Festive fun with your Christmas cookies !

November 9, 2023 Be My Bear

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat, please put a penny in the old man’s hat,

If you haven’t got a penny a ha’penny will do, if you haven’t got a ha’penny, God bless you !

The words of a traditional old English song I remember singing as a child but probably very few of today’s generation have ever heard it, never mind connect with it. Who has goose for Christmas? We prefer turkey, ham, beef or nut roast for our Christmas fayre these days. But in bygone days the wealthier families would keep and fatten a goose during the year then dispatch it for the festive table. Beggars we are more familiar with – although these days cups have replaced hats outside on the streets where the homeless try to eke out a living. And as for pennies and halfpennies – an old penny is worth just under half of a new penny today so I can’t even begin to work out what a halfpenny would equate to.

But Christmas IS coming and the countdown is beginning and with it all the accompanying pressures of the season from cards and gifts to decorations and food. Over the next few weeks, we thought we’d lend a hand by giving you some tips and hints to start you off. And as Christmas is all about children – what better way to start than some recipes and craft ideas to get you all in the festive spirit.

      Snow dough men

Children love playing with play dough but it’s not cheap so here’s your go-to recipe for making dough which kids will enjoy making with you as well as making snowmen with!

You will need: 1 cup of oil, 6 cups of flour, 250ml of water.

Mix the ingredients together adding a little water at a time. You may not need all the water if the ingredients are combining without it. Flour a board and then knead the dough into a ball – the more kneading the smoother the dough. Split the dough into one large and three smaller balls, adding silver glitter to the large ball of dough, and red, orange and black food colouring to each of the other three balls. Make the body, head and arms of the snowman from the frosted dough, the hat and scarf from the red dough, the eyes and mouth from the black and a carrot nose from the orange dough. As an alternative you could pick up some twigs from the garden or park and make the arms from sticks.

Annabel Karmel spent two years working with paediatric dieticians and allergy consultants to come up with her tried and trusted recipes for babies and children, so what she doesn’t know isn’t worth knowing about. Her Strawberry Santas seem to hit the sweet spot – easy to make with the kids and a yummy, healthy treat for them as an alternative to all the ultra sugar fuelled temptations gracing the supermarkets’ Christmas goody shelves.

Anabel Karmel’s Strawberry Santas

  • 15g softened butter
  • 15g cream cheese
  • 70g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp milk
  • vanilla extract
  • 10 large strawberries
  • 10 mini white marshmallows
  • black icing pen

Beat together the butter and cream cheese until creamy, then add the milk, icing sugar and a few drops of vanilla extract and beat until again until you have a smooth icing. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a small nozzle. Slice the tops off the strawberries and stand on a board. Slice off the tips of the strawberries to make Santa hats. Draw two black eyes on a mini marshmallow using the black icing pen. Pipe icing on top of the body and place the hats on top. Stick on the mini marshmallow eyes and make Santa’s beard by piping around the base of the mini marshmallow. Pipe a bobble onto the top of Santa’s strawberry hat.

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