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Ayyam-i-Ha

  • Ayyam-i-Ha is a Baha’i festival that is joyously celebrated in countries and territories all over the world. It is a time of hospitality, generosity, and caring for the needy. This year Ayyam-i-Ha runs from February 26-29.
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Ayyam-i-Ha

in Explore > Calendar

Ayyam-i-Ha is a Baha’i festival that is joyously celebrated in countries and territories all over the world. It is a time of hospitality, generosity, and caring for the needy. It typically falls around the end of February and beginning of March and it is either four or five days long.

Delicious Treats for Ayyam-i-Ha!

February 26, 2023, in Images > Community, by

This year we’ve been so excited to a host a very fun project called the Great Big Ayyam-i-Ha Bake Off! Baha’is and their friends in Australia and around the world were invited to send in photos, videos and recipes. We were THRILLED when the emails starting sliding into our inbox and we’re overjoyed to share this collection of yummy treats with you! Happy and joyous Ayyam-i-Ha!

Vegan Sugar Cookies by Elham and Layli

Elham and Layli (@plant_basedpersian on Instagram) sent in this delicious recipe for vegan sugar cookies (the recipe is by Nora Cooks). They make these cookies every year to share with family and friends and they make a special batch that can be decorated at their community celebration:

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Cookie Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup vegan butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened, plain plant milk
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract 
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour 
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Icing Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp light corn syrup 
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened, plain plant milk (add more as needed)
  • 1/4 tsp ground saffron (optional) 

Cookies Instructions:

  • In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the vegan butter for about 1 minute until creamy. Add the sugar and beat on high speed for 2-3 minutes. 
  • Add in the plant milk, cornstarch, vanilla and almond extract. Mix on high until it is all fully combined, about 1 minute. 
  • Add 1 cup flour to the wet mixture. Add the baking powder and salt. Mix on low speed, until just combined. Add the remaining flour and continue to mix on low until just combined; don’t over mix.
  • Scoop all of the dough out of the bowl and use your hands to push it all together. Divide the dough in half and roll into two balls.
  • On a flat surface, add a sheet of parchment paper. Sprinkle a little flour on it, then add half the dough. Sprinkle a little flour on top of the dough, and roll it out to about 1/4 inch thickness. Place a sheet of parchment paper on top. Repeat for the second ball of dough, and then stack them with parchment paper. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Cut the chilled dough into desired shapes using a nine-pointed star cookie cutter and place them on the prepared baking sheets. Continue re-rolling the dough until it is all used.
  • Bake for 10 minutes (oven temperatures vary). Let them cool for 5 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to let cool completely before icing.

Icing Instructions: 

  • If using saffron, combine the ground saffron with the 2 Tbsp of plant milk to release its colour and flavour. 
  • Whisk all icing ingredients in a bowl. If it seems too thick, add a little more plant milk. It should be smooth, and not runny. If too runny, add more powdered sugar.
  • Add to a piping bag with a small tip to ice the cookies. Add sprinkles, and decorate as desired. 

Pillowy Rhubarb Cookies by Haydar, Elijah & Bahiyyih

Siblings Haydar, Elijah and Bahiyyih worked hard to make these sweet and tart cookies that are perfect for sharing!

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Ingredients

2 cups brown sugar
1 cup margarine
2 large eggs
2 ¾ cups plain flour
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups rhubarb, diced

  1. Set oven to 175 degrees Celsius.
  2. Beat sugar, margarine and eggs until soft and creamy.
  3. Add dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
  4. Add rhubarb and give one final mix.
  5. Place spoonfuls of dough onto a lined baking tray, making sure there is enough space between every scoop.
  6. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the cookies have started to turn golden.

Note from the pastry chefs: The original cookie recipe called for more flour and butter instead of margarine. Since we didn’t have those exact specs, our cookies ended up becoming more of a cake and cookie combo – but were still quite delightful. Hence the name: Pillowy Rhubarb Cookies. No matter whether you use margarine or butter or even vegetable oil, these morsels are bound to turn out extra special! Heat up and serve with your favourite ice-cream for an extra bit of Ayyam-i-Ha indulgence!

