Saturday, 9 September 2017

Fruit Cake Slice Recipe. Easy School Lunch Box Treats

Firstly, for those of you who enjoy our recipes, big apologies for the lack of baking on this website of late. The final month of winter was, for us, chequered with various illnesses and ailments in our household. (Probably the same in yours?) In amongst it all were two children's birthdays as well. Phew!
Combined with everything else, August has just been one, big, whirlwind of busyness.
Good riddance winter!

Baking is always happening around here though...
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Tuesday, 5 September 2017

How Using Spriggy Can Teach Your Kids All About Money and Saving...

*This post is brought to you in collaboration with Spriggy.

Teaching your kids all about money and finances is a life skill that certainly needs to be taught and practised from the outset. In a world ruled by money, helping kids master the skills needed to navigate a lifetime of financial know-how, is undoubtedly wise.

Your child's financial education can effectively begin as early as the preschool years, and it's a continual process of learning that will grow in complexity along with your child. With a bit of educational investment and practical application from day one, the bank accounts and financial knowledge of your kids should flourish together.
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Thursday, 31 August 2017

At What Age Should a Child Own a Mobile Phone? An Alcatel Pop 4 Smartphone Review and Giveaway, Plus the Aussie Giveaway Linkup September...

Exactly when is the right age to give your child the independence and responsibility of their very own mobile phone? Sorry! For all parents and their kids, there are so many considerations to explore, making any kind of straightforward answer here fraught with a myriad of 'if's, buts and maybe's.'

As a parent of six kids ranging in age from preschooler, to primary-aged and high schoolers, even I can tell you that the factors to determine the 'need versus want' of arming your child with a mobile, are considerable and varied and often different for each individual child. 
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Monday, 28 August 2017

Project Nursery Mum + Bub Smartband Review. Monitor Everything Pregnancy, Baby and Beyond...

Have you got yourself a version of the newest fitness gadget yet - a smart band?

So many people have embraced the ability to have their health goals and other conveniences on-hand in the form of these modern watches. Having a smart band allows you to not only monitor your health and wellbeing at a glance, but they also give you quick alerts regarding incoming mobile phone calls and messages. In our fast-paced modern times, these gadgets are a very desirable addition to both your wardrobe and lifestyle.

Did you know there's now a Smartband specifically for mums, (and parents), on the market?
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Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Worlds Apart® Hello Home Disney Frozen Fabric Toy Box Review. A Childsmart Feature...

*Six Little Hearts is a Childsmart Brand Representative.

Finding attractive and practical storage solutions for your children's oodles of things is a universal parenting pursuit. Childsmart have plenty of visually pleasing and kid-appealing options in store to solve your most challenging storage issues. Whether it's for a bedroom, family room or kid's corner, you'll find a range of beautiful and practical styles to choose from, in a variety of popular children's themes, on the Childsmart website.

We're currently in the process of setting up a beautiful princess-themed bedroom space for our youngest in collaboration with Childsmart. (Stay tuned for the big reveal!)

Fittingly, our latest Childsmart acquisition for this room comes from their impressive range of select brands - Worlds Apart.

Worlds Apart specialise in children's d├ęcor and we've reviewed a number of their items here already. We opt for this brand frequently, because Worlds Apart are bang-on when it comes to pleasing both adults and kids. This brand epitomises personality, practicality and quality.

Mum and daughter (in particular!), are crushing on this pretty Worlds Apart Hello Home Fabric Toy Box.

This is a beautiful whimsical item for storing toys and games while keeping your child's space clean and tidy too. The sides and base of this sweet toy box, are made of sturdy weave fabric, while the robust sides are styled in a strong MDF. The box comes with built-in handles to make moving this lightweight toy box about your home, quick and easy.

For kids, their favourite Disney Frozen characters - Anna, Elsa, Olaf, Christof and Sven, are faithfully illustrated around all sides of this dream play box, making it appealing to view from any angle.

Great proportions! Sized at 39.5cm x 39.5cm x 51.5cm.

This cute storage box has a soft top flap which seals with Velcro so that little fingers can gain easy-access without the dangers of hinged lids.
The Worlds Apart Hello Home Disney Frozen toy box holds loads and is able to store a whopping 20kgs of your child's stuff and things. Within the interior's cavernous space, are two stitched-in pockets to accommodate your child's collection of treasures; pencils or other smaller items they'd like to keep handy and separate from the rest of their haul.

Strong sides are decorated with pretty snowflakes that continue the Disney Frozen theme.

Assembling this Worlds Apart play box is a super-simple 15 minute build, and all parts are provided in the flat pack carton, along with full, illustrated instructions.

