Get creative with the kids and try out these tasty festive recipes
Combine one cup of good cheer, three cups generosity, a pinch of magic and sprinkle liberally with excited children, and you’ve got the recipe for the best festive season ever.
But if you’re all about baking up some treats you can actually get your teeth into, then gather the little ones for our pick of the best festive family recipes.
If the spirit of the season doesn’t have you feeling festive, then the smell of baking these treats certainly will.
Festive bread in a bag
Director of operations at children’s edutainment zone Little World, Jennifer Hogan, loves this recipe – it’s quick, mess-free and includes a science element as young bakers learn how yeast works.
- 3 cups all purpose flour, divided
- 3 tablespoons white sugar
- 2¼ teaspoons rapid rise yeast
- 1 cup warm water
- 3 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- Festive flavours – try cinnamon, mixed spices and dried fruit
- In a resealable plastic bag, place 1 cup of flour, the sugar and yeast and add in warm water.
- Squeeze air out of the bag and seal, then squish until well mixed.
- Let it rest for 10 minutes at room temperature until bubbles form.
- Add 1 cup of flour, the oil and salt into the bag, then seal and squish again.
- Add last cup of flour, festive flavours of choice and squish until blended.
- Remove dough from bag and put onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 5 to 10 minutes, or until smooth.
- Divide dough in half and place each half into a greased mini loaf pan.
- Cover with a towel and allow to rise for about 30 minutes.
- Bake in the oven at 190 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until bread is golden brown.
Spiced gingerbread men
This classic comes recommended by Prakash Maduri, senior pastry chef at Marriott Downtown Abu Dhabi. Little ones can have even more fun decorating their gingerbread men after the grown-ups do the cooking.
- 100g honey
- 200g caster sugar
- 32g unsalted butter, melted
- 1 large egg
- 200g plain flour
- 200g rye flour
- 5 teaspoons gingerbread
- 2 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- Decorations: icing sugar, gum drops, sprinkles
- The day before, boil honey and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Leave overnight.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.
- Stir in the egg, melted butter and honey mixture to make a dough. Let it rest for 2 to 3 hours.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out quite thinly, and cut using a gingerbread man cookie cutter.
- Place on a greased tray and bake at 160oC for 12 to 14 minutes.
- Ice and decorate when cool.
These cute chocolatey creations from chef and BBC food stylist Mari Williams are sure to be a hit with Santa.
- 125g butter, softened
- 175g caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 200g self-raising flour
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 100mL milk
- 100g dark chocolate, melted
- 50g dark chocolate, chopped
- 3 tablespoons double cream
- Decorations: giant chocolate buttons, red M&Ms, mini pretzels, black icing pen and mini marshmallows, sliced
- Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy. Gradually beat in eggs, then sift in flour and cocoa powder and mix until combined.
- Fold in the milk and melted chocolate, and spoon into muffin cases.
- Bake at 170oC for 20 to 25 minutes or until well risen, then leave to cool.
- For the icing, heat the chocolate and cream in a saucepan over a low heat until the chocolate has melted. Whisk the mixture until smooth and set aside to cool.
- Spread the icing over the top of the cupcakes.
- Press a chocolate button onto the cake as a nose, then stick a red M&M on top using a little icing. Stick on two slices of marshmallows as the eyes, and use the black writing icing for the pupils. Stick on the pretzels as the ears.