Ingredients
  • 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

Method

  • 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


2) Jamie Oliver’s Home Sweet Home Gingerbread House

  • 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

Method

  • 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 

Ingredients

  • 200g of rolled porridge oats
  • 400ml of milk
  • 160g of half fat crème fraîche, plus extra for garnish
  • 40g of honey
  • 100g of grapes
  • 1 banana, chopped
  • 1 apple, roughly chopped
  • 100g of dried cranberries
  • 4 glacé cherries

Method

  • Place the porridge oats into a bowl and mix in the milk, honey and crème fraîche. 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 crème fraîche
  • 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 crème fraîche. Place a cherry on top of each dollop to make Rudolph’s nose, serve with a little extra milk if necessary.

4) Galton Blackiston’s Christmas Pudding Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

  • 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.

5) Waitrose’s Christmas Gingerbread Men

Ingredients

  • 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)

Method

  • 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.

6) Good Food’s Snow Globe Hot Chocolate

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

  • 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.

7) Taste’s Cinnamon Twigs

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

  • 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.

About The Author

My Baba

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