Pecan Pie Brownies by the Sami Family

The Sami family enjoyed the opportunity to try their hands at a new gluten-free recipe and it looks phenomenal! This recipe is from Eating Bird Food.

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup cane sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips, melted
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups blanched fine almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

Topping:

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups whole or chopped pecans

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×9 square pan with cooking spray.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, whisk eggs. Stir in the melted butter, sugar, salt, vanilla and melted chocolate chips.
  • Add the cocoa powder, almond flour and baking powder and stir to combine.
  • Scoop/pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it to the edges.
  • Bake brownies in the oven for 20 minutes.
    6. While brownies are baking prepare topping by combining brown sugar, maple syrup, melted butter, egg, vanilla, salt and pecans in a small bowl.7. After 20 minutes, remove brownies from the oven and evenly spread the pecan topping over the brownie batter. Place back in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until the topping has set. Remove from oven and let brownies cool for about 15 minutes before slicing and serving.8. Brownies will keep for 2 days covered at room temp or up to 5 days in the fridge.

Passion Fruit Melting Moments by Nasim

These title alone of these cookies sounds scrumptious!

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250g unsalted butter
1/3 cup icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1/2 cup custard powder

Passionfruit filling:
60g unsalted butter
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons passionfruit pulp

Method:
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line two baking trays with baking paper. Beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Beat in the vanilla essence. Sift in the flour and custard powder and mix to a soft dough. Roll level tablespoons of the mixture into balls and place on the trays. (Mine were very rustic!) Flatten slightly with a floured fork.

Bake for 20 mins, or until light and golden. Cool.

To make the filling, beat the sugar and butter until light and creamy, then beat in the passionfruit pulp. Use the filling to sandwich the biscuits together. Leave to firm before serving. Enjoy!!

Confetti Cookies by Violette, Zaynab & Gol

Those who love sprinkles, love them a lot! And these cookies, by Smitten Kitchen, are completely smothered in them! They were gleefully shared with friends and family.

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  • 3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
  • 1 cup (8 ounces, 225 grams or 2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces, 55 grams or 1/4 of an 8-ounce brick) cream cheese
  • 1 1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1/2 a vanilla bean, split and scraped (see Note up top)
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
  • 1 cup rainbow sprinkles

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking large sheets with parchment paper.

To make in a food processor: Place flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in the work bowl and pulse a few times to blend. Add butter and cream cheese in large chunks, plus sugar and blend until mixture is powdery. Add egg, vanilla and almond extracts and run machine until the dough balls together. You’ll probably need to scrape it down once or twice to get the mixture even.

To make with an electric mixer: Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and whisk to blend. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat cream cheese, butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg and extracts and blend again. Add flour mixture and beat just until flour disappears. In some cases, this dough will feel too soft to roll into balls in your hands; if so, let it chill in the fridge for 20 minutes or so before using.

Both methods: Scoop balls of dough; the texture is less dynamic when made smaller — and roll them briefly in the palms of your hands before dropping them in a bowl of rainbow sprinkles and gently rolling to coat them evenly.

Transfer balls of sprinkle-coated dough to baking sheets at least two inches apart. Use the bottom of a drinking glass to press down on the cookies until they are about 1/4 to 1/2-inch tall. If you see any bare spots in the sprinkles that bother you, you can sprinkle a few more on top. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes until they look underbaked but lightly golden underneath. [If they’re not quite soft in the centre, they will be fully crisped through the next day.] Let set on the baking sheet on a rack for a few minutes before transferring to cooling racks to cool the rest of the way. Repeat with remaining cookie dough.

Armenian Nutmeg Cake by Alan & Lorraine

This cake, whose recipe can was shared by ABC, is mysteriously named because a known link to Armenia can’t be found. Nevertheless, it looks mouth-watering!

Ingredients

2 cups lightly packed brown sugar (I use light)

2 cups self raising flour

125 gm. butter

l tsp. bicarbonate soda

l cup milk

l large egg, lightly beaten

l teaspoon nutmeg (I always use freshly grated. So good)

1/2 – 1 cup walnuts (optional) (and I’ve used 1 cup of pecans in my recipe)

Method

Place brown sugar and flour into mixing bowl – add butter and rub in.

