And Other Family Xmas Favorites
Christmas is a great time of year for baking with plenty of special Christmas cookie recipes or everyday recipes that can be given a Christmassy twist! All of these recipes are child friendly although they will definitely require some supervision.
This is a recipe that I have been using since I used to help my mother in the kitchen as a kid so it is well tested! It makes lovely moist gingerbread that easy for children to handle and cut shapes from, with some loving parental guidance ofcourse!
Royal Icing (Optional)
Xmas Gingerbread Recipe
Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy and add the egg yolk. Gradually add the sifted dry ingredients and the golden syrup. Mix well and give a light knead until pliable.
Divide the dough into about six portions and roll each one to a 3mm/ 1/8in thickness on a floured surface and cut out shapes (use Xmas trees, snowmen, stars and angels for a Christmassy theme). Gently lift the shapes with a cake lift and place them onto greased oven trays. Bake in a moderate oven for 10-12 minutes.
Beat the egg white lightly using a wooden spoon, gradually add the sifted icing sugar, beating well. When it reaches piping consistency add the lemon juice and food coloring.
**Tip – If you want to decorate differently you can use chocolate dots, cachous, dried fruit and other decorations, just beware the kids will like eating these as much as they use them on the gingerbread!
Christmas Shortbread Trees
This Christmas cookie recipe makes lovely trees that can be wrapped as gifts or even hung on the big Christmas tree.
Preheat oven to 160 C/ 320F and line two baking trays with baking paper.
Sift the flour, icing sugar and rice flour into a bowl. Rub the butter through the flour mixture until it resembles breadcrumbs. Press to form a dough. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Place the dough on a floured surface and gently knead. Halve the dough and roll to a thickness of 7mm/ 1/4 in. Cut out Christmas tree shapes and place them onto oven trays. Use a skewer to make a hole near the top of each tree and bake for 10-15 minutes until golden. Allow to stand on tray for 5 mins until tranferring to a wire rack to cool. Decorate with piped icing, silver cachous and a length of red ribbon.
Easy Rum Balls (without the rum)
A great recipe all year round, these rum balls are for kids and so don’t actually have any rum! They make a great accompaniment to a cup of coffee or hot chocolate. Not quite Christmas cookie recipe but we thought they were worth including!
1 cup coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 tablespoon cocoa
1/2 tin condensed milk- about 200ml
250g (1/2 lb) milk coffee biscuits- any plain sweet biscuit is fine
extra coconut for coating
Crush the biscuits in a bag using a rolling pin or use a food processor. Gently melt the butter and condensed milk on the stove. Add all other ingredients and combine well. Roll into balls and cover with coconut. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
**Tip – A simple twist on this recipe is to add 1 teaspoon of peppermint essence instead of vanilla.