This toy box a very attractive accessory for use in any area within your home frequented by kids and in need of clutter control! Use it for anything from toys to books, craft stores, kids' clothing, footwear, nappy change accessories or as a costume storage trunk.

Shop for this adorable room accessory plus other items from the Disney Frozen range, on the Childsmart website.

Are your child's toys over-flowing in your home?

How do you store your children's playthings?

*Disclosure: Six Little Hearts was gifted the featured item for review.
All opinions expressed are our own and genuine.

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Sunday, 20 August 2017

Bright and Beautiful in August With Bellabox and Bellababy. An Unboxing and Reader Offer...

Bring on Spring!

Bellabox has an appropriate title for the general mood this month. It's Bright and Beautiful. This theme holds so much promise of the season to come, and unboxing this month's refreshing parcel was exhilarating!
There's a touch of spring in every box, to push away the last of those winter blues.
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Tuesday, 15 August 2017

The Gro Company Grofriends Ollie the Owl Light and Sound Sleep Aid Review and Giveaway

A large chunk of our lifetimes are spent in the comfort of our beds, yet convincing young children that this is actually a wonderful thing can be extremely hard!

It's no news on the parenting front that bedtime is something that kids generally don't regard too highly. For some kids, it's the act of winding-down that presents a problem. For others, natural fears take hold when the darkness falls and these can make children very reluctant to relax and rest. Either way, any disruption at bedtime for parents who are themselves tired too, is an altogether undesirable occurrence for obvious reasons.
Why can't they just go to sleep?!
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Thursday, 10 August 2017

Protect-A-Bed Protectors For Mattresses and Pillows Review

With so many allergens around during any particular season in Australia, it's vital for families to take preventative measures to protect themselves from the rising incidence of health issues such as eczema and asthma. While most allergy sufferers are at a loss to pinpoint exactly what triggers a reaction in either of these extreme health conditions, many believe that dust and mould are to blame. Keeping a clean home and environment may help to ward-off these afflictions and beginning with the source itself - our bedding, is a great starting point.
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Thursday, 3 August 2017

A Guide To Dealing With Colic In Infancy...

*This post is brought to you in collaboration with BioGaia Probiotic Drops.

There's little else in life that can compare to the joy of welcoming a new child into your home. 

For most parents, the journey from conception to birth is a time that is both blessed with wonder and fraught with worry. It all culminates with the exhilarating act of cradling your new child in your arms, as you step over your own home's threshold to begin a new life together.
Let the parenting journey begin. New life is a sheer miracle.
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Monday, 31 July 2017

Bobux Custom Shoes Review And WIN A Pair of Bobux Custom Shoes!

*Six Little Hearts are Australian Bobux Shoes Ambassadors.
Would you consider handing over a shiny new pair of designer leather shoes to your child, plus a packet of markers, and then invite your kiddo to go crazy with both?!
Well, with a pair of Bobux Custom shoes, you can do exactly this and it's completely cool for all! Really!

Have you heard of Bobux Custom shoes yet?
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Thursday, 27 July 2017

Skiff Neoprene Tote Bags Review and Win a Fashionable Skiff Tote Worth $99!

Are you looking for the ultimate tote bag to cope with the demands of your busy parenting life?

Let's face the facts - mums everywhere are eternally burdened by stuff to lug when they have children in tow. Anywhere you venture with a child, (or children), means there's always loads to cart about along with them - those spare clothes, wipes, snacks and drinks and favourite toys... you know the drill only too well!

All that stuff (and bother!), needs a trusty companion bag to carry it all around in. Something versatile, colourful, different, (always nice!), incredibly reliable and easy-on-the-eye, trendy too.
Skiff neoprene tote bags are set to be your new 'mum-life' bestie!
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Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Worlds Apart Spin To Sing Review - A Fun New Game For The Whole Family Available At Childsmart

*Six Little Hearts is a Childsmart Brand Rep.

Ask any kid what they want to be when they grow up and nine times out of ten, famous is the answer!
In this modern age of selfies and mega-aspirations for stardom in particular, what better way to 'belt it out' than via the exciting new family game Spin to Sing by Worlds Apart.
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Saturday, 22 July 2017

Bellabox July - Three Great Boxes Revealed Plus A Reader Discount Offer...

What a huge month July is over at the Bellabox headquarters! This month there are three generous and exciting Bella's to warm the hearts and hands of all kinds of dedicated Bellabox devotees. Who cares about the extreme cold when there are so many lavish beauty products and cosmetics to indulge in, with thanks to the good peeps at Bellabox?

