Three Ideas - Christmas Baking with Children ❤️ 🎄
Have you started your Christmas or holiday baking? When I bake I usually have at least one child helping out so I'm always looking for tasty recipes that are child-friendly and generally fun and easy to put together.
We have a few go-to Christmas recipes and some new recipes to try out. Here are three Christmas treats we made over the weekend.
Baking with children is an excellent activity on so many levels. We love to empower our children and give them the skills and confidence to participate in everyday family activities. Baking is fantastic for cognitive development and also for developing gross and fine motor skills. Making something by hand is also a nice skill to have, to surprise someone or to make something for gift giving.
Baking with children can be hard. We must go into it with a relaxed attitude and let go of perfection. I accept and allow my children to come and go while I'm baking, they may like to make the whole recipe or just cut the cookies out from the dough, I'm totally accepting. Accepting imperfections can also be hard, but cookies with imperfections or Christmas balls out of shape are just a sign of love, a sign that something is truly child made.
We started our Christmas baking by making traditional gingerbread, we make this multiple times every year and it's our number one go-to. I love to have some extra dough in the fridge too, so we can quickly make fresh gingerbread at another time. We use the recipe at Taste which is mild and my children always enjoy it.
I can see how my child's baking skills are developing and always improving. Don't feel that your child is too young, from toddlerhood, there is always something they can do in the kitchen to participate.
Using a small sifter is fantastic for children. Initially, it's a challenge in coordination and movement, but it's fun once they get it.
Mixing dough is good for developing persistence and arm and core strength. If the child is finding it hard to mix, encourage them to stay with it for just a little longer.
Everyone's favourite part is cutting out the cookies.
My four-year-old finds it hilarious when a head or arm falls off his gingerbread people, so I don't fix them, it's a part of the process!
Next, we made Christmas Snowballs from Superhealthy Kids, it's quick and easy. We use Cacao powder instead of cocoa powder. We also used red and green coconut for a festive look, which I coloured beforehand with food colouring.
We mix all ingredients together, the child then makes balls out of the dough and dips the balls into the coconut. If your child likes to play with playdough then this might be a good recipe to try.
We need to embrace the inconsistencies when baking with children. It's counterproductive to try and correct or 'fix' their creations.
Next, after decorating our Christmas tree, we made Spanish Christmas Polvorones. Our neighbours gave us these for Christmas last year so we were eager to make them ourselves. It is lovely to have a recipe that has a memory attached to it. This is the recipe our neighbours passed onto us. If you are looking for more detailed instruction this recipe looks similar.
- 1 cup/220g butter
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts/almonds)
- 2 cups plain flour
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ½ tsp salt
- Cream together butter, nuts, sugar and vanilla.
- Fold in flour and salt.
- Chill dough in fridge.
- Roll into balls.
- Bake at 180°c until golden.
- Let sit for a few minutes to cool.
- Roll in icing sugar and do a second time after fully cooled.
We used chopped almonds and we cut our Polvorones out with a circle cookie cutter. These are crumbly so children will need to be careful, we transfer them with a kitchen flip so they don't fall apart before cooking. Once cooked Otto dusted our Polvorones with icing sugar, which he found super fun and the Polvorones had a thicker than usual covering! This recipe made 24.
Our Polvorones are crumbly, nutty and super delicious. These keep well in an air-tight container and are perfect for gift giving.
As pictured Otto (4yrs) is using a Kitchen Helper and his apron is by Marula Tree.
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