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Bookish Bites : Press Here dotty biscuits

This week’s Bookish Bites is all Milo’s idea, inspired by the wonderful Herve Tullet’s Press Here that I’ve nattered about here and here as well as a trip to a local cafe.

It started a few weeks ago when we took a look at Milo’s feet in his shoes and thought, hmmm… they look a bit squished. So, the outing to the local shoe shop one Sunday afternoon needed to take place. I don’t know about you but when I was little, this always felt a bit special. The smell of new shoes, being allowed to pick several different pairs to try on, having your feet measured on the funny little foot stool. I’m pretty sure my mum would take me out afterwards for lunch or a cake somewhere nice and of course, there was always that delight of wearing your new shoes out of the shop with your old ones left in the box. Oh yes. Shoe shopping always felt special. And quite rightly too, children’s shoes are not cheap… and their feet seem to grow really fast.

Now, when we told Milo we needed to get his feet checked and that he might be getting some new shoes, he instantly said “flashing shoes? Like Charlotte?” We found two pairs, one blue with a dinosaur on and one pair red without a dinosaur. Milo tried on both.

It was impossible to know whether he liked them or not or which he preferred as he just wouldn’t speak, nod, utter movement or sound at all. He stared somewhere into the beyond or gazed at his feet. We went for the blue with the dinosaur on the side as they had an extra flashing light in the dinosaurs eyes and well, that just seemed better! Milo wore his new shoes out of the shop and into a nearby cafe where we stopped for a treat and where he revealed that we had chosen the right shoes and that yes, it is always best to have dinosaurs with flashing red eyes. Phew! Milo’s treat, a dotty cookie.

It took us a while to realise what he was doing, puffing and blowing and especially shutting his eyes during his cookie, but we got it when he started pressing the yellow smartie and saying “press here” – it seemed the perfect idea for Bookish Bites.

We started with reading the book then moved on to making the biscuits:

115 grams of butter
65 grams caster sugar
140 grams plain white flour
25 grams of semolina (or you can use ground rice)
grated rind of one lemon
a little lemon juice for your hands
a few tubes of smarties

Beat the butter until soft.

Add the sugar and beat until well mixed, then sieve the flour and add this, the semolina and lemon rind to the mixture. Beat thoroughly.

Scoop the dough up with your hands and knead it into a ball. To make it less sticky squeeze a little lemon juice on your hands first. This will only add a little more of a lemony zing to your biscuits.

Try and stop your toddler from eating all the mix before you roll it out on a flat surface.

We shaped our dough biscuits into squares so that they looked like pages from the book. Pop them in the oven at 180 for about 12 minutes or until they are golden brown.

While the biscuits were baking, we divided a few tubes of smarties so the colours matched the ones in the book, picking out blue, red and yellow. This is a great activity to do if your child is just learning their colours, though there is a lot of pestering to eat them all!

Once the biscuits were done, I mixed up a little icing sugar – you don’t need much, just a few tablespoons mixed with a little water. I then covered a couple of biscuits with the icing sugar to make white pages, and left the rest plain. Blob little dots of icing sugar where you want to put your press here smarties.

And finished!

We then all snuggled on the sofa to read Press Here again with a cookie and some milk.

Clapping, clapping, clapping!

Milo’s verdict: “Press here biscuits, fantastico!”

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11 Comments Post a comment
  1. Zoe #

    This is fantastic! Does Tina at Chronicle books know about your post? Well she will do in about 2 minutes…

    September 7, 2011
    • natashaworswick #

      Thanks! They are really tasty biscuits. Have had to hide them to stop myself from eating them all! Milo so loves Press Here. Fantastic book :)

      September 7, 2011
  2. LOL I was going to say the same thing as Zoe about emailing it to Tina.
    What a great post, I might just do the biscuits with my kids this week-end. Did you use actual Smarties? We don’t buy Nestlé products so they are a no for me, will have to find an alternative.

    September 7, 2011
    • natashaworswick #

      We did use Smarties I’m afraid! We never used to buy Nestle products either but have recently started again. There are alternatives. I’ve used smaller choco beans before (can’t remember who makes them – found in the baking aisle) but they have have a bit of a peculiar taste I find. M&Ms maybe?

      September 7, 2011
  3. My kids areo nly allowed Nestlé if I don’t pay for it, so my mother buys them lots of Smarties ice-cerm when we go over LOL.
    Tesco and Waitrose have alterantives but I always find the colours aren’t as vibrant. Might try M&Ms!

    September 9, 2011
    • natashaworswick #

      Ah, not near a Tesco or Waitrose… might ask my mum to take a look in her locals. I do really like the bright colours of Smarties, bad, I know :( There are a lot of products/places that we don’t use, and I have a feeling that as Milo grows up the fact that we’re vegetarian is going to pose a problem (though all relatives are good with that at the moment)… Having said that, Milo keeps saying that he wants to eat chickens and pigs. Sigh. I have a feeling that there’s a granddad responsible for that! Eating bacon sandwiches in front of him and saying “nom, nom, nom, you can’t have this, oooh pigs taste nice!” I’d have a lot less problem if we lived in the country, were rearing our own food to eat and didn’t have to rely on a supermarket for it.

      September 9, 2011
      • Oh my, look at those typos in my last comment, sorry about that!
        I am veggie too, but my OH isn’t (my father-in-law is a butcher!) and for ages I wouldn’t let my kids eat pork. But I had to relent in the end as it was so hard at school and at parties. I am not sure if it would be different if you lived in the country to be honest. When kids start school, they get to see what other kids are allowed; it was a big eye-opener for my kids! But although they wished they could eat certain things (cheese strings for example!), I think they just accept that it won’t happen while I am in charge!

        September 9, 2011
  4. Just found your lovely blog! Already in love with Milo — can’t wait for his birthday cake :). . .

    September 10, 2011
    • natashaworswick #

      I am terrified about the birthday cake… I’ve only ever gone two tiers up with a chocolate cake so it’s going to be a challenge and possibly look completely out of place at a child’s birthday party! It also keeps getting added too… now Milo wants a little car on the top!! Not so sure about that – will primarily be concerned about the top not falling off. Thanks so much for stopping by :)

      September 10, 2011
  5. natashaworswick #

    Oh my, I hadn’t even thought about what he would see other kids eating at school, I was horribly influenced by people’s packed lunches (crisps especially) and moaned endlessly to my poor mum. Milo has veggie meals at nursery but is such a bad eater of everything they are delighted if he even tries anything :( We’re both veggie – OH longer than me though I gave up red meat and fish way before him, I confess though to several bacon sandwiches during pregnancy (cravings! Didn’t give in to the very odd jelly babies with caramelised onions on top!!), but since Milo’s been born I’ve been back to completely veggie. We never have meat in the house (though have had some relatives bring their own!!!) We have difficult decisions for the future… ;)

    September 10, 2011

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