Christmas Cooking with Kids: Christmas Crunchies

Pebble and I have been whipping up some Christmas treats in the kitchen. This recipe was adapted from a cook book that I’ve had around the house for a couple of years now, but have never gotten around to using (I have lots of those!).

These Christmas Crunchies would be perfect to make for gifts for famly and friends and are super easy for little ones to help with.

Christmas Crunchies

(makes approx. 20 crunchies)

  • 50g dried cranberries
  • 50g Marie (or other plain) biscuits
  • 50g white marshmallows
  • 200g white chocolate
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • coloured sugar and silver cachous, any other cake decorations that you have at home
  • mini patty pans
1. Break up the white chocolate into squares (or use white chocolate button melts) and place into a microwave safe bowl along with the butter. Microwave in 30 second bursts on medium, stirring in between, until compeltely melted. Note: you can melt the chocolate and butter over a double boiler if you prefer.

2. Chop the marshmallows into small pieces (or use mini marshmallows) and break up the biscuits into small pieces (we just used our hands to do this). Add the marshmallows and biscuit pieces to the melted chocolate along with the dried cranberries. Mix until all the ingredients are well coated in chocolate.

3. Use a spoon and your fingers to place small balls of the mixture into the patty pans. We tried making ‘balls’ but that just made a mess, but no balls! Scooping up a small amount of mixture into a teaspoon and pushing it into the patty pan was easy to do.

4. Sprinkle each Christmas Crunchie with coloured sugar (I bought a pack of four different coloured sugars from my local supermarket) and top with a cachous.
You could wrap these up as gifts or present them all in the shape of a Christmas tree like we did.
Have you done any Christmas baking with your kiddos yet? 
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Easy Peasy Cookie Decorating for Kids

This is a classic – an activity that I remember from my childhood and one that I loved doing with Pebble. Who hasn’t iced a cookie!? Milk Arrowroots are a popular Aussie favourite for this job, but we had some Yo-Yos and Nice biscuits this time. Whatever is in the cupboard, right? Or you can make your own – this cookie recipe would be perfect (and they’re ready in 10 minutes).

You will need:
Plain cookies or biscuits to decorate – buy some or make your own
Icing sugar
Water
Food colouring
Decorations – we used Smarties, snakes, silver cachous and sprinkle hearts

1. Put your cookies on a plate or tray

2. In a bowl use a whisk to combine 1 cup icing sugar and 2 tablespoons of water. You should end up with a thick paste. If it’s too thick, add a little more water. If it’s too thin, add a little more icing sugar.

3. Divide the icing into as many bowls as you would like colours. We used two colours. Add a couple of drops of food colouring to each bowl, and stir until the icing is evenly coloured.

4. Show your little one how to use a spoon or plastic knife to ice the cookies and decorate them. Then stand back and let them go for it!

When Pebble had very delicately iced some cookies she asked “is it ok if I tip this one into the other one?”, “Is it ok if the snakes go for a swim?”. Sure, I said. Why not?

Pebble is sometimes reluctant to get her hands dirty, so I didn’t mind her having a go and dipping her hands in this icing at all. She had a ball!

These biscuits make very cute gifts for loved ones too :)

Do you remember decorating cookies or biscuits when you were a kid? 


Walnut and Sultana Loaf

Some days I just get a real itching to bake. On one such day recently I happened to stumble across Chantelle’s recipe for Fruit Tea Bread. It looked like just the thing. Except that I really don’t like mixed dried fruits – I only like sultanas, picky thing that I am. And I love nuts in sweet treats. And I also love brown sugar in baking. So, I dug through my cupboard, gathered together the bits and pieces I had to hand, and whipped up a recipe of my own. The best bit about this recipe is the soaking of the sultanas in tea {thank you to Chantelle for the inspiration}. You will be tempted to skip this bit, because it means you have to wait a little. Don’t skip it! It makes the loaf beautifully moist.

Walnut and Sultana Loaf

1 cup sultanas
2 cups cold tea (I used decaf, my preferred option)
1 1/2 cups self raising flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
125g butter,  melted
1 egg, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Grease and line a loaf tin.
Soak the sultanas in the tea for at about an hour (more is good, overnight is even better).
Sift flour, sugars and spices into a bowl.
Add walnuts, butter and egg, and stir to until just combined.
Pour into the loaf tin and bake in the oven for about 45 minutes, or until golden brown on top and an inserted knife comes out clean.

Serve with freshly brewed tea and lashings of real butter.

Do you like baking? What’s your favourite home baked goodie?


4 Ingredients + 10 Minutes = Cookies!

Here’s a recipe from the vault! My mum used to make these cookies ALL the time. Except that growing up in Australia we called them biscuits.  Just like the pretty picture says, they have four ingredients and they only take 10 minutes to bake. It doesn’t get any easier than that! They are deliciously sugary, chewy and soft…. although they can be crunchy if you cook them a few minutes longer. I prefer mine underdone – just light blonde and meltingly soft :) These are super easy to cook with kids too!

This recipe comes straight from Mum’s cookbook. Yes, the same one where I get my Best Ever Chocolate Cake recipe from. There is plenty more gold from within those pages, but today, let’s enjoy a cuppa and a biscuit. Or a cookie, if you prefer.

I’m going to let Mum do the talking now. Here’s the recipe:

I have often wondered how they’d turn out if I pimped them out a little. Perhaps with some chocolate chips? I just can’t mess with the original though. I can’t bring myself to do it!

Do you like looking through your mum’s recipe books? What’s the best thing EVER that mum used to make for you?

Four Ingredient Cup Cakes

So, you need to make some cakes FAST? Perhaps it’s for a cake stall, or a work morning tea? Well, look no further, I have got your solution right here. And all you’ll need is FOUR INGREDIENTS! I’m not even kidding.

Want to know the secret?

Then pop over to Be a Fun Mum to read my guest post. I might just have saved your day. No, no, thank you.