Christmas biscuits!

Today we decided to spend the afternoon baking as it was so wet and windy outside (again)! I must admit a little part of me quite enjoys the winter weather, as there is nothing nicer than being cosy inside with the little ones baking or making!

We chose to bake butter biscuits as they are a huge favourite in our house. They are simple to make and taste amazing. I usually make a few batches at a time, as they seem to disappear very quickly! I was also looking after my 6 year old niece and my (very nearly!) 2 year old nephew, and the kids all decided they would like to turn the biscuits into Christmas biscuits by adding some fun decorations! So we got plenty of ingredients and set to work…… (when I say work, I mean throwing ingredients around and getting covered in flour and icing)!

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To make your Christmas biscuits you will need – 

Biscuit recipe – 110g (4 oz) softened butter, 55g (2 oz) caster sugar, 2 – 3 tbs cold water, few drops of vanilla extract and 175g (6 oz) plain flour Topping – icing sugar, water and decorations of your choice (we used sugar sprinkles, sugar balls and mini sugar gingerbread men) You will also need cookie cutters in ‘Christmas’ themed shapes!

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Begin by preheating your oven to 160C. Then put your butter and sugar into a bowl and mix until fluffy.

Add your vanilla extract and water and mix. Slowly add your flour, mixing it in well. (We tend to use our hands at this point to form a ball, ready to roll out – I split it into two balls here to share between the kids).IMG_3249.JPGRoll your biscuit dough out onto a floured surface. We always pop some flour onto the rolling pin too, to stop it from sticking.IMG_3251.JPGThen use your cookie cutters to cut out some Christmassy shapes! Place them onto greaseproof paper on a baking tray.

Bake them in the oven for approx 15 minutes or until golden brown. Leave to cool and sprinkle with some caster sugar.

Now you can make some icing with your icing sugar and add whatever decorations you like! We went crazy with sprinkles, sugar balls and sugar gingerbread men!

Our finished biscuits were completely yummy and went down a treat! The kids all had brilliant fun and my nephew especially enjoyed decorating his biscuits (even if it did mean sending him home covered in icing – sorry mum)! We sent some biscuits home for my sister too from my niece and nephew and she loved them!IMG_3287.JPG

These biscuits would make a lovely Christmas gift for teachers, wrapped in pretty cellophane and tied with a cute ribbon. (This was what we made for teachers last year and all of the teachers loved them. My daughter said they ate them at break time with their cups of coffee)!

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Gorgeous Homemade Gingerbread!

Yet another rainy (August!) day provided the perfect opportunity to do some baking with the little ones. We opted to make gingerbread as it’s pretty simple and is fantastic for the kids to knead and cut out by themselves as the dough can take a lot of handling. The recipe and method we like to use is this:

  • 7 oz plain flour
  • 3 oz butter
  • 2 oz sugar
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 2-3 tsp ground ginger (we like to use 3 as we love ginger!)
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 desert spoon water
Preheat oven to 190 C and grease the baking trays. Heat the butter, syrup and sugar but do not let them boil! Once melted, take off the heat and add the flour and spices. Stir and add bicarbonate of soda and water into the mixture. Knead into a ball and roll out onto a floured surface. Then cut out using cutters. Bake for 5 – 8 minutes depending on the thickness of the gingerbread. 
Our gingerbread tasted yummy and the kids loved the process of making the dough and cutting out all the different shapes. They taste much nicer than shop bought gingerbread too! You could also add choc chips/raisins/icing etc to decorate the gingerbread. The kids love making funny faces and adding all sorts of weird and strange features! A yummy rainy day activity!
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Our Chocolate Bakery!

I saw a post on Pinterest the other day to make homemade chocolate play dough and thought I would give it a go with my 2 kiddies on a rainy afternoon. It was so simple and smelt amazing! The recipe and method we used was as follows:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp cream of tarter
  • 1 cup salt

Mix all the ingredients in a large saucepan. Stir constantly over a medium heat. Once a ball is formed, take off the heat and allow to cool. Then knead for a while and that is it!!! Simple and it smells so good! My daughter commented that our home smelt like a chocolate bakery! So we decided to set up a chocolate bakery for the afternoon! I set the kids up on the table with cookie cutters, food bags, sequins/beads to decorate with and a play cash till. We also had a play phone for me to call the ‘bakery’ with my sweet treat orders! We had great fun and played for hours. My little boy usually struggles to hold his attention for longer than 5 minutes so this was a big hit! Recommended activity!

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