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Children’s Christmas recipes

GET THE children involved in the kitchen this Christmas and allow them to explore the joys of cooking. Here are a couple of fun recipes for kids that they can get stuck into with a bit of supervision from an adult.

Gingerbread men

Making gingerbread men is an ideal winter activity to keep children amused on a wet and windy day. This recipe can put up with a bit of over working so let the kids have a play around and create some tasty treats for all the family to enjoy. Makes around 20 gingerbread people!


75 g soft brown sugar, sieved

2 tbsp golden syrup

1 tbsp black treacle

1 level tsp cinnamon

1 level tsp ginger

1 pinch ground cloves

finely grated rind ½ orange

95 g butter or margarine

½ level tsp bicarbonate of soda

225 g plain flour

Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4, 180°C and lightly grease two baking sheets measuring 40 x 30cm.

Put the sugar, syrup, treacle, 1 tablespoon of water, spices and rind together in a large saucepan and bring to boiling point, stirring all the time. Then, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the fat, cut into lumps, and the bicarbonate of soda. Next stir in the flour gradually until you have a smooth manageable dough – add a little more flour, if needed. Leave the dough, covered in a cool place to become firm for around 30 minutes.

Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to 3 mm thick and cut out the gingerbread men. Arrange them on the lightly greased baking sheets and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the biscuits feel firm when lightly pressed with a fingertip. Leave the biscuits to cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack. They can then be decorated with icing and other sweet decorations.

Rocky Road treats

These chocolaty delights are absolutely delicious and a real treat around Christmas time, as well as being healthy…well, they contain nuts at least! (Makes 24)


200g good quality milk chocolate

25g good quality dark chocolate

75g brazil nuts

75g mini marshmallows

Melt the chocolates together in the microwave or in a bowl over a pan of hot water. Mix the marshmallows and Brazil nuts in with the chocolate and drop heap teaspoons of the mixture onto a lined baking sheet. Leave your rocky road creations to set in a cool dry place, but, if possible, do not put in the fridge as this will take some shine from the chocolate.

Smells like Christmas!

IT’S NOT just the decorations, the music, the food or even the joy that make Christmas so special – the one thing that is often forgotten is the smells of Christmas!

One of my favourite things to do is to track down the perfect candles or that special pot pourri only sold towards the end of the year, to make the house come alive during the festive season. There’s nothing more divine than that delicious combined scent of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger to make the holidays feel so special.

Alternatively, of course, there’s that fresh scent of the pine tree or the yummy smell of mulled wine, roasting chestnuts or even someone’s signature perfume that you only smell once a year when they visit at Christmastime. Whatever it is… this time of year has its’ own distinctive smells and they’re simply divine!