13 November 2020
Tasty Christmas baking ideas to enjoy with family
With Christmas fast approaching, many a household will be looking for some baking inspiration, either to make with grandchildren or perhaps to give as a tasty gift! After all, baking is such a wonderful activity to enjoy at any time of year but when the festive season rolls around, this is only amplified. Not only is baking great fun but the tasty end result is the icing on the cake. From seeing grandchildren enjoy your homemade goodies and sharing memories as you bake together to creating personal gifts for someone special, the benefits go on and on. If you are looking for a little inspiration this Christmas, this article presents some yummy suggestions.
Gingerbread is a classic tasty treat, and it makes for the perfect option for your time in the kitchen this Christmas. Children love gingerbread men, especially as they can be so easily shaped and decorated to form all sorts of colourful Christmas characters, such as Santa Claus, snowmen, and even Christmas trees. With some icing, Smarties, and colouring, gingerbread can go as far as your creativity will take you. Which means grandchildren will have great fun helping out and they can instantly bring the festive cheer as gifts or yummy snacks while you enjoy the other festivities.
You can even take things one step further and create your very own gingerbread house! Perhaps it could take the shape of your own house or Father Christmas’s home. “Building a gingerbread house from scratch is a fantastic activity to do with family and friends,” says Samira of the food blog Alpha Foodie and you can follow her ultimate guide for a helping hand.
Homemade sausage rolls
Image credit: Chez Le Rêve Français
Sausage rolls are a classic British baked good, but have you ever tried making them yourselves? They are a lovely snack to just pick up and go, perfect finger food for serving up this Christmas. We certainly see why making some homemade sausage rolls was the suggestion of Amanda from the food blog Chez Le Rêve Français. She spoke to us about why she loves to make them at Christmas:
“My favourite thing to bake at Christmas is the item my son always requests. Before he arrives, he always calls me and says, 'There will be sausage rolls, right?' I always have to make them but then, who can resist the smell of freshly baked sausage rolls?
“What I like about sausage rolls is that I can have all the ingredients ready in the freezer, then it's just a case of assembly and baking nearer the time. I like to make my life easy by buying ready-rolled puff pastry to save time. I start by cutting it in half lengthways. Make a long line of sausage meat, place it in the middle and dampen the long edge with beaten eggs. Roll up, cut, glaze and bake.
“They are easy to customise too. Make 'mooing pigs' by adding strips of mozzarella to the middle of the sausage meat and baking it as one huge sausage roll. When you cut into it, the cheese oozes out! Or how about making a Christmas version? I add some turkey mince to the sausage meat along with some dried cranberries and arrange them in a wreath shape around a dip of homemade cranberry sauce.”
You can’t go wrong with cupcakes at Christmas. Well, you can’t go wrong with cupcakes at any time of year but there is an extra excuse to make some during the festive season. Choosing cupcakes to bake at Christmas is the favourite choice of Sarah from the food and lifestyle blog Life in Full Flavour and we don’t blame her at all. Speaking to us, Sarah said:
“I love baking cupcakes any time of the year, as you can decorate them to fit into any holiday season or celebration. They are so easy as well, and the whole family including little ones can get involved. Everyone in our house loves icing them and adding sprinkles and decorations, and for Christmas cupcakes, we would make them nice and sparkly or choose some ready-made festive cake toppers.”
Sarah also offered some advice for those wanting to bake with kids or grandchildren this Christmas: “Baking with children is always fun but it can also be super messy! I put an easy-to-wipe mat down on the floor when we are baking as it makes it much easier to clear up spills and splashes. I also make sure my little one helps me to clear up; after all, that is an important part of baking. Then they can eat the cakes or bakes as a reward!”
A Yule log is a traditional cake to bake around Christmas time that is enjoyed in countries around the world. Not only can they look spectacular with the chocolatey outside and creamy swirl in the middle but not many of us can say no to a chocolatey treat, especially one that is homemade, at this time of year. Further still, they can be decorated with snow-like frosting and other Christmas accoutrements for a truly festive feel. The Yule log cake is made to look like the traditional log burnt on the hearth at Christmas, so if you are baking with children, you can also impart a little bit of history to go along with the chocolatey goodness.
Check out a recipe here - this one is from Mary Berry!
Nothing screams Christmas time quite like a plateful of mince pies. Households up and down the country will be scoffing down these classic Christmas pastries, most of which, however, will be shop-bought. So, if you fancy delighting members of your household or loved ones with a gift this year, why not consider making your very own? The homemade touch will certainly be appreciated and if you follow a good recipe, they will be even tastier then what’s available in the shops!
Helen, from the food blog Cooking With My Kids, loves making mince pies at Christmas and has a fantastic recipe that you can follow: “It wouldn’t be Christmas without mince pies (at least not in our house). This easy mince pie recipe is so simple and shows you how to make your own shortcrust pastry (although you can use shop-bought pastry). If you’ve never made your own mince pies, try it this year – they’re so much nicer than shop-bought ones.”
Biscuits and cookies are loved by many and they make for the ideal treat to bake in the kitchen this Christmas. The variety is very appealing as you can simply just bake a tasty batch of chocolate chip cookies, put them in a festive tin, wrap them in Christmas paper, and send them off to a loved one to enjoy. Or you can make your cookies into Christmas-themed shapes like stars or trees, certainly making for a more festive snack than your typical digestive. Decide what type of cookies you and your loved ones like to eat and then get baking!
Good House Keeping has a great recipe for making delicious Christmas butter cookies if this option strikes your fancy. And don’t forget to pick yourself up a festive biscuit tin as presentation goes a long way.
Christmas wouldn’t be quite the same for households across the UK if a delicious slice (or seven) of yummy Christmas cake wasn’t available. We Brits love our fruit cake and with some marzipan and white icing, Christmas certainly announces itself. It also provides a nice balance with the copious amounts of chocolate you will surely be consuming over the period. But what about our vegan family members? Is there a Christmas cake recipe that means they can get in on the action? There certainly is and Hannah from the vegan food blog Domestic Gothess has shared a great recipe on her website.
Describing the delights of Christmas cake, Hannah says: “Fruit cake is a bit of a divisive one; I know that a lot of people aren’t keen on it, but I absolutely love it and Christmas for me wouldn’t be the same without a boozy, fruity cake to nibble on throughout the holidays.”
Things to bake at Christmas with your family
- Homemade sausage rolls
- Yule log
- Mince pies
- Christmas cookies
- Christmas cake
Baking at Christmas is a truly wonderful activity, no matter if your young or old, stairlift user or recent retiree, getting in the kitchen to create something tasty is a great idea. Your family (and your own stomach) will certainly thank you for it. So, get creative and make baking a festive occasion for you and yours this Christmas.
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