With its snow days, rain, and chilly weather, winter isn’t always the best time for outdoor play and we might suddenly find our little ones in need of something to keep them occupied indoors instead. When all the games have been played and all the Pixar movies watched, why not try a little family cooking time? Kids love getting involved in the kitchen, especially when it’s making one of these delicious family-friendly winter treats…
Besides being utterly adorable, these are also a great and easy way to get kids into baking. Simply make a plain bread dough (or grab a pre-made bread mix from the supermarket, we won’t tell anyone) and pop it into a miniature flower pot to rise. Once risen, put the pot in the oven for 25 minutes and behold! Adorable flowerpot shaped loaves, perfect for eating warm with butter and whatever toppings you like. Remember though, the flower pots will be very hot when they come out of the oven so take care to remove them yourself and make sure your sous chefs know not to touch them until they’ve cooled down.
Ultimate Hot Chocolate
It is a truth universally known that there is nothing more warming than a hot chocolate on a cold winter’s day. Instead of buying one from a cafe, why not whip one up at home as an extra special treat? Simply boil milk in a pan then add in grated real chocolate and cocoa powder and stir until it’s melted into the milk. You can even add some vanilla, cinnamon, or mint for extra Christmassy flavour. When it’s ready, let little ones decorate their own drinks with anything from whipped cream and marshmallows to edible silver stars. Delish.
Mini Jam Tarts
Another fun and easy way to get your little ones on the road to becoming the world’s next star baker, make for quick and tasty winter treats. All you need is ready-made shortcrust pastry and some different flavours of jam. Line a muffin tin with circles of pastry then dollop jam in the middle. Get little ones to cut out pastry shapes with a cookie cutter and pop them on the top of each tart then stick them in the oven for 15 minutes. Et voila! Easy as (miniature) pie.
Sadly it rarely gets cold enough in the UK to make the iconic candies from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House On The Prairie but, if you are lucky enough to get a big snowfall, they’re one of the most fun winter treats you can make. What you need: maple syrup, butter, and a whole lotta snow! Boil the syrup and butter for about six minutes and send the kids outside to collect a tray of clean fresh snow (dirty snow is not a good idea); old takeaway boxes or baking trays are a good shape for this. Once the syrup mix is ready, let it cool for a minute or so and then drizzle it over the snow; you can make it into fun squiggles, Christmas shapes, or any other designs you like. The mix will harden immediately in the snow and turn into ready-made sweets, yum!