Quick Summer Holiday Baking – Coconut Rock Buns.

Cooling my coconut rock cakes. Rock buns

I remember making and eating these when I was little. They’re coconut rock cakes and this is a really easy recipe. The kids and I made these last week. They were made and ready to eat within half an hour! Not too bad. So, if you’re having one of those days, when you can’t be bothered to go out and the kids need something to do, then this is your summer holiday treat!

The bad news for me was that I discovered my scales were broken when I went to make them, so I had to guess the measurements. I then had a think and roughly worked out that things could be rounded to the nearest cup sizes. Surprisingly, they worked well! I’m looking at this as a positive, it means that you don’t have to be exact, which is great when baking with children.

Ingredients:

1 cup/120g self raising flour

Half a cup/100g caster sugar

115g salted butter cut into cubes. (I cut a normal 250g pack at just under the half way point).

1 cup dessicated coconut. If you don’t like coconut you can also use raisins  (it’d be the weight equivalent rather the cup equivalent though and that’d be just over 100grams.

1 large egg

100-150ml milk. Take it easy and see how it goes. I just sploshed it in and didn’t measure exactly.

Method:

Using fingers and thumbs, rub the flour and butter together in a good sized bowl. This is easy and doesn’t take as long as you think it will. You can cheat and whazz it in a food processor but that just makes for more washing up.

Stir in the sugar and coconut.

Add the egg and milk and mix into a stiff dough. It’s a bit like making ugly scones, so that’s the sort of consistency you’re after. I might have added too much milk to mine, which is why they’re a bit flat. I don’t think it matters that much as they still taste pretty yum.

Plop some dollops on to two lined baking trays (we used two dessert spoons to help) and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes. I’ve got a gas oven, so it’s Gas Mark 6. Google tells me that that’s 180 degrees C  for fan, 200 degrees C for not fan! Or 400 F.

making coconut rock cakes.

Be warned, maybe you’d like to call them Coconut Rock Buns instead of cakes. I gave these to a friend’s offspring and they looked at them and delcared that they weren’t cakes at all and didn’t want them. As soon as I changed the name, they ate them all…

Yummy homemade coconut rock buns. Rock cakes Easy recipe.

 

 

How to sew a cute kitty brooch. A tutorial.

Finished kitty brooch.

Whilst I was sewing lots of felt bits recently,  I had a thought that it would be nice to share how I do it. It doesn’t happen often. Some kitty cats I made were quite popular so I decided to use my design to show you how to make a brooch. Sewing felt is great, no fraying edges to worry about, it’s versatile and quite sturdy.

I’m making a cat brooch here but you can create any design. Even if your drawing is shocking, something interesting will come out of it. I do not care for the excuse that a person is not creative, it’s complete nonsense. If you want to have a go, just do it. And, since we’ve just begun the summer holidays, I can tell you that this is a fabulous project to do with the kids. Mine love doing this kind of thing. Summer holiday crafts are a must.

Keyrings work well too. Or if you can’t be bothered to source brooch backs and keyrings (get them from Etsy or Ebay), then a few inches of ribbon attached means that it can become a hangy decoration.

This is a good craft project for those who don’t have loads of supplies. A square of felt and a couple of buttons costs less than a quid. You can use buttons, cut from old clothes. You can even use fabric off the same thing if you want. Change the thread for yarn, if that’s all you’ve got. Whatever.

What you’ll need:

Paper and pen/pencil.

Scissors.

Felt (or thickish fabric).

Buttons for eyes.

Embroidery thread (or normal sewing thread doubled up).

Sewing needle and a pin or two.

A small amount of polyfibre fill.

Brooch back, keyring or ribbon.

basic template

Draw out the design of your choice: cat, dog, fish, fruit, flower, blah blah.  Cut it out. A tip here is to go slightly bigger than you want the finished item to be. The finished thing will work up slightly smaller. Keep shaping to a minimum too, you don’t want to give yourself the headache of awkward corners, or thin poky-out bits. Simple is key.

getting pieces ready

Pin your template to both layers of felt and cut out. I do it together so that they’re both the same shape.

splitting your embroidery thread.