Grease a deep round or square cake tin and spread half of crumb mixture over the base.

Press down – not too hard as it makes it difficult to cut through.

Mix bicarbonate soda into milk, egg and nutmeg and add to remaining crumb mixture and stir to a thick batter. Pour over base.

Sprinkle with chopped nuts of your desire or leave plain.

Bake in moderate oven (180c) for approx. one hour. Cool a little before turning out.

Soft No-Spread Sugar Cookies by Niv

This intricately iced sugar cookie, creatd by Niv whose Instagram baking handle is @a.choux.in, was inspired by her life changing visit to Haifa for pilgrimage in December 2019. It is a soft no-spread sugar cookie with royal icing.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Cups Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 2 Cups Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 7-8 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Cup Milk

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Cream butter, sugar, salt and vanilla together until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes)
  • Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl.
  • Add eggs and mix on medium speed until fully combined.
  • Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl.
  • Dissolve baking powder in milk and set aside.
  • Add 4 cups of flour and mix on low until combined.
  • Add milk mixture. Mix until fully incorporated.
  • Add the rest of the flour one cup at a time. Go slow with the last cup of flour. You will know there is enough flour when the dough is playdoh like consistency. It should not be sticky, but it shouldn’t crumble. The dough should clean the sides of the bowl (if using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment).
  • Separate your dough into 3 equal sections and roll each section in between two pieces of wax paper, parchment, or plastic wrap. Use a rolling pin with guide rings for even results.
  • Place rolled sheets of dough into a container and place into the fridge for at least an hour, or overnight. Dough can also be stored stored in the freezer for 20 minutes if you are in a hurry, or stored there for later use.
  • When ready to cut and bake, preheat your oven to 350° and place your oven rack in the center position.
  • Cut your shapes and place onto a silicone baking mat or parchment paper (for best results). Space cookies 1-2″ apart and bake for 8-15 minutes depending on size and thickness.
  • When cookies are baked through, use a fondant smoother to gently press out any air bubbles and gently flip cookies upside down the mat to cool for 5 minutes. Then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. These additional steps are optional, but will provide the flattest cookies possible. Decorate with desired icing.
  • Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for at least 2 months.

Doggy Cookies by Adayna & Chester the Cavoodle

We love that the generosity of baked Ayyam-i-Ha goods was extended to animals! Adayna and her dog Chester made these dog treats to share with fellow dogs in her neighbourhood!

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1/3 cup smooshed pumpkin

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 cup whole wheat flour (or other doggie friendly flours)

add and mix a sprinkle of oats

knead, roll out and cut into desired shapes and bake!

Star Cookies by the Sabati-Safai Family

Baked treats are made all the more sweet when made by little hands!

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Recipe:

2 3/4 cups of flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 cup soft butter

1 1/2 cup white or brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

mix the flour, baking soda and baking powder in one bowl

in a second bowl, cream the butter and sugar

add the egg and vanilla to the second bowl and keep mixing

incorporate the contents of the first bowl into the second bowl

bake 8 to 10 minutes, until golden, at 190 Celsius

Nine-Pointed Star Puerto Rican Quesitos by the Charepoo Family

One of the Ayyam-i-Ha traditions of the Charepoos, a Persian-Puerto Rican family, is to make “quesitos” together on the first night and eat them for breakfast every day during the Days of Ha. “Quesito”, which means “little cheese,” is a scrumptious Puerto Rican sweet pastry made of cream cheese and guava paste. This year the Charepoos tried them out as nine-pointed stars and they turned out great!

