The big Christmas biscuit bake-off
Baking with your children creates extra special festive memories. Start a yummy tradition this year.
Source

(This article was first published in Your baby Nov/Dec, 2013)

Crunchies

Ingredients:

1 cup butter

1 tbsp golden syrup

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

2 cups rolled oats

1 cup flour

1 cup sugar

1 cup desiccated coconut

Make it:

1. Preheat your oven to 180°C. Grease a 20 x 20cm baking tray using butter or non-stick baking spray.

2. Melt the butter and syrup over medium heat. Remove from heat and add the bicarbonate of soda.

3. In a separate bowl, mix the oats, flour and sugar together. Then pour over the butter mixture and mix well.

4. Press into a greased baking tray and bake for ten minutes. Switch the oven off and leave for another ten minutes.

5. Remove from the oven and cut into squares while still in the baking tray. Let this cool for about ten minutes. Remove from tray and put on a cooling rack to cool completely before packing into a biscuit tin to feed hungry littlies during the holidays.

Read: Treats for kids with food allergies

Ginger bread people

Ingredients:

½ cup butter

1 cup soft, brown sugar

1/3 cup golden syrup

2 cups cake flour

1 tbsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 egg, lightly beaten

Icing

1 cup icing sugar

Sweets of your choice

Make it:

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (170°C for fan assisted ovens). Line a large baking sheet with non-stick paper.

2. Gently melt the butter, sugar and syrup in a large pan until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and let cool.

3. In the meantime, sift together the flour, spices and salt.

4. Add the bicarbonate of soda to the cooled butter mixture. Immediately add half of the spicy flour you’ve made and mix well. Add the egg and then the rest of the flour mixture and mix well again until it forms into a soft dough.

5. Form into a flat disk, cover in cling film

and refrigerate for at least half an hour till firm. The dough will freeze well for up to six weeks.

6. Roll out half the dough on a floured surface. Use cookie cutters to stamp out people, trees or star shapes.

7. Arrange well spaced apart on the baking sheet and bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, let harden on the baking sheet, then transfer to cooling rack.

8. To decorate, mix a few drops of water into the icing sugar to form a thick icing. Let your little helpers loose with the icing and a selection of sweets like Jellytots and Smarties to decorate the biscuits.

Read: Baking cookies with kids

Vanilla biscuits for the Christmas tree

Ingredients:

1 cup icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg yolk

1 cup (250g) butter, cut into cubes

2 cups (375g) cake flour

For the icing

1 cup icing sugar

edible silver balls

ribbon

Make it:

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (170°C fan assisted) and line a large baking sheet with non-stick paper.

2. Stir the icing sugar, vanilla, egg yolk and butter together using a wooden spoon to beat well or pulse together in a food processor.

3. Add the flour and mix to a firm dough.

4. Shape the dough into two flat discs and wrap it in cling film. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

5. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to about ¼cm thickness. Press out shapes using festive shapes and use a wooden skewer to make a whole at the top of the shape for the biscuit to hang from.

6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown.

7. Remove from the oven and lift onto a cooling rack to cool.

8. To make the icing, mix the icing sugar with a few drops of water to make a thick, runny

paste. Use a piping bag and small round nozzle to decorate or let the children spread it

onto the cooled biscuits and decorate with edible silver balls. When set, thread ribbon

through the holes, tie and hang on the tree.

Read: Oat and Raisin Cookies

Peanut butter crinkles

Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

¾ cup smooth peanut butter

½ cup light brown sugar

½ cup white sugar

1egg

2 cups cake flour

½ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

Filling

½ cup butter at room temperature

2 cups icing sugar

1 cup smooth peanut butter

½ tsp vanilla extract

Make it:

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line two baking sheets with baking parchment or silicone paper.

2. Cream butter, peanut butter and sugar together till light and fluffy. Add egg and whisk till combined.

3. Sift together flour baking powder and salt. Fold into butter mixture and mix well.

4. Spoon teaspoonfuls of the cookie dough onto prepared baking sheets. Place about 4cm apart and press down gently with a fork. This is something thechildren can do – just check they don’t press too hard.

5. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until barely golden on top and golden brown on the bottom. The cookies will be very soft, so don’t touch them until they’re cool.

6. Allow the biscuits to cool completely before sandwiching two together with the icing filling. Don’t press too hard when doing this though.

filling

1. Beat the butter, sugar, peanut butter and vanilla together.

2. Sandwich cookies together using a generous dollop of the filling.

Read: Festive baking

Jammy thumbprint biscuits

Ingredients:

1 cup cake flour

¾ cup ground almonds

½ cup unsalted butter, at room

temperature

¼ cup caster sugar

Finely grated zest of 1 small lemon

1 tsp vanilla extract

¼ cup strawberry or raspberry jam

Make it:

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line two small or one large baking sheet with parchment or silicone baking paper.

2. In a small bowl, mix the flour and ground almonds using a balloon whisk.

3. In another small bowl, combine the lemon zest and sugar. Use your finger tips to rub the zest and sugar together until well combined. This is another great job for little fingers.

4. Cream the butter and zested sugar together using a hand mixer until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and beat for a few more seconds.

5. Reduce the beater speed to low and add the almond and flour mixture a little

at a time. Beat until the mixture is just combined – don’t overmix.

5. Scoop teaspoon-sized balls of dough (a melon scoop works well) and roll to form small balls. Place the balls about 4cm apart on the lined baking sheets. Get the children to press their thumb into the centre of each biscuit.

6. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the biscuits are only slightly coloured around the edges. Be careful not to overbake. About 10 minutes in, check the thumb print indentations. If they seem too shallow, remove the baking sheet from the oven and depress the centres while the dough is still soft. The back of the melon scoop works well for this. Put the baking sheets back in the oven and continue baking.

7. Remove from the oven and transfer the biscuits to cooling racks. You can keep them all on the parchment paper and just slide the paper onto your cooling rack.

8. When the biscuits are cool, fill the thumbprint indentations with jam and serve with a cup of tea.

Read more:

Rocky road

Cinnamon and pumpkin bundt cake 

Cinnamon spiced pumpkin muffins with walnut crumble

Are you baking with your little ones this Christmas? Send us your pictures and videos to chatback@parent24.com we might publish it. 

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