scoops and bags so people can mix and match to their liking. The flavours and colours could be endless and they would beautiful to display.

Although the lollies aren’t fragile, I have not found a way of storing them easily as they tend to go a little sticky. I’m sure that there are ways to do this but I need to look into it more.

Just a little word of warning – although these are simple and cute to make they do involve boiling sugar to a very high temperature so aren’t suitable for kids to help out with.

You may not have the book I used so here are some links to good recipes:

Peppermint lollies

Sherbet dips

Biscuit, Sweet

Half an hour to make Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies

I have finally caught one of the million Spring/Summer colds going around and although I feel a tiny bit sorry for myself, I have done pretty well in being able to avoid having one for a while.
So today after getting the little-ist Baker down for her afternoon nap I wanted to do a bit of baking but nothing that took any brain power, or arm power as neither really felt up for the challenge.

A lot of people like peanut butter, including the little-ist baker so I have very recently bought it for the first time.

As it is an ingredient I don’t usually own or eat I have never really thought about using it to bake with but I wanted to make some biscuits and thought that peanut butter cookies might be an easy recipe to make. I have never even looked at a recipe for them before but I have heard about them on American shows mainly and thought that if that many people talk about them then they cant be that difficult to make; and luckily I was right.

This recipe from the brilliant chef Paul Rankin is both easy, quick and hardly uses any ingredients at all. Luckily it doesn’t make too many either as these are one cookie I won’t be touching.

Paul Rankin’s Peanut Butter Cookies

I used smooth peanut butter as I don’t have crunchy in and the batter for the mix seemed to come out very well. I am thinking about trying these again but substituting one spoon of flour for cocoa powder and the peanut butter for Nutella.

Bread, Savoury

Shaun’s Soda Bread

My husband is a great cook and makes wonderful meals, though he doesn’t bake very often.
One of the things he is really good at is a Soda Bread. It is an Irish recipe and with him having some Irish blood in his family he makes it perfectly.

I remember the first time he made it he was so nervous about getting it right because with most baking you have to be precise with your measurements and ingredients and he wasnt used to this. The first time, like everyone’s first bread, you end up a completely sticky mess as the recipe nearly always needs more flour than it says.
He managed it and ever since he has got better at doing it.

This recipe is great as a first time forray into bread as it doesn’t take much kneading, rising or proving time. From start to finish your loaf can be ready to eat in an hour and you can make it a sweet recipe to by adding some cinnamon and raisins.

Shaun’s Soda Bread

500g Plain Flour
2tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt
Approx. 400ml buttermilk*

Pre-heat the oven to 200c Gas 6
Sift the flour and bicarb of soda together into a large mixing bowl and then mix in the salt.
Make a well in the centre and mix in the buttermilk (if it is little dry add a tablespoon of milk, but normally the recipe is a little sticky)
Once it is mixed together, turn onto a floured surface and knead quickly, just enough to make it into a loose ball and no more.
Put the dough onto a silicone mat or greaseproof paper.
Cut the dough with a sharp knife with a cross shape. You will want to cut quite deep but not all of the way to the edges, and make sure you don’t cut all the way though!
Generously dust with flour and then put into the oven.
Cook for about 40-45 minutes or until the dough makes a hollow sound when you tap on it on the underside. (Dont worry if you don’t know what this sound is, I am never 100% sure either.)

Leave to cool on a rack. If you want a soft crust then wrap with a clean tea towel or for a crunchy top then leave uncovered.

THis is best eaten on the day it is made and is lovely warm. It also tastes lovely with some butter and jam on it or dipped in a home-made vegetable soup, as we had it for dinner.

*If you cant find buttermilk in the then you can make your own by using full fat milk and putting a tablespoon of lemon juice into it and leaving it to stand for 15 minutes before you use it. We usually find it next to the cream in the supermarket.