Our friends at Piccolo have come up with three lovely Christmas recipes you can make with your children this festive season. Get the baking gear out!
White chocolate dipped ginger biscuits
Perfect for the holiday season
These delicious ginger biscuits are great on their own with a cup of tea, or dipped in white chocolate, and are a great recipe to make with children or wrap up as a present. For a less sweet biscuit, I have also tried it with half the sugar; they don’t stay as crisp as long, but still just as delicious!
Tip: We always make double the dough and freeze half for another time, or just make double quantity as they disappear pretty quickly.
- 340g/12oz plain flour
- 100g white chocolate
- 60g icing sugar
- red & green food colouring
- 3 level tsps. ground ginger
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 100g/4oz butter
- 130g light brown sugar
- 4 tbsp. golden syrup
- 1 large egg, beaten
- In a mixing bowl whisk together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg and set aside.
- Either in a mixer or by hand, cream together the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Mix in the egg and combine. With mixer set on low speed, slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until combined, and you have a dough. Cover bowl with cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour.
- Preheat oven to 180C / 350F / Gas 4 during the last 10 minutes of chilling.
- For a smooth top to the biscuits, roll out the dough to around ½ inch thick and cut circles out with a cookie cutter, for a more rustic ‘ginger nut’ top, scoop out a dessert spoon of mixture from the bowl and shape into a ball, transfer to the baking sheet and, spacing around 2 inches apart, flatten tops slightly.
- Bake for around 8 – 10 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- In a microwave safe bowl, melt the white chocolate in the microwave, in 10 second intervals until melted. Dip half of each cookie in melted white chocolate mixture then run bottom of cookie slightly along edge of bowl to remove excess, then return to Silpat or parchment paper to set at room temperature.
- If doing the holly decoration, make a thick icing, using a little bit of hot water to mix into the icing sugar. Add a little from a teaspoon each time to make sure mixture isn’t too runny. Split the icing into two bowls and add a couple of drops of the red and green food colouring melt candy melts according to directions on package (I worked in small batches because it sets quickly, maybe 9 chips at a time, plus you won’t need much). Pour into a piping bags fitted with a #4 tip and pipe decorations. Allow to set a room temperature.
Sweet potato and cinnamon stars
Finger food for the whole family to enjoy
These super quick sweet potato stars make great snack food, but also a great base for a canape. Simply top with cream cheese and chopped chives for little ones and adults alike!
Tip: Try mixing up the flavours, grate carrot or add spices such as paprika for a little kick.
Makes about 15 stars
- 200g sweet potato, peeled and grated
- 60g Cheddar cheese, grated
- 2 eggs, whisked together
- 120g fine oats
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- Pre-heat oven to 180C / 350F / Gas 4.
- Grate the sweet potato in a bowl (the smaller the grate the neater the stars) and top with a little boiled water to just cover the sweet potato. Cover with cling film and cook in the microwave for 3 minutes on high.
- Drain the sweet potato and then place on a clean cloth / a few layers of kitchen paper and squeeze out the liquid (The carrots need to be quite dry).
- Place the sweet potato back in the bowl and mix with the remaining ingredients. The mixture is quite wet.
- Prepare a baking tray with baking paper or use a silicon baking sheet.
- Form star shapes of the mixture onto the sheet using a cookie cutter. Use a heaped teaspoon and stuff into the cookie cutter. Use the back of the teaspoon to push down the mixture into the corners and to lift off the cookie cutter.
- Bake for around 12 minutes, until brown and crispy on the sides.
Parsnip, leek and carrot
A Great Veg Only Recipe
The sweet, smooth flavours of parsnip and carrot make great first tastes for babies. Whilst the slightly nutty taste of parsnip and celeriac compliment that carrot and leek perfectly.
Tip: This makes a delicious soup. Simple use a whole leek, 4 parsnips, 2 carrots and a whole celeriac. Remove baby’s portion once finished and add seasoning, a dash of milk or a sprinkling of parmesan.
- Dash of olive oil
- ¼ leek, trimmed, washed and chopped
- ½ garlic clove, peeled and crushed
- 2 medium parsnip, peeled and chopped
- ½ carrot, peeled and chopped
- ¼ medium celeriac, peeled and chopped
- 200ml of boiling water
- 1 sage leaf, chopped
- pinch of fresh thyme or dried
- Add the sage and thyme and water and stir together. Place the lid on the pan and cook for around 10 minutes stirring occasionally. If the vegetables dry out, add a little extra water.
- Heat the olive oil in a deep, heavy bottomed pan and add the leek. Stir for a few minutes until the leek starts to soften, then add the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add the parsnip, carrot and celeriac and stir. Cook over a medium heat for 6-8 minutes.
- Take off the heat when you can easily pierce the vegetables with a knife and they are cooked through.
Christmas dinner for all stages and ages
Winner winner turkey dinner!
Our traditional Christmas meal is full of delicious flavours and textures that are brilliant for all the family. You do not need to cook them up anything separate, just watch to add the salt after taking out your baby’s portion.
This is our take on the Christmas classic, with a few little Mediterranean twists.
For Toddlers (any child over one) or finger food from 6 months
Simply cut up pieces of the roast potato and chicken, and give them the roasted batons of the parsnip and carrot.
To make a roast chicken purée
Take the set aside pieces of boiled potato, parsnip and carrot and puree with a few pieces of chicken or turkey (the brown thigh meat is more nutrient dense than the breast meat) and a little water or juice from the meat pan.
- 2kg free range turkey or chicken
- 50g softened butter
- grated zest of 1/2 lemon
- 2 tsp chopped thyme
- 2 sage leaves, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 onion, halved
- 800g potatoes (maris piper are great for roasting)
- 100ml olive oil or 100g duck or goose fat
- 600g parsnips, peeled and chopped into thick batons
- 600g carrots, peeled and chopped into thick batons
- 1 tbsp. honey or maple syrup (for the roast parsnip and not suitable for anyone under 1 year old)
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- cracked black pepper
- 200g green vegetables such as Brussel sprouts, green beans or petit pois
- Remove the bird from the fridge 1 hr before cooking to allow it to come to room temperature. Remove any giblets from the turkey and save for stock (if you are making your own)
- Prep the vegetables (this can also be done the night before and left in a bowl with cold water in the fridge). Peel the potatoes, carrots and parsnips, and quarter the potatoes, and chop the carrots and parsnips into thick batons.
- Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Drop the potatoes into a large pan and pour in enough water to barely cover them. Add a pinch of salt, then wait for the water to boil. As soon as the water reaches a full rolling boil, lower the heat, and simmer for around 5 minutes. Drain the potatoes and give them a good shake in the pan to fluff the edges. If you want to puree the potato for your baby, take out a couple of potato pieces at this stage and set aside.