SO this time next week we will have all eaten too much and our kids will be in hyper drive of enjoying their new toys and if they are anything like mine, there will be quite a few moments of madness when no one wants to share their new things but everyone wants to play together! Its hard to believe that all the planning and preparation is nearly over… only a few sleeps to go! Have you got everyones presents organised though? If you have a few Christmas parties to go to this weekend, some teachers or neighbours to give small gifts to, or Aunties who are impossible to buy presents for then why not spend the next few days with your kids off school doing some fun baking and make some lovely edible presents for those last tricky people. I have a godmother who has for the last few years made my family a lovely little hamper of homemade goodies. Its always lovely to see what she has made each year and there is always something for everyone to enjoy – Chocolate truffles like these for us girls to indulge in, some yummy chutney like this one for my dad to enjoy with his boxing day cold ham and turkey and one year she even made some lovely flavoured oils that last a lot longer than a few days after Christmas. I think its a lovely gift, especially if you are giving to older friends who don’t want for much – everyone likes yummy treats! If you make a few jars and boxes of everything too, it can work out as quite an economical gift. If you don’t have time to fill a whole hamper of homemade goodies then how about a selection of smaller treats?
This week we have been busy in the kitchen! We started making some mince pies – my mums recipe is officially the best! I never appreciated that mince pies are pretty much a British only thing so if you are one of our many readers in the USA, give them a go, you will love them! You can find the recipe on my Pinterest board here. Everyone including the kids loves these little pies as an afternoon treat with a cup of tea so my mum and I always make and freeze batches and have them ready to warm through in the oven at the drop of a hat.
The girls LOVE baking with me which I in turn really enjoy. Cooking and in particular baking is such a childhood memory for me, I love the idea that my girls are enthusiastic and keen to get involved. There are so many sensory, educational and positive reasons to cook with your children. Having said that they also only have a short attention span! There is nothing worse than having a half done recipe and messy and bored children! All of these recipes kept Bea and mostly kept Freya interested and in the kitchen taking part and watching what we were making. They really were super easy to make so give them a try! We also made these fabulous Florentines for Beas teachers. These yummy treats are actually one of my favourite things to eat and I hadn’t appreciated just how easy they were to make, Bea helped me with every step of the recipe which is nice too. We skipped the chilli and the allspice in the recipe but they were still delicious. I will definitely be doing them again!
We made a big batch of these gorgeous Gingerbread biscuits for her school friends to enjoy at snack time. There are so many gingerbread recipes around, you may well have your own favourite already but I used this one from the fabulous BBC good food website. They were very easy and great fun to roll and cut out and after I had put a bit of icing around them they looked just SO festive – they would look lovely on some string to hang on the tree too.
On the same day we had chocolate melting for the Florentines, we also made some of these lovely Choc fruit and nut clusters. I found the recipe in a local supermarket magazine (page 16) and they are probably the easiest treats I have ever made. We finished off the chocolate by making a few Christmas shaped chocolates too using a fab silicone mould similar to this one. Very easy and very effective, just the kind of kitchen gadget I like!
These Chocolate treats are great to add to the goody bags we have given to friends hosting Christmas parties we have been to. Packaged together in these food gift bags with a little ribbon, a bell and a gift tag; all of these delicious goodies looked like a really lovely gift. As for making it, well it was a lot of chocolatey fun with the girls. How much more Christmassy can you get than melting chocolate and making Gingerbread?!
If we have the time or inclination now that Bea is off school for the holidays, I would love to make up some delicious swiss cookies like these. They really are the taste of Christmas for me – not that my waistline needs them! They would make a wonderful gift boxed up too. Merry Christmas from me – I hope you have a wonderful time with your loved ones and that Santa fills your stockings too – you deserve it! Love Mum on the Rock PS – now go and read Lorraines nutrition and fitness posts… after all this food we will need it in the New Year!
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