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Holiday fun: Bake ornaments and sweet treats

Dec 3rd, 2014 | Category: Cooking

Any time is a good time to be with young people in the kitchen. Ask a child to help with baking and the response is usually jumping up and down and smiles. They know baking means some sort of sweet treat, most especially during the holiday season – great memories and fun treats to eat and give as gifts. The following recipes include two desserts/snacks and one fun way to make ornaments.

The bake and make ornament is a lot of fun. The kids will help mix the ingredients and knead the “dough,” and use a rolling pin to flatten the dough. They will use cookie cutters to cut shapes, then bake and decorate. You can use paints, sparkles, sprinkles, or markers. Let them dry for several hours and then place on the tree or give as gifts, or even use as gift tags. It’s fun to write the year and child’s name in permanent market on the back of the ornament, too.

After your dough ornaments are dry, loop yarn or garden twine through top hole when ready to hang on the tree or attach to a gift. PHOTO BY BECCA SCHWARZ COLE

After your dough ornaments are dry, loop yarn or garden twine through top hole when ready to hang on the tree or attach to a gift. PHOTO BY BECCA SCHWARZ COLE

The sweet and salty snowmen recipe uses pretzels dipped in white chocolate and decorated with chocolate chips and sprinkles. Kids love these, and they make a fun gift and presentation.

The no-bake snowballs are easy to make and fun to eat.

Other ideas for cooking with kids is doing a Christmas cookie party and baking several recipes, then splitting them with their family and friends. There are a wonderful assortment of great Christmas cookie recipes out there that are kid-friendly and delicious – chocolate chip, peppermint, linzer, sugar, gingerbread, and oodles more.

Making hot chocolate at home is also easy. Mix together 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, 1+ cup milk, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in a saucepan on medium heat. Taste to your liking (add sprinkle of salt if needed), and when ready to serve, give the kids a small candy cane to swirl it around. This is a great holiday treat!

Whatever you decide to make, enjoy being in the kitchen with the young people in your life. Baking together teaches skills and makes sweet memories they will cherish for years.

Bake and make ornaments

 

Ingredients 

4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup salt

1 1/2 cups warm water

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix flour and salt, and slowly add water, mixing with a wooden spoon, then finish mixing with hands. Knead until soft and roll out on floured surface, making it about 1/8 inch thick. Cut shapes with cookie cutters (or freehand with a knife), and place on cookie sheets. Use the end of a pen (not the point) and push a hole through the top of the ornament for thread or yarn to hang when finished. Bake for one hour, or until hard. Let cool and then paint and decorate. Do not eat these. Only for decorations.

 

Sweet and salty snowmen

 

Ingredients 

8 large pretzel rods

6 ounces white baking chocolate, melted

Various edible decorations (mini chocolate chips, sprinkles, etc.)

 

Directions

Dip a pretzel rod into melted white chocolate, covering much of it (leave an end uncovered for holding). Place miniature chocolate chips for eyes and buttons, and use a sprinkle or decorating gel for a nose and mouth. A chocolate kiss or small block of chocolate can be used for the hat.

Sprinkle with more sprinkles or whatever decorative edibles the kids enjoy. When done, place the snowman upright in a tall glass or long empty spice bottles, or rest on table upright as best you can. When cooled, use thin strips of fruit rolls for a scarf. Place in a decorated tin or bag as a gift, give to classmates, or eat them.

 

No bake snowballs

 

Ingredients 

2 cups rolled oats

¾ cup white sugar

3 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 tablespoon water

½ teaspoon vanilla

½ cup butter, softened (or butter alternative)

2 tablespoons peanut butter

1 cup confectioners’ sugar or coconut

Raisins, seeds, coconut (optional)

 

Directions

Combine the dry ingredients together, and mix in the water, vanilla, butter and peanut butter to form a dough. Roll into balls about 1 to 2 inches in diameter. Then roll balls in confectioners’ sugar or coconut until coated very well. Chill at least 20 minutes before serving, or longer as preferred.

Published in the December 2014 issue of Grow Northwest 

 

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