What could be better than wee buns?
They are the cream on the cupcake, in fact they are a form of cupcakes. They are little buns or as some of you might know them fairycakes, with the Belfast saying 'wee' in front. They are smaller than a cupcake and don't have as much frosting/icing, in fact sometimes they don't have any at all.
The word 'Wee' - in Northern Ireland, means small, tiny, cute etc etc etc. All over Northern Ireland, people frequently use the word wee - its a form of affection, of fun, sometimes of love.
Frequently on the streets here you'll hear people say 'when I was wee...' meaning when they were a little girl. So I am going to tell you about when I was wee!
My Gran loved to bake, her tins where never empty. She in turn passed this passion onto my Mum. Who along with my Gran and Auntie Bell, passed the love of baking onto me. This legacy of baking is something I will be forever grateful for.
Baking cakes, breads, and other things for my friends and family, fills me with joy. Its a comforting feeling, deciding what to make, then spending a wee bit of time baking, and the satisfaction that comes with watching people enjoy what I created for them, is really rather special.
When Gran came to visit us, she would arrive with her little suitcase, and several tins, filled with a whole array of shah biscuits, wheaten bread, mini meringes, millionaire's shortbread, butterfly cakes, rice krispie bars, 15s - I could write an entire blog post, just listing what used to come from those tins.
Even though I haven't seen one of Gran's filled tins for over a decade, the memory of them, and their contents fills my mind, with the sweet smell of baked sugar. That mouthwateringly yummy taste, that you inhale, and feel in your mouth, before you have even bitten into the treat. You just know that it is going to be good. Gran's house was always filled with this smell, and our kitchen would light up with a fragrance so heartwarmingly beautiful when we got to open the tins in our kitchen. I loved everything she made for us, but I always got excited by the 'wee buns'. My eyes would light up, as I opened the tin to see them nestling for space sometimes dusted with icing sugar, other times pale pink icing, and 100s and 1000s (sugar strands) - these were my favourite.
Gran gave me her recipe book, and it is one of my most precious possessions. Today when my Mum asked me to make her 'wee buns' I couldn't wait to get started. Mum loves wee buns - they are the perfect treat, not too big, with a light crumb, and a little dollop of icing. Mums used to make them for my brother, sister and I, when we were little. My earliest memories are of standing beside her and Gran in the kitchen, on my chair, with my own bowl full of bun batter. These are a great treat to make with children.
This family recipe, that goes back generations is the simplest recipe - Gran's Wee Buns - you could ever make, welding perfect 'wee buns' every time - I hope you enjoy yours.
Gran’s Wee Buns
- 6 oz Butter softened
- 6 oz Self Raising Flour or wholemeal flour
- 6 oz golden Caster Sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 5 oz butter softened
- 10oz icing sugar
- One capful of vanilla extract – you can use rose, or orange if you wish
- splash of food colouring if desired
- Chocolate drops, M&Ms, Smarties , sugar strands etc to decorate the top of each wee bun.
- Preheat the oven to 180°c (gas mark 4), Aga top oven, first line of runners, with cold shelf two sets of runners above. Prepare one bun tray holding 12 -15 with bun cases
- Put all ingredients into a bowl and beat on medium with an electric mixer
- Evenly divide the mixture between the bun cases
- Bake for 20-25 minutes – Aga 15-20 minutes – until golden and a skewer comes out clean.
- Place ‘wee buns’ on a wire rack to cool
- While the buns cool, put all the ingredients for the icing into the mixer bowl, and beat on high for 3-4 minutes, until the icing is pliable and easily used to decorate
- Ice the wee buns when cold to the touch, and decorate each wee bun with a chocolate shape
- I piped the icing for the buns in the photograph, but they look just as good with the icing applied with a spoon. You only need one teaspoon of icing in the middle of each bun
Let me know what you think.
That's it for now...
salt and sparkle = life remarkable