Yum Yum Yum

posted in: Mini Grey | 12
Photo: D Sharon Pruitt

M, J and I each have a sweet tooth. Chocolate and biscuits rarely last more than a day in our house so I try not to make or buy them very often. [Linguistic note: By biscuit I mean a sweet cookie affair, not something bread or scone-like]. Nevertheless, when we found Biscuit Bear by Mini Grey I knew that some baking would definitely be on the cards.

Our story starts with
a lump of pastry that
Horace’s Mum gave him,

which Horace would usually
roll about over the floor
and furniture
it was
deep grey
and fluffy
(and quite a lot smaller).

But today
Horace’s Mum gave him
a biscuit cutter in the shape of
a bear to use.

Horace enjoys baking a biscuit bear, but doesn’t get the chance to eat it – first it is too hot, just out of the oven, then his mother doesn’t want him to spoil his appetite just before dinner, and when it comes to bedtime Horace has already cleaned his teeth and so the biscuit must remain uneaten.


Horace places his special biscuit bear on his pillow when he goes to sleep, no doubt dreaming of munching it up the next morning, but when morning comes, his biscuit it gone, only crumbs and the business card of a local bakers left on his pillow.

The delicious mystery of what has happened to the biscuit bear forms the bulk of this story. Lots of icing, sprinkles, candied peel, silver balls, circus tricks and Bongo the dog are all involved…. but I promise you the ending is a happy one, and one which will have you reaching for your own biscuit cutters and supply of cake or biscuit decorations!

So yes… we gave in to temptation and baked our own biscuit bears ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s the recipe we used:

  • 4 oz 100g) butter
  • 3 oz (75g) caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 8 oz plain flour
  • A handful of raisins – for the eyes
  • LOADS of sweeties, and whatever icing you fancy – ours was just a simple mix of icing sugar, water and food colouring

  • 1. Cream the butter and sugar.

    2. Beat in the egg with the lemon juice.
    3. Fold in the flour and form into a soft dough. If the dough is very sticky, wrap it in cling film and leave it in the fridge for half an hour or so to firm up.
    4. Roll out the dough on a floured board and cut into biscuit shapes. Add raisins for eyes, then bake for 10 – 15 mins at 375F/190C/Gas mark 5.

    5. Leave to cool – M used this time to design the clothes she was going to “dress” her bears in

    6. Have fun “clothing” the bears with all manner of icing and decorations.

    Delicious! Especially with a cup of tea and another reading of Biscuit Bear!

    Biscuit Bear: ** (2 star)

    Whilst baking, decorating and munching we’ve been listening to:

  • Biscuit by Portishead
  • One Cookie Blues by Mister Marc
  • Mr Cookie by The Jellydots
  • Don’t Eat Cookies In Your Bed by Paul Borgese And The Strawberry Traffic Jam

  • Other biscuit/book combos we have in mind include:

  • These mehndi inspired spice cookies, to be eaten whilst reading Ekki Dokki, reviewed here at the Saffron Tree

  • These chocolate chip cookies from Bakerella, to be munched upon whilst reading If you give a mouse a cookie

  • Some shortbread (this recipe is from Cakespy), along with a Katie Morag story or two.

  • Honey biscuits to gobble whilst enjoying the eponymous book, Honey Biscuits

  • Fortune Cookie Fortunes by Grace Lin would be a good one to read whilst making (you’ve guessed it) fortune cookies – why not try these felt ones from Martha Stewart

  • You may not want to count how many biscuits/cookies you’ve eaten, but just in case you do, you’ll be sure to enjoy Cookie Count: A Tasty Pop-up by Robert Sabuda

  • And when you start feeling queasy or guilty, you can sit down and enjoy No more biscuits! by Paeony Lewis, illustrated by Brita Granstrom.

  • More baking-related book goodness can be found in this past Fantastic Fiction for Kids post and if you’ve got any more suggestions for biscuit (cookie) and book combos we could try out I’d love to hear them ๐Ÿ™‚

    12 Responses

    1. Mama King

      My daughter’s love books and love baking with me. I don’t know why I haven’t thought of tying them together. I am so glad you stopped by my blog.Now I can find some great books and activities to do with my girls. Thanks for the recommendation and recipe.

    2. vanessa@silly eagle books

      I am good with paper activities, but so bad with baking ones! Juliet would kill to make and decorate cookies like this! It looks so fun and so delicious.

      I especially love your polka dotted table cloth!

      Thanks for the Frog Went a Courtin’ suggestion. I will look for it! I hope that J is feeling better soon.

    3. Catherine

      Oh, they look great. I think we’ll be baking and decorating biscuits here soon! Although, I’m not sure we’ll be able to find this book in Australia (haven’t checked yet, but it is often the case).

    4. Heather

      oh they do look yummy and fun to make,. my daughter loves baking, i love this idea of combing them with a book you are reading, how clever.

    5. The1stdaughter

      How fun! Our entire family are huge fans of chocolate anything. Put chocolate on it and it makes it that much better. So, I completely understand not bringing it into the house that often. But you guys really looked like you had so much fun! Great idea for our next “baking” related book find, thanks so much!

    6. Sheela

      Oh, the biscuit bears look tempting – love the “dress” on each one there ๐Ÿ™‚ I also like how you relate the activities to a theme – the music, the baking, the book… must be quite an enriching experience for M and J!

    7. Amy Graves

      It’s known as “Ginger Bear” in the US…I guess because we can’t handle a book that isn’t translated into American. The title loses that lovely alliteration in the process, though. I personally wish US publishers would stop underestimating their audiences and leave the language intact.

    8. Zoe @ Playing by the book

      Hi Amy,

      Yes, I did wonder if and how it was “translated” across the pond. Perhaps you (or any other US reader) can elucidate why one of my favourite books (Box of Tricks by Katie Cleminson) has the title Magic Box in the US. Does “Tricks” have some connotation in the US that isn’t good?

    9. Amy Graves

      Can’t imagine why they changed “Box of Tricks.” Other than the fact that some publishers seem to enjoy making arbitrary changes…

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