I am so pumped to be sharing the spoils of these latest parcels here this month. These boxes - the Bellabox, Bellababy and Bellabox Nourished Life Limited Edition Box, are bursting at the seams with goodies for women no matter what their role in life.
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Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Introducing BabyLove Baby Wipes Plus Win The Ultimate BabyLove Pack!

Motherhood is a frantic time no matter what the age of your children. It's all about rushing around and keeping up with your kids - especially so, when they're little and keeping you on your toes with all that necessary equipment - like nappies and other bits and bobs.

Keeping things simple for yourself in the early years is ideal and something new mums quickly learn, because without well-planned shortcuts, just getting out of the house would be near impossible!
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Thursday, 13 July 2017

Puzzle Fun For Kids With Crocodile Creek. A Childsmart Review...

*Six Little Hearts is a brand Rep for Childsmart.

For guaranteed fun for children of all ages, pull out the puzzles! Like all kids, ours enjoy the challenge of sorting and the discovery inherent in the activity of puzzle building. Crocodile Creek puzzles are available at Childsmart, and in a large range of exciting themes for kids of all ages.
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Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Budgeting Tips To Own Your Own Home Sooner...

*This post is brought to you in collaboration with HashChing.

Buying or refinancing a home in one of Australia's crowded capital cities such as in Sydney or Melbourne has become an issue, and for those like us scratching up a deposit to afford an abode or even trying to manage steep mortgages, the trend shows that the dream of home ownership is steadily rising out of the grasp of the average Australian.
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Wednesday, 5 July 2017

An Interview With Australia's LEGO Brickman, Ryan McNaught...

It's everyone's favourite plaything - LEGO has been equally loved by kids and adults for generations and the fun never fades. For a very select few, the joy of brick-building in childhood can eventuate into an exclusive dream job in adulthood. Ryan McNaught is Australia's very own 'Brickman.' He wears the coveted title of being one of only fourteen LEGO Certified Professionals in the world. Further, Ryan has the prestigious claim of being the only LEGO Certified Professional in the Southern Hemisphere.
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Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Latest In Store at Smiggle Plus A Smiggle Stationery Giveaway!

Whenever we get the opportunity to collaborate with Smiggle here on Six Little Hearts, our kids just about pop. So when a whole new parcel of latest finds arrived in our hands, let me tell you - the package brought so much joy! Thankfully the Smiggle team always want to spread the stationery love, so we have a great pack of Smiggle gear to giveaway to one of our readers too. Read on for more...
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Saturday, 1 July 2017

Aussie Giveaway Linkup July 2017 (With Added Giveaways!)

July is here and that means another great month of prizes to be won across so many Australian blogs! Visit the new-look Aussie Giveaway Club here on either Six Little Hearts, Agent Mystery Case or The Baby Vine from the 1st of each month, all month long, to enter the best of the best giveaways available across many brilliant Australian blogging websites!
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Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Cooking For Little Ones With Rafferty's Garden - A Rafferty's Garden Food Hamper Giveaway for Two Readers!

*This post is brought to you in collaboration with Rafferty's Garden.

Having your pantry stocked with healthy options for the entire family is key to staying on the right track for dietary health. When it comes to your very young family members however, this need for healthy food requirements becomes especially important. Offering a varied and colourful diet, rich in the essential food groups of carbohydrates, dairy foods, proteins, vegetables and fruits is vital for growth and health in children and adults alike.
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Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Tonka Tinys Review and A Tonka 70th Anniversary Giveaway!

Tonka playthings have been a constant in the toy boxes of generations of kids since their inception in 1947, with 2017 marking a proud and significant, 70th Anniversary for the brand. Tonka trucks and car-themed toys are readily classed as a 'forever hit' by consumers, a fact which sees just about every kid coveting a much-loved vehicle or two of their own.

Our own boys have played long and hard with their collection of much-loved Tonka trucks which continue to bring ready smiles to their faces today.
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Friday, 23 June 2017

Lemon Glazed Cranberry and Oat Biscuits Recipe

Winter is all about comfort foods and cookies are just the thang for comfort in the cold aren't they? There's nothing nicer than the delicious waft of a home bake drifting through your home, mixed with all that artificially-induced warmth from your heater! While I am literally counting down the days until summer, I figure I might as well make the most of the 'season without reason' while it's here, and bake it all away by the warmth of my oven.
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Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Bellabox Bellababy Review, June's Parcel Unboxed...