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Ingredients


1 box of frozen puff pastry dough with two sheets
8 ounces of cream cheese
1 tablespoon of vanilla
¼ cup of confectioners’ sugar
1 brick of guava paste.
1 egg beaten for egg wash
½ cup of granulated sugar
½ cup of all purpose flour to dust the rolling pin and surface

Instructions

  1. An hour before starting to make your “quesitos” set your cream cheese and puff pastry on the
    counter and let it come to room temperature.
  2. Preheat an oven to 400°F. Line the sheet pans and set aside.
  3. Prepare the egg wash by beating an egg and set aside.
  4. Cut thin strips of guava paste and set aside.
  5. Prepare the cream cheese mixture by mixing the cream cheese, vanilla, and confectioners’ sugar and
    set aside.
  6. Dust your working area and rolling pin with all purpose flour and set your puff pastry on your
    working area.
  7. Use a rolling pin to roll your puff pastry dough into about 24 inches x 15 inches rectangle.
  8. Cut your puff pastry with a pizza cutter into 12 squares for the traditional questions or nine
    rectangles for the nine-pointed star quesitos.
  9. Place the puff pastry on the baking sheet.
  10. To fill the quesito place a tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture in the center and a small piece of
    guava paste.
  11. Brush the eggwash all around the filling.
  12. Fold the quesitos. For the traditional quesito you are going to fold one corner to the center, then the
    opposite corner to the center and pinch the dough to seal it. For the nine-pointed star quesito you
    are going to fold the dough in half and use the star cookie cutter to make the shape.
  13. Brush the quesitos with the egg wash and sprinkle the granulated sugar on top.
  14. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes until the quesitos are golden brown.
  15. Let them cool to room temperature before eating.
    ¡Buen Provecho! Nooshe Jan! Enjoy!

9-Pointed Star Pops by Sholeh

We’re loving the diversity and variation on making 9 pointed star goodies!

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RECIPE:

I tried these star pops with two different doughs: a basic vegan cake and frosting mixture dough and also an Oreo and vegan cream cheese mixture dough and I prefer the Oreo mixture because it holds better, so I will share that recipe.

This makes about 25 servings

What you need:
-38 Oreos
-177 grams store bought vegan cream cheese
-220 grams of chocolate of choice (If you prefer brown chocolate star pops, get regular vegan chocolate. But if you prefer to make vibrant colours, get white vegan chocolate. I used sweet Williams brand.)
– 9 pointed star cookie cutter or 9 pointed star cardboard cut out
-popsicle sticks
-oil based food colours (if you want to make different colours)
-sprinkles and other decorating supplies (optional)

Directions:
1) Put the Oreos in a food processor and pulse until they are crumbled.
2) Mix them in a bowl with the vegan cream cheese until well combined.
3) Make your star pops using the cookie cutter or cut-out.
4) Chill them for about 15 minutes.
5) While the star pops are chilling, melt some chocolate. If you are using different colours, now would be a good time to make separate bowls of the individual colours mixed with white chocolate. Put a bit of colour and mix with melted chocolate until desired colour is reached.
6) After chilling star pops, take them out briefly. Take each popsicle stick or lollipop stick and dip into the melted chocolate and immediately put the stick into the base of the star pop. Do this for each star pop until they all have sticks inserted. Chill them all again briefly for 10 minutes. (Make sure the sticks are placed a fair bit in at least 1/4 way through so that they don’t fall off or wobble)
7) After chilling them, decorate them by either dipping them into the desired chocolate, or brushing the chocolate onto one side, or putting some chocolate into a piping bag and drizzling it on top. You can also add sprinkles onto the applied wet chocolate so that they stick.

Another way to make a nine pointed star pop is by using triangular moulds. If you make 9 of them, you can make a 9 pointed star. All you have to do is put some melted chocolate into the mould, chill it for few minutes to set, then press the dough into the mould on top of the set chocolate together with the popsicle stick and chill it for few minutes. Finally cover the top with some chocolate and leave to set for few minutes. You can use different coloured chocolates for the moulds and make a colourful 9 pointed star.


The possibilities are endless!

Pear & Almond Cake by Phoenix and Kayan

This cake, with its whole pears, looks delightful!

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Here is the recipe: 

4 eggs

2/3 cup caster sugar

1/2 cup cooking oil

1 tablespoon ground cardamom

1 cup self raising flour 

1 cup almond meal

6 pears 

For the glaze:

1 cup icing sugar

1-2 tablespoons milk

1- Preheat oven to 160C.  Line a 20cm cake tin with baking paper. 

2- Peel pears and arrange in the tin.

