The River Cottage Baby and Toddler Cookbook by Nikki Duffy is one of our most well-thumbed kitchen books, though we’ve yet to try this fun and healthy looking recipe for Spelt and Apple Stars. That’s this rainy afternoon sorted then. Here it is.
These little biscuits have no salt or refined sugar, and they’re a nice finger food option for babies who are ready to move on to harder textures. They are also a good alternative to sugary snacks for toddlers – and a fun thing to make with your children. You can create any shapes you like, of course.
Makes about 30
100g unrefined spelt flour
100g plain white flour, or refined (white) spelt flour
½ tsp baking powder
75g cold unsalted butter, in small cubes
About 75ml apple juice
Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4 and grease two baking sheets or line with non-stick liners (or use one baking sheet and bake the biscuits in two batches).
Sift the flours and baking powder together, or blitz briefly in a food processor. Add the butter and rub in with your fingertips, or blitz in the food processor, until completely incorporated. Mix in enough apple juice to make a fairly soft, pastry-like dough (pulsing briefly if using a processor).
Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly, just enough to bring it together into a smooth lump. Roll out to a 2–3mm thickness. Cut into stars or other shapes, using a cutter, or just slice into chunky fingers with a knife and place on the baking sheets. Bake for about 15 minutes, until just starting to colour.
Leave the biscuits on the baking sheets for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. You can store them in an airtight container for a couple of days, but I think it’s best to freeze them and just take a few out of the freezer whenever you need some – they defrost in minutes.