This June's Bellababy parcel is a true bumper issue with loads of exciting inclusions and full sized try-me-outs. It's always a pleasure opening this parcel dedicated to mums and their children, and this month's arrival proved just as exciting to unbox as ever.
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Friday, 16 June 2017

Nerf Nitro Longshot Smash Review and Giveaway

While every child adores the blasting power of Nerf products, it can also be said that every parent enjoys the thrill of the Nerf range too! Nerf, by toy leaders, Hasbro, have now got a new combo toy range on the market that merges the thrill of the traditional Nerf blast with good old-fashioned stunt car fun in the new Nerf Nitro selection of toys which are in store now.
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Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Disney On Ice Presents Frozen - The Biggest Ice Show To Tour Australia Plus Giveaway!

These coming winter school holidays, get ready to experience the full story of the Academy Award-winning feature Frozen live, in the ice spectacular Disney On Ice presents Frozen!
For a strictly limited season this June and July, audiences will be transported to the beautiful Arrendelle as Disney On Ice presents Frozen travels to seven cities across Australia.

This special show is set to wow audiences of all ages, with the largest and most complex production of its kind to be staged in Australia ever, brought to you by Feld Entertainment, the creators of Disney On Ice.
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Tuesday, 6 June 2017

An Interview With Lah-Lah - Tina Harris, Plus An Exclusive Celebrity Family Recipe Share and Giveaway!

All parents of preschool aged children will need little introduction to popular children's entertainer Lah-Lah, AKA the lovely Tina Harris, the talented star of Lah-Lah's Big Live Band!

Tina is instantly recognisable to most, with her vibrant personality and distinctive look. She's a singing talent who is backed by real-life husband and co-performer Mark (Buzz), and their group of loveable co-star musical friends in the popular children's television show Lah-Lah's Adventures. The show airs daily on ABC Kids, weekdays at 1 pm.
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Friday, 2 June 2017

Lonely Planet Kids Book Review - New Releases for Kids and Win A Book Pack! Plus The Aussie Giveaway Linkup June

It's officially winter now and if you're anything like me, you're probably already counting the days until September 1st when spring swings around once again! Brrr!

It's been freezing here down south in Melbourne and that means it's the time of the year to spend more time indoors with piping hot cups of cocoa, open fires or heaters, lots of television and Netflix, hot, rich meals and... your kids!

The next three months of cold can be taxing on any parent, with little break from the constant need to feed your children with a steady stream of activities to prevent boredom. Thankfully, Lonely Planet Kids publishers have a brand new collection of titles to provide loads of entertainment for your young ones, even on the bleakest of days. These vibrant and entertaining books will ensure your kids stay happy and busy for hours indoors this winter.
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Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Bellabox Bellababy Review, A May Unboxing Plus Reader Discount Offer...

Have you signed up for Bellababy subscription parcels yet?!

We've been featuring Bellababy here each month for a good while now, and if you're a mum to a young one, this is the subscription parcel choice for you. Find treats for mama and bubba within each month's handpicked parcel, delivered right to your door. With winter officially just days away now, a Bellabox of any kind, (there are several themes to choose from), will see you loaded with supplies to keep you going. There'll be little need to pop outside in the cold this season, to top-up on much-needed supplies.
That's a good enough reason to sign up already don't you think?
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Thursday, 25 May 2017

Parenting - A Reminder to Keep An Eye on Your Children's Eyesight...

Parenting is so much in line with the 'when it rains it pours sentiment.' In times of illness, one sick child can lead to many. When it comes to mess, the more kids you have the bigger the chaos and so it seems too, that when it comes to health issues such as eye problems, we can apply this same analogy here as well.
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Monday, 22 May 2017

Little Eats For Little Ones, Baking With Rafferty's Garden

*This post is brought to you in collaboration with Rafferty's Garden.

Being a mum is a busy business, especially during those early years when your younger child looks to you for everything. Babies, toddlers and preschoolers are all strongly dependent upon their parents in every possible way, and that precious fact is both a source of pure joy - and exhausting!

Sleepless nights, teething, nappies, washing, cleaning and the endless calls for your attention are all typical examples of life for mums in these formative years. To top it off, there are a minutiae of pressures to weigh you down from every source, both inside and outside the home. It's no wonder motherhood is widely considered the world's most difficult job!

Personally, one of the trickiest elements of being a mum for me, is keeping my kids fed and content with the food choices that are laid before them. There is so much focus these days on living a healthy lifestyle and making positive food choices. That's a fantastic thing too. In theory it all makes so much sense, however younger kids can often have their own agendas. (Don't we all know it?!)