3- Whisk eggs and caster sugar with an electric mixer until pale and creamy and tripled in volume. 

4- Add ground cardamom and oil. Mix for 30 seconds. 

5- Fold in flour and almond meal.

6- Pour cake batter into prepared cake tin and bake until golden (~35 minutes). 

7- Make the glaze by mixing sifted icing sugar with a little milk until creamy. Pour glaze over cooled cake. 

Flowers of One Garden Meringue Cookies by Effie

Effie, whose baking can be found on Instagram @lawsofbaking, shared the following with us: Our family loves making meringue cookies to share for Ayyam-i-Ha. They are light as air with a satisfying crunch and delicate flavor. This is an inclusive recipe that works well for those with food allergies as they are gluten free, nut free and dairy free. The ingredients are also easily accessed and economical. And how you flavor, shape and decorate these meringues is up to you and your imagination.

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INGREDIENTS

  • 4 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated or superfine sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar (if you don’t have cream of tartar, you can substitute ½ teaspoon of lemon juice or white vinegar instead)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Flavoring of choice, here are some options (choose one):

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extracts
vanilla seeds from ½ vanilla bean pod
½ teaspoon rose water
½ teaspoon orange blossom water
1 teaspoon of citrus zest

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 225ºF/107ºC.

Prepare two baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper, I prefer the all natural, unbleached variety.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt on medium low speed to “warm” them up.

Once a little frothy, approximately 2 minutes, turn up the speed to medium high and whisk until soft peaks form, approximately 2 minutes.

Then turn the speed down to medium low and gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Once all of the sugar is incorporated, whisk on medium high speed until stiff peaks form and all of the sugar has dissolved. One technique to test this is by rubbing a bit of the meringue between your fingers and if it feels gritty, it means that the sugar has not dissolved completely and you will need to keep whisking. This process usually takes about 3-4 minutes. After 2 minutes the meringue will begin to take shape and you can see a trail that the whisk leaves behind. It will also begin to turn glossy and shiny.

At the end of this process, the mixture will transform into a stiff, perfect meringue and ready to pipe. 

At this stage, you add in the flavouring of choice and whisk just until it has been incorporated.

To pipe the meringue cookies, you can use a piping bag with a 2D or 2F pipping tip to pipe flowers, or you can use a plastic bag as a piping bag and snip the corner to pipe our various shapes.


You can also use that same piping tip to create nests like the ones below and fill the meringues with various fillings like whipped cream, lemon curd, fresh fruit, caramel, etc..

You can use sparkling sugars, sprinkles, edible dried flowers, or any other edible decorations you’d like to top the cookies with.

Bake at 225ºF/107ºC for 2 hours or until firm and the cookie lifts off the parchment paper very easily. Turn off the oven and allow the meringues to cool completely in the oven for several hours or overnight. Keep the over door closed during this time.

The meringue cookies may be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Soft & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies by a Junior Youth Group in Baku

Animator Ayan is 17 and from Baku, Azerbaijan. Her junior youth group really enjoyed the process of baking these cookies together!

14-Soft-and-Chewy-Chocolate-Chip-Cookies

1/2 cup (100g) brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup (50g) white sugar

1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened

1 large egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1½ (190g) all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup (160g) chocolate chips or less if you prefer

Mix the wet and dry ingredients in their own separate bowls before combining all the ingredients. Bake at 375 F for 10 minutes or until golden brown along the edges.

Yazdi Cupcakes by Nasrin

Whoever invented cakes in miniature was a genius! And these Yazdi cupcakes flavoured with rose water and cardamom look especially yummy!

Yazdi-Cupcakes

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups flour 

2/3 cup sugar 

1/2 cup yogurt 

2 eggs

1/2 cup vegetable oil

I tsp. cardamom

1 tsp. baking powder 

1/2 tsp. baking soda 

1 tbs. rose water 

1. Add baking powder and cardamom to flour. 

2. In a small bowl, add baking soda to yogurt.

3. In electronic mixing bowl, beat eggs, oil, sugar and rose water.

4. Add yogurt to the mixture.

5. Add flour gradually to the mixture.

6. Bake at preheated 350F until cupcakes are done, about 15 to 25 minutes.

Flowers of One Garden Pudding Cups by Jeanette

A desert that looks like dirt is always a hit, particularly with little ones!

