It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

5 more sleeps till Christmas! I’m not quite sure how that happened but I for one am very excited. I’ve always loved Christmas but now that CM is old enough to understand it, it’s even more fun. The tree’s up and looking rather festive with its new gold and berry coloured baubles, although N and CM have already eaten all the chocolate decorations!

So the start of my Christmas cooking journey started today with a Christmas biscuit baking session with CM. I was inspired by an excellent children’s baking workshop we went to last weekend run by West London Kiddy Cook teacher Bernadette Ryder. Kiddy Cook is a fantastic franchise that runs cooking and baking workshops for children of all ages. I am a big fan of cooking with children and apart from hoping to pass on my love of cooking to CM I also think it is amazing way to help a child’s development. Just in the simple act of baking you can improve motor skills, increase concentration, teach counting and practice colours. I bake with CM regularly but it was fun to go to a professional workshop as it also taught me how to cook with a toddler. I always wonder if I am giving her enough to do or maybe expecting too much from her. Bernadette’s Christmas Cookery Workshop was fantastic. She had everything planned and tailored to capture the attention of the little ones, from a sing and dance session at the beginning, a doll called Katy Custard (that CM still talks about), picture cards to help visual recognition and appropriate equipment for young children. We made gingerbread people and chocolate truffles. Delicious. Sorry there are no photos, the family ate them all too quickly! But I will definitely be making the truffles again and I couldn’t wait to make some Christmas Spiced biscuits today!
And so to get into the Christmas spirit we sang Christmas songs and baked. Although the only song CM knows is jingle bells so we soon gave up and put the radio on. But it definitely got me in the mood for our trip to see Santa this afternoon. CM asked Santa to buy her ‘a present’. That makes it pretty easy for mummy. But she did tell Santa that SG wants an orange car. I guess I better do some last minute shopping! 

For more information on children’s cooking classes visit http://www.kiddycook.co.uk 

Spiced Christmas Biscuits 
(Makes approximately 24)
Ingredients 
– 350g plain flour
– 125g demarara sugar
– 100g butter
– 2 eggs
– 4 tbs golden syrup
– 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda 
– 1 tsp ground ginger
– 1/2 tsp all spice 

Method 
– heat the oven to 200C/180F 
– in a large bowl mix together the flour, butter, ground spices and bicarbonate of soda with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs 
– in a separate bowl beat together the eggs, sugar and syrup 
– add to the dry mix and work together to form a pastry. 
– if you have time, cover the bowl and put in the fridge for 30 mins to make it easier to work with 
– roll out the dough on a floured surface and cut into Christmassy shapes 
– place the shapes onto a greased baking tray approx 2cm apart so they have room to spread when they bake 
– bake for 15 mins until golden 
– cool on a wire rack 
– decorate if your toddler has the patience! 

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