Little ones are renown fussy eaters so it can be an outright challenge feeding this age group. The trick it seems, is to keep it all simple and relaxed for both yourself and your child. Make healthy options available at all times, and don't stress when your child refuses to eat at the established ideal of set meal times. Small kids thrive on a constant source of energy, so regular, healthy eats are often the way to go with this age group, over the three meals a day philosophy.

You're on the right track by making sure you offer your child a good variety of eats from all of the food groups every day, and include as many options as you can from these groups within every snacking opportunity.

While it's wonderful and enormously satisfying to be able to make your own healthy foods for your child, rest assured that options available from companies such as Rafferty's Garden are there to offer their support.

Rafferty's Garden have a great selection of premium baby and toddler foods available in supermarkets, which can assist you to nourish your child during the busy times. Their convenient range is free of preservatives, artificial colours, flavours, GM ingredients and other nasties.

To help busy mums, Rafferty's Garden now has a recipe hub where you can find a vast and convenient collection of mum-approved, meal and snack ideas to make for your little one.

We thought it would be a great idea to get creative with some Rafferty's Garden pouches, and have come up with two delicious offerings that are bound to go down well with toddlers (and their older siblings!). Make sure you give these simple suggestions a try.

The following recipe for little vegetable quiches is especially delicious as a lunch or dinner option, but you can offer these at any time of day. Served warm or cold, these small parcels are packed with vegetables and an added flavour hit from the addition of a pouch of Rafferty's Garden Happy Tummies Vegetable Risotto. These are an ideal lunchbox inclusion for children of any age.

Little Vegetable Quiches
Makes 24. Preparation time 15 mins. Baking time 25 mins.
Not suitable for freezing. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

You will need a 24 small muffin pan baking sheet and one large round scone cutter.
Optional: small star cookie cutter.

Approximately 4 sheets of puff pastry
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 medium carrot,
1 medium zucchini
1/4 red capsicum
1 cup of finely grated extra tasty cheese
3 small bunches of English spinach, finely chopped
1/2 a leek finely sliced
4 small Truss tomatoes finely sliced
1 pouch of Rafferty's Garden Happy Tummies Vegetable Risotto
3 eggs
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter for frying
Milk for brushing the pastry.

Set aside and defrost 4 sheets of puff pastry.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.

Using a blender with a shredding disc, finely slice the carrot, zucchini and leek. Also, finely dice the capsicum and English spinach.

Add the tablespoon of butter to a saucepan and lightly cook the leek until it becomes transparent. Then add the shredded (or finely chopped) vegetables and seasoning and cook for a few minutes until softened.

In the meantime, add the eggs to a bowl and the contents of the Rafferty's Garden Happy Tummies Vegetable Risotto and whisk together.

Using the scone cutter, cut rounds from the pastry sheets and line each muffin hole with these to form the base of the quiches.

First place spoonfuls of the cooked vegetables into each pastry base.

Then gently spoon the egg mixture into each cup on top of the shredded vegetables, before topping each mini quiche with a sprinkling of cheese, a sliver of tomato and a pastry star (if desired).

Brush each quiche with milk and place the tray in the oven for 25 minutes until golden.

Allow the mini quiches to cool before serving to your child.

For eats on the go, nothing beats the lure of a delicious cookie. Youngsters will love these healthy fruity oat biscuits. These are a soft cookie and it won't crumble either so there's little mess left in their wake. The cookies are sweetened with the addition of a pouch of Rafferty's Garden Blueberries, Banana and Apple puree and just a hint of honey. They're high in fibre and a great snack for toting-along in your nappy bag.

Fruity Oat Biscuits
Makes approximately 34 cookies. Preparation time: 5 minutes
Baking time: 15 minutes.

1 cup of oat bran
1/2 cup of desiccated coconut
1 cup of self raising flour
1 egg
100gm salt reduced butter, softened
2 tablespoons of honey, melted
1/2 a tsp of cinnamon
1/4 cup of finely chopped raisins.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
Line a biscuit baking sheet with baking paper and set aside.

In a medium size mixing bowl, add the oat bran, coconut, SR flour and cinnamon and mix together.

Make a well in the centre and add the Rafferty's Garden Blueberries, Banana and Apple puree, egg, butter, raisins and honey then stir well until all ingredients combine and form a wet dough.

Roll teaspoon-sized balls of the biscuit mix into balls and place these onto the baking sheet. Gently flatten each a little with your fingers to form a rounded cookie shape.

Bake in a moderate oven for around 15 minutes. The biscuits are ready when they become a light golden colour. Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

For more inspiring recipe ideas, visit the Rafferty's Garden recipe hub.
Find Rafferty's Garden on Facebook or follow them on Instagram @raffertys_garden.

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