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Fill small cups or even small flower pots with chocolate pudding or ice cream. You can crumble chocolate cookies on top to make it look even more like dirt and to make it even more tasty. Put a straw in the middle as a stem. Attach a quote to the straw as a leaf, such as “We are flowers of one garden, leaves of one tree!” Put a real or a paper flower in the straw. For extra fun, add a gummy worm coming out of the “dirt”.

Ayyam-i-Ha Pavlova by Sienna

We love the Ayyam-i-Ha twist on this classic desert!

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Ingredients:

6 egg whites

3/4 cups of caster sugar

1/2 tsp of vinegar

3 tsp of corn flour

whipping cream

berries of choice

mint and rose petals (for garnish)

In a mixer or with an electric beater, beat egg whites until soft peaks form.

Preheat oven to 130C.

Add sugar (slowly while beating), vinegar, corn flour. Beat until stiff and glossy (as least 10 mins).

Sketch nine-pointed star on baking paper.

Scrunch paper first, then flatten out and dust corn flour on it (it will help remove the pav after it’s cooked). Pile meringue onto parchment paper/baking paper.

Bake at 130C for about 1.5 hours or until crisp on the outside. (Don’t open oven to check! Otherwise it will sink!)

Turn off oven and leave pav to cool slowly (ideally overnight). Leave oven door open just a crack by placing handle of a wooden spoon in the crack.

Decorate with whipped cream and fruit of your choice (and I also used rose petals and mint).

Enjoy your yum pavlova!

Tip: Use very clean utensils and do not get any yolk in the egg whites.

Cupcakes by Jasmine

Jasmine lovingly sent us a picture from her children’s class in the Illawarra region of NSW. They decided to make cupcakes and decorate them in all of our favourite colours, and then give them all to each other! The excitement, friendship, selflessness and generosity of the class was beyond heart warming. She hopes that her submission to the Bake Off illustrates how minimal funds and time shows others that it’s not what you have, but what you can do together that makes all the difference.

As there was no recipe accompanying Jasmine’s submission, here’s a great vegan plush confetti cupcake recipe via Smitten Kitchen that is incredibly scrumptious!

  • 1 cups plus 7 tablespoons (190 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
  • 1 cup (235 ml) unsweetened non-dairy milk such as soy, almond, or oat
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) neutral oil or melted vegan butter
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup rainbow sprinkles
  • 8 ounces (1 cup) non-dairy cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup (90 grams) powdered sugar, sifted if lumpy
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract

Make the cupcakes: Heat oven to 350°F. Place cupcake liners in a 12-cup standard tin.

In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together until well-mixed. Make a slight well in the center and add the non-dairy milk, oil, lemon juice, vanilla, and almond. Whisk the wet and dry ingredients together just until no lumps remain. Stir in sprinkles (the higher amount is shown here) with a flexible spatula.

Divide batter between 12 cups; each will be 2/3 full.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out batter-free. Let cupcakes cool completely — this took about 5 minutes outside on a freezing day.

To finish: Beat cream cheese with powdered sugar and vanilla until lightly whipped. Dollop about 1.5 tablespoons on each cupcake and spread it out in swirls. Finish with an extra pinch of sprinkles.

Do ahead: Cupcakes keep in the fridge for several days, but they won’t last that long.

Soft Chocolate Cookies by Kiana, Leyli & Nur

Sisters Kiana, Leyli and Nur made deliciously soft chocolate cookies to share with their classmates!

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180g chocolate (dark)

60g butter

2 eggs

150g sugar (we like brown sugar)

1 Tbsp vanilla powder ot essence

220g flour

1 Tbsp baking power

Melt chocolate and butter in the microwave and let it cool.

Mix eggs and sugar with vanilla until well integrated and smooth.

Add chocolate/butter and mix well.

Slowly add flour and baking powder.

Once all mixed put it in the fridge for 30 min to 1 hour (or whatever time you have!)

