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Our Favourite Christmas Twists on Traditional Treats

Whether you run as fast as you can away from the kitchen or give Heston a run for his money, we're showing you how to turn these simple treats into festive wonders

 

There is something about Christmas that brings out the inner Delia Smith in everyone - even for those without a creative bone in their body!

We've given you recipes and crafts in the past, so this year we've decided to share with you our simple tricks to give your ordinary puddings the Kris Kringle touch.

Sometimes all it takes is a drop of chocolate or a little sprinkle madness, but we're sure everyone will be able to help with these tricks.

Simple recipes for Christmas cooking with kids

'Chocolafied' Pretzels

Who doesn't love a good mix of sweet and salty? This trick is super simple and can be varied depending on the shape of your pretzels.

Sticks:

    Chocolafied pretzels with sticks
  1. Take chocolate (milk, dark or white) and melt it - you want this to be thick so it will stick to the pretzel better.
  2. Prepare a few plates with different sprinkles and you're ready to go!
  3. Dip each pretzel stick in the melted chocolate and roll it in sprinkles.
  4. Dry the sticks on parchment paper.
  5. Serve upside down in tumbler.

Traditional Pretzels:

    Chocolafied traditional pretzels
  1. Preheat your oven to 180C/350F.
  2. Lay your pretzels out on a baking tray covered in parchment paper.
  3. On top of each pretzel place a large chocolate button.
  4. Place your baking tray in the oven. Keep an eye on them, as you want the chocolate to soften enough to adhere to the pretzel but not enough that the chocolate becomes runny.
  5. Choose your favourite sweets, from M&Ms to Jelly Babies, and add one to the top of each soft button.
  6. Let them cool, and serve on a plate as these look (almost) too good to eat.

If you want to get some inspiration, here are a few good examples!

Christmas Tree Brownies

Once you've perfected your very own brownie recipe, there is little you want to do to mess with it; however, this little trick will turn this year-round sensation into a Christmas hit.

  1. Make your perfect brownie recipe.Christmas tree brownies
  2. Once cool, cut brownies in to triangles (this tends to leave a few scraps for testing!)
  3. Take straight pieces of candy cane and insert into the base of the triangle as a tree trunk.
  4. Use icing, sweets and sprinkles (lights and baubles) to decorate your trees.

If you don't have a favourite recipe, you can always revert to our muse Betty Crocker!

Frosty the Melting Cookies

Regardless of your cookie preferences, you're likely have a go-to recipe for when you need to whip up a batch. This is a simple addition that makes the children smile!

  1. Prepare a batch of cookies and let them cool; don't make them perfect circles, as the effect is more authentic if they look like a puddle!
  2. Mix up a batch of icing sugar and water. You want this to be thick so that it will solidify on the cookie rather than run off the edges.
  3. Frosty the melting cookies!
  4. While the icing sugar is wet, add a marshmallow (or half of one depending on the ratio).
  5. Let the frosting set before decorating with icing pens. If you want to use other items such as silver balls or chocolate chips for buttons, add these while the frosting is still wet.
  6. Watch the smiles erupt as people realise what they have in front of them
  7. For any extroverts in the group, sing the Christmas carol with groups of children while making or eating these treats.

If you are at a loss for how to make the cookies, you can take a look at SheKnows for inspiration like we did.

Chocolate Covered Oreos

Whether you dip, chew, or lick your Oreos, these seasonal renditions will have you enjoying them in a whole new light!

Chocolate covered Oreos

  1. Take a pack of paper sticks or ice lolly sticks and insert them into the cream filling of your Oreo cookies.
  2. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  3. Melt chocolate (you can use whichever chocolate you like, but we find white chocolate gives you the most options). Again, you want this to be thick.
  4. Dip your Oreo on a stick in the chocolate until it is coated. Let them dry on the parchment.
  5. Depending on what you are using to decorate with, you might want to add elements when the chocolate is still tacky, or wait till it's completely dry. This will depend on your creative impressions!

Chocolate Bark

Chocolate bark has long been a favourite in houses at Christmas time, be it to eat or to share as gifts with friends and family. It's simple to make; simply line the bottom of a non-stick pan with nuts, and smother in melted chocolate.

Once the chocolate re-solidifies, break the chocolate into pieces and serve (or bag up as gifts). This year, why not try adding a slightly tangier element... pomegranate!

    Chocolate bark
  1. Melt chocolate and pour in to a no stick tray (or cover the base and sides with parchment paper).
  2. Before the chocolate solidifies, sprinkle the top with liberal amounts of pomegranate seeds. You could use other dry fruits, however fresh pomegranate adds more of a zing!
  3. Let the chocolate harden, break into pieces and serve.

Spiced Apples on Vanilla Ice Cream

Sliced apples on vanilla ice cream

Ice cream doesn't just have to be a summer treat - with the right topping, it can take you all the way through the winter season too.

  1. Slice apples - we prefer them with the skins on, however you can remove the skins first - and put them to the side.
  2. Melt a small amount of butter in a sauce pan; this will be relative to the amount of Apples you use.
  3. Remove from heat and mix in your own concoction of spices (we recommend Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice).
  4. Put the buttery mixture back on a low heat and add the apples. You will need to stir frequently as the apples cook, and try to coat the apples in the melted butter and spices. You want to keep them on the heat until they are soft but haven't lost all their crunch.
  5. Serve the apples piping hot on top of vanilla ice cream and watch as the two join forces! This is a delightful mixture of hot and cold.

For the braver taste buds, trying mixing in a few other fruits - pears and berries work well, if you want to add an extra element.

Bon appetite!

 
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