- 200 grams grated smoked cheddar or other strong cheddar
- 50 grams soft unsalted butter
- 100 grams plain flour (plus extra for rolling)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon celery salt
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- You will need a star cutter, 5cm / 2 inches diameter point to point.
- Preheat oven to 180°C/ gas mark 4/350ºF.
- Put all ingredients into a food processor and blitz until the dough comes together. Form into two flat discs, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
- Roll out the first disc of dough on a lightly floured surface to about the thickness of a pound coin / one-eighth of an inch thick and cut out your cheese stars. This is a very good-tempered dough, and any botched stars can be added back to the dough as you go to be re-cut.
- Line a flat baking sheet with parchment and arrange on top, then pop into the oven for 12-15 minutes, by which time the stars will be puffed and golden. Repeat the same process with the second batch of dough.
- Once the stars are cooked, transfer to a wire rack to cool a little
- 4 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons treacle
- 160 g muscovado
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 200 g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 1 orange
- 460 g plain flour, plus extra
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 2 free-range egg whites
- 500 g icing sugar
- sweets and edible glitter, to decorate
- Put a small saucepan on a low heat, add the maple syrup, treacle, sugar, ginger and cinnamon with 4 tablespoons of water and combine with a wooden spoon. Keep stirring until the mixture boils.
- Carefully take the pan off the heat and add the butter, saving 1 piece. Let it all melt in, stirring to combine, then grate in the orange zest.
- Stir in the flour and baking powder until everything comes together as a dough. If it’s very sticky, dust it with flour, then wrap it in cling film and refrigerate for half an hour.
- Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Dust your work surface and rolling pin with flour, then roll the dough out to about 5mm thick. Using a sharp knife, cut out pieces for your house.
- You’ll need six pieces, in three different shapes measuring: sides: 20cm x 14cm; roof: 21cm x 7cm; gable ends: 10cm (base) x 14cm (outer sides) x 18cm (apex). Any scraps can be pressed together and rolled out for the next pieces.
- Grease a baking tray with your reserved butter. Place your house pieces on the tray, leaving a 1cm gap between them. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes, or until golden and slightly darker around the edges.
- Let the gingerbread cool completely before icing. Whisk your egg whites to stiff peaks then, while whisking, gradually mix in the icing sugar till you have a dense stiff meringue. Use this to glue your gingerbread pieces together.
- Decorate with sweets, using more of the icing as glue, then very lightly dust with glitter for sparkly snow.
3) William Drabble’s Rudolph’s Breakfast
- 200g of rolled porridge oats
- 400ml of milk
- 160g of half fat crÃ¨me fraÃ®che, plus extra for garnish
- 40g of honey
- 100g of grapes
- 1 banana, chopped
- 1 apple, roughly chopped
- 100g of dried cranberries
- 4 glacÃ© cherries
- Place the porridge oats into a bowl and mix in the milk, honey and crÃ¨me fraÃ®che. Leave in the fridge to soak overnight (if it goes too thick, add a little more milk in the morning)
- The next day, add some cut grapes, banana, dried cranberries, apple and a small dollop of crÃ¨me fraÃ®che
- See who can make the most colourful dish by letting the kids add their choice of fruits to their bowl of porridge
- Divide the porridge into bowls and top with small dollops of crÃ¨me fraÃ®che. Place a cherry on top of each dollop to make Rudolph’s nose, serve with a little extra milk if necessary.
- 600ml of single cream
- 300ml of milk
- 1/2 vanilla pod, split lengthways
- 6 egg yolks
- 125g of caster sugar
- 250g of christmas pudding, crumbled into pieces
- Add the cream and milk to a pan and scrape in the seeds from the vanilla pod. Add the scraped pod and place the pan over a medium-high heat
- Making custard is a great skill for older kids to pick up. Not only is it great drizzled over many desserts, but it is also used as a base for ice cream – as it is here
- Bring to a gentle simmer, then remove from the heat and set aside to infuse for 30 minutes
- In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until pale and smooth. Bring the milk and cream back up to a simmer
- While slowly whisking the eggs, gradually pour in the hot cream
- Two sets of hands will make this step a lot of easier. Ask a child to keep whisking while you pour in the hot cream – just be careful not to scald them
- Return the mixture to the saucepan. Place the pan over a low heat and stir continuously until you have a thin custard that coats the back of a wooden spoon
- Remove the pan from the heat. Pass the custard through a fine sieve into a bowl and allow to cool completely, laying cling film directly on top of the custard to prevent a skin forming
- Churn the custard in an ice cream maker, stirring in the Christmas pudding as the mixture begins to thicken and freeze. Store in the freezer until ready to serve.
- 125g unsalted butter
- 100g dark brown muscovado sugar
- 4 tbsp golden syrup
- 325g plain flour, plus extra for dusting and dipping
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- Dr Oetker Writing Icing (optional)
- Waitrose Cooks’ Homebaking chocolate mocha beans (optional)
- Coloured string, for decorating (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 170°C, gas mark 3. Line 3 or 4 baking trays with baking parchment. Melt the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a medium saucepan, stirring occasionally, until melted, then remove from the heat and set aside.
- Sieve the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ginger into a bowl. Stir in the melted ingredients to make a stiff dough.
- Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and roll to a 5mm thickness. Using gingerbread men cutters, dip into some extra flour before cutting out shapes. Place onto the lined trays and, using a skewer/knife, make two holes for eyes and draw a mouth. Bake, in batches, for 9-10 minutes until light golden brown.
- Leave to cool on a wire rack. If desired, use the icing to stick on beans, then attach string for bows. Store the biscuits in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
- 3 large white marshmallows
- Icing pens, in black and orange
- 1 giant chocolate button
- 1 chocolate – a mini Reese’s peanut butter cup or other domed chocolate is perfect
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp Horlicks powder
- Handful mini white marshmallows
- 1 cookie (small enough to fit in a jam jar)
- 3 strawberries laces
You will need
- 1 cocktail stick
- 1 large jam jar
- Ribbon and gift tag
- First make the marshmallow snowman. Skewer the marshmallows together with a cocktail stick – cut off any of the stick that protrudes from the top. Use a little of the icing pen to stick a chocolate button and peanut butter cup to the top of each marshmallow stack, then draw on a face and 3 dots for buttons. Plait 3 strawberry laces and tie around the neck for a scarf. Stick the snowman to a cookie with a little more icing, then set aside to dry for a few mins.
- Mix the cocoa and Horlicks together in the bottom of your jar. Put the snowman on top, then scatter around the mini marshmallows. Screw n the lid, tie with a ribbon and a gift tag with the following instructions: Warm 300ml milk in a pan. Remove the snowman from the jar and add the milk. Stir until smooth and chocolatey, then enjoy, with your marshmallow snowman for dunking.
- 2 tablespoons caster sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 sheet (25 x 25cm) ready-rolled frozen butter puff pastry, just thawed
- 1 egg white, lightly whisked
- 2.5m ribbon, cut into 10 pieces
- Preheat oven to 200°C. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.
- Cut the pastry sheet in half. Brush 1 piece of pastry with egg white and sprinkle with half the sugar mixture. Use a sharp knife to cut the pastry into 1cm-thick strips crossways. Gently twist strips and place on the lined tray. Repeat with the remaining pastry, egg white and sugar mixture.
- Bake in oven for 10 minutes or until crisp and golden. Transfer to a wire rack for 30 minutes to cool. Use 1 piece of ribbon to tie 3-4 twigs together to make a small bundle. Repeat with the remaining twigs and ribbon.