Remove from fridge and make small balls of chocolate mix (with hands or the help of spoons)

Place the ball on oven paper on a tray, well distanced from each other

Put in pre-heated oven (180-200 C) for 10-15 minutes MAX

Remove and let cool

Decorate with sugar powder, if you’d like

Note: Do not wait for them to get hard in the oven, remove when still soft! They will harden once cool!

Carrot Cake & Sugar Cookies by the Appadoo Family

One super sweet family shared, not one, but two delicious Ayyam-i-Ha treats: a carrot cake and some sugar cookies with royal icing! You can follow Ujarak Appadoo on Instagram for more incredible baked goods and stunning handmade creations.

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FOR CARROT CAKE

2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 ¼ cups (295 ml) canola or other vegetable oil

1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar

1 cup (190 grams) lightly packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 large eggs, at room temperature

3 cups (300 grams) grated peeled carrots, 5 to 6 medium carrots

1 cup (100 grams) coarsely chopped pecans

1/2 cup (65 grams) raisins

FOR CREAMY FROSTING

8 ounces (225 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature

1 ¼ cups (140 grams) powdered sugar

1/3 cup (80 ml) heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup (50 grams) coarsely chopped pecans, for topping cake

DIRECTIONS

  • MAKE THE BATTER

Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans, line the bottom with parchment paper and then grease the top. Or grease and flour the bottom and sides of both pans.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (176C).

Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl until very well blended.

In a separate bowl, whisk the oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla.

Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking after each one.

Switch to a large rubber spatula. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, then add the dry ingredients in three parts, gently stirring until they disappear and the batter is smooth.

Stir in the carrots, nuts, and raisins.

  • BAKE CAKE

Divide the cake batter between the prepared cake pans.

Bake until the tops of the cake layers are springy when touched and when a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes.

Cool cakes in the pans for 15 minutes, then carefully turn the cake layers out onto cooling racks. Remove the parchment paper and cool completely. If you find that a cake layer is sticking to the bottom of the pan, leave the cake pan upside down and allow gravity to do its thing.

  • TO FINISH

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with a handheld mixer on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute.

Beat in the powdered sugar, a 1/4 cup at a time, until fluffy.

Pour in the whipping cream. Beat on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the frosting is whipped and creamy. This frosting resembles the texture of whipped cream. Chill covered until ready to frost the cake.

When the cake layers are completely cool, frost the top of one cake layer, and place the second cake layer on top.

Add the remaining frosting to the top of the carrot cake and use a butter knife or small spatula to swirl the frosting around. Leave the sides of the cake unfrosted. Finish with a handful of nuts on top.

Moist & Chewy Banana Oatmeal Cookies by Shadi

Shadi lovingly prepared these treats (the recipe is by Life, Love and Sugar) for her kids’ class!

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Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mashed bananas
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 3 cups old fashioned oats

Instructions

1. Mix together butter, brown sugar, sugar, egg, vanilla extract and mashed bananas until well combined.
2. Add flour, cinnamon, baking soda, cloves and cornstarch and mix until combined.
3. Stir in oats.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
5. Spoon tablespoons of dough onto a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Flatten dough a little bit, into thick discs. They will spread a little when baked.
6. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges just start to golden.
7. Remove from oven and cool on cookie sheet for 3-4 minutes, then move to cooling rack to finish cooling.

Ayyam-i-Ha Cookies by Mayumi

Look at the details on these buttery creations!

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Ingredients
2 and 1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract

Bake until lightly golden brown around the edges.

And that wraps up our collection of recipes of sweet treats made this Ayyam-i-Ha! A HUGE thank you to the participants of all ages — and Chester too! It was a joy to receive your messages, recipes, photos and videos and we hope sharing everyone’s contributions brings you joy too! Happy Ayyam-i-Ha!

Posted by

Sonjel Vreeland

In her innermost heart, Sonjel is a stay-at-home parent and a bookworm with a maxed out library card but professionally she is a museologist with a background in English Literature. She currently lives on Prince Edward Island, an isle in the shape of a smile on the eastern Canadian coast. Sonjel is a writer who loves to listen to jazz when she's driving at night.
Sonjel Vreeland

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