Cut your thread to about 40cm. If you’re using embroidery thread then you need to separate out two strands, as in the picture above. This might seem daft but a whole thickness of floss is too bulky and looks naff. Alternatively, use sewing thread doubled up. This doesn’t produce as nice a finish but it’s good enough. Tie a knot in the end (obviously). If it’s for the kids, I tie the ends of the thread together because they always yank it off the needle. Always. If that’s the case, I make the thread longer.

sewing kitty eyes

I start with the eyes. You can place them anywhere you like, I like to go wider (leaving room for edge stitching). Poke your needle right through his eyes! Keep knots on the back. I think three rounds per eye is good.

use a invisble ink pen.

I recently bought a fancy pen for drawing embroidery designs. It cost about £3 from a fabric shop. The ink disappears after a few hours so you can draw your face and not worry about scruffy pen marks. If you’re not that fussed, you can free style it or see if a soft pencil works.

satin stitch noseWith the embroidery thread, you’re essentially colouring in. For the nose use a satin stitch, which is just stitches placed really close to one another. For the bit under his nose, I change to a running stitch and follow the line I drew.

cat face embroideryYou Tube is your friend when learning stitches.

I ran out of my first lot of thread at this stage. It’s best to leave maybe 8-10cm of thread at the end to give yourself a sufficient amount to tie off and weave in. It doesn’t  matter about the tangle you create on the wrong side. Just as long as it is kept to the wrong side.

kitty face sewn

A little kitty face sewn! If you still have a decent amount of thread left, don’t tie it off yet as you can use it to sew the two sides together. Put this face to one side while you do the next stage.

sewing on a brooch back.

Sewing on a brooch back is similar to sewing on the eyes. I go in and out of each hole three times at the top and three times each for the bottom holes (bottom holes!!).  Make sure the brooch back is the right way up and that it’s placed towards the top middle. Make sure you sew it to the correct side of your felt/fabric too.

How to make a cute kitty brooch.

Almost there. Just need to sew them together.

stitching felt pieces together

Rethread the needle and it’s time to sew the front to the back. I use a whip stitch. I used to use a blanket stitch but it uses a tonne of thread and a whip stitch looks similar when looking straight on. Meh, you can choose. Just make sure the stitches are neatly done.

quick whip stitch

(If I was using ribbon, it’d be at this stage, near the top that I’d get it ready to stitch between the two layers).

Changing thhread half way through

Again, if thread needs changing, tie off the old stuff and knot in the new all inside your kitty. No one will ever know about the mess!

stitching together a kitty brooch

When there’s only a couple of inches left to sew, kitty needs to acquire some chub. I’ve got a bag of toy stuffing (bought from Amazon) but if desperate go and destroy a cushion (but perhaps you shouldn’t :/). I can’t think of what else would make a good alternative. Anyway, stuff lightly, match up the open pieces and carry on with the stitching.

tying off your work.

To finish off, the last stitch to the back needs to be poked upwards and out again, next to another stitch as in the left photo above. Check the front to make sure you didn’t go through to the face too. Go around the stitch you popped out next to and then repeat the process a few more times. I usually aim for five times or just keep going until the thread comes to an end. lose the thread inside newly made felt cat or carefully snip off any that is showing.

How to make a felt kitty brooch.

back of pink kitty brooch.

Pink kitty cat. Felt cat tutorial.

It is done. Miaow.

Feel free to and look at my Etsy shop where there are a few for sale! Here are some others that I’ve made before…

Even more felt things.

By the way, if I spot any of these for sale any where else, I will be cross that you’ve pinched my ideas, so don’t do it. Thanks. Have a good summer!

I have linked up here…

www.mrscraftyb.co.uk

 

Me You and Magoo