Ryan was absent from school a few days due to inflammation of his calves caused by viral infection. Instead of blowing time aimlessly at home, we decided to do something meaningful.
We explored a few options and finally decided we will bake some yummylicious butter cookies. I have never baked anything in my life. So instead of turning the kitchen into a disastrous war zone, I consulted my best friend for a sure win recipe.
2 3/4 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg +1 egg yolk
1. Mix the flour, baking powder & salt in a bowl.
2. Cream the butter with sugar and vanilla until fluffy.
3. Beat in the egg and egg yolk.
4. Sift the flour mixture over the butter mixture. Combine with a wooden spoon until itâ€™s well combined and thereâ€™s no loose flour.
5. Roll the dough between baking paper into a rectangle about 1/8 or 1/4 inch thick. Refrigerate until cold.
6. When dough is cold, cut it into desired shapes. Put the biscuit on baking paper in a tray and refrigerate.
7. Preheat oven to 160C.
8. Bake biscuit for 15 to 20mins until very pale brown.
9. Let cool until set then transfer to wire rack.
I opted without the sauce because I had wanted to try royal icing but for reference purposes, here’s the recipe for Chocolate sauce for coating:
1. Heat a pot of water on low heat.
2. Cut desired amount of chocolate into pieces and place in a bowl.
3. Put the bowl of chocolate into the pot of simmering water, and melt the chocolate.
4. Dip the cool biscuit (whole or partially) into the melted chocolate and leave the biscuit on wire rack or baking paper to allow the chocolate to harden before storing.
The recipe is straight forward and easy to follow. I dashed to the nearby bakery shop to stockÂ in all the ingredients. Meanwhile, I got Loida to help get all the tools ready, the scale, mixer, ingredients, cutters, baking tray, etc etc.
On 21 June 2011,Â RyanÂ was still limping butÂ handsÂ were sure fine. I got him to help out with the mixer, rolling the dough, cutting the shapes out..
At about 4pm, we were done with all the cookies. The kitchen was in a mess and I was too tired to work on the royal icing after baking all the cookies. We shall reserve the task for tomorrow.
The next day… we worked on the royal icing. I had been prewarned of the complexity of reaching the right consistency for piping/flooding so I made an effort to read a bit on the topic prior this. The preparation was more taxing than I had anticipated as sure enough I had difficulty getting the icing runny enough for piping. It’s either it was too runny or too stiff. I guess the only way to perfect this skill is through lots and lots and I mean, LOTS of practise. It is definitely easier ‘read’ than ‘done’.
Ryan and I had a swell of a time and gives us ample bonding opportunity. Later when I asked him if he wants to bake again, he said he shall only be tasked to do the decoration next time (royal icing). Just call for him when the cookies are ready to be decorated. LOL.
The cookies were yummy. I guess butter cookies can hardly go wrong, even under the hands of someone who never baked her entire life. Even my maid asked for the recipe so she could bake them when she goes back to her Philippines.
Just when things lookedÂ really memorable that day, we had a shock at night. I had turned on the monitor in the room when I heard Ryan tossing and turningÂ on the bed. I was in the next room watching my TVB show and decided to check on him. Sure enough, I saw him scratching frantically on both his legs.Â Under dim light, I thought I saw bumps thatÂ look likeÂ mosquito bites. I grabbed Bud’s First Aid Lotion (which really helps in reducing mozzie bit swell) and switched on the lights. I had a shock when I saw theÂ bumpsÂ on Ryan’s thighs.
Those are no insect bites. I was in a state of shock I don’t even know what to think. My poor baby. Already he was limping due to the inflammation of his claves and now the painstaking itch. I ran to the first aid box andÂ dug out the hydrocortisone cream. Within half hour or so, the swelling reduced and he was no longer scratching.
The next day, the swelling are gone. I showed Ryan the pictures we took of both his legs and he couldn’t believe it as there was no tell tale sign visible at all. We are not sure of the cause of it but we suspect it could an allergy reactionÂ towards food coloring used for the royal icing. But then again, it’s not the first time he consumed food which may have hints of coloring and he has neverÂ experienced such reaction before.Â Could it have anything to do with his inflammation? It is surely on everyone’s guess. I hope it’s just a fluke incident.