Christmas Cooking with Kids: Cheesy Christmas Stars

Last week Pebble and I got into the holiday spirit by making some deliciously sweet Christmas Crunchies. This week we made savoury Christmas stars. Pebble made them ALL by herself. Well, she made one batch all by herself. She rubbed the flour into the butter, mixed and rolled the dough, then cut out and egg washed her shapes. This recipe is perfect for the littlest helpers to get hands on.

Cheesy Christmas Stars

To make approx 25 stars, you will need:

  • 150g (6oz) self raising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 75g (3oz) butter or margerine
  • 75g (3oz) cheese, finely grated
  • 1 egg and 1 tablespoon milk, beaten together
  • a star shaped cookie cutter
  • a baking sheet, wiped with oil, or lined with baking paper

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius (400F/gas mark 6) before you start.

Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Add the butter or margarine and rub into the flour with your finger tips to make fine crumbs. At this stage I put a little of my flour, salt and butter into a second bowl for Pebble – not measuring! She rubbed in her own flour and butter. Older children could make the whole batch themselves, but I played it safe as Pebble hadn’t made this before.

Leave one tablespoon of grated cheese aside, and add the rest of the cheese to the bowl of flour and butter (and a little into your toddler’s bowl too).

Save about 1 tablespoon of the egg/milk mixture aside and mix the rest into your flour to make a dough (and splash a little into your toddlers bowl too).

Dust a rolling pin and clean work surface with flour. Roll out the dough until it is slightly thinner than your finger.

Use the star cutter to cut out star shapes. Make the scraps into a ball and roll them out, then continue cutting out stars and re-rolling until you have used up all the dough.

Place the stars on the baking sheet and brush with the remaining egg/milk mixture, then sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

Bake in the oven for eight to ten minutes, or until they are golden.

These make a lovely lunch box snack or nibble for morning tea.

Do you like nibbling on a cheesy biscuit?
 mumoftwinsatoddlerandateenager

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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? 
Super Sunday Sync

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{Guest Post} Afternoon Tea with Charlie and Lola

I’m away on holidays and have invited some of my blogging buddies to share one of their all time favourite posts from their blogs with Octavia and Vicky readers. Our guest today is Jackie Small from My Little Bookcase. Please make her feel welcome!

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The Little Book Adventure projects are designed to engage our children in books in interesting and wonderful ways. Project #4, Dining with a Book Character, most certainly encourages that.

Undertaking this project has honestly been the most wonderful activity my daughter and I have shared together. I won’t lie though; the project required lots of time, effort, planning and patience. I think the following post will prove that the time and effort involved was well worth it.

Getting started and helping a pre-schooler understand the task was probably the most difficult part of the project. As my daughter is already an avid little chef, I asked her if she’d like to create a special meal for someone from a book. I mentioned that we would choose a character at the end of the week from one of the books we’d read.

We didn’t even make it until the end of the week though. We were reading a Charlie and Lola book which Cam had personally chosen from the local library. As soon as we finished reading the book she announced that she’d like to invite Charlie and Lola to our house for afternoon tea.

From that point the project just flowed and so did Cam’s ideas for the afternoon tea. The rich and real-life learning that took place during the activity was absolutely phenomenal. Most importantly though, we had an amazing amount of fun in the process.

Writing and communicating: We wrote a letter to Charlie and Lola inviting them to our house for an afternoon tea. [The use of images (symbols) to replace words was used so that Cam could read the letter back to her dad. After all, that’s what alphabet letters are: symbols. Understanding that we gain information from symbols is one precursor to learning to read.]

Communication and understanding the postal system: We posted the letter in the mailbox. (Cam was quite upset and confused that she had to wait for Charlie and Lola to receive their letter. She wanted the afternoon tea NOW and didn’t want to prepare, shop and bake for the afternoon tea.)

Reading, comprehending and evaluating: We read through the book numerous times trying to find clues that would help us work out what Charlie and Lola would enjoy eating.

Reading and understanding different text types: We looked through our collection of children’s cookbooks for suitable recipes.

Writing and planning: Once we’d decided on the recipes, we wrote a shopping list. I created a shopping list with symbols for my daughter to use when searching for the ingredients in the supermarket. [See notes about symbols above]

Reading and shopping: We went shopping, keeping a record of our purchases.

Art, creativity and fine motor skills: We made personalised placemats for Charlie, Lola and ourselves. Lauren Childs uses collage-style illustrations in her books, which made this activity perfect for our Charlie and Lola afternoon tea.

Art, creativity and construction: We created our own life-size Charlie and Lola paper dolls. So eager was Cam for Charlie and Lola to come to our house, we needed to make them look as real as possible. I was thankful they worked. Cam was smitten with her new friends and couldn’t stop giving them cuddles.

Reading, measuring and cooking: We were busy in the kitchen, making Almond Crescent Biscuits (Little Kitchen –Around the World), Gingerbread Biscuits (Look and Cook) and Strawberry Smoothies (Women’s Weekly Healthy Babies)

Spatial awareness: We set the table

Imagination: We sat down at the table. I thought I had ‘fooled’ Cam with the paper-dolls. But, she quickly declared, “We can’t start yet. We have to wait for the real Charlie and Lola to come. These ones are just pretend. ” We had a long talk about books, characters and pretending. Thankfully, she was satisfied.

Dining etiquette, imagination, conversation and socialising: We thoroughly enjoyed afternoon tea.

Helping others: Cam helped Lola to eat her gingerbread biscuit because, “she can’t lift her own hand.”