With our homes now fully decorated with our Christmas trees and twinkling lights for Christmas it’s time to start thinking about Santa. As we all know, Santa absolutely loves sweet treats (don’t we all?!) and these Cookies for Santa will be loved by both Santa and everyone else!
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A Cherished Family Ritual
For my family, making homemade cookies for Santa is a cherished ritual eagerly awaited by both my children and I every year.
It’s About Bonding and Creating Memories
Baking together isn’t just about measuring flour and cracking eggs – it’s a bonding experience that creates lasting memories. These cookies are super easy to make, meaning that there will be minimum mess even when baking with really young ones.
Baking at Christmas (or any other time) is a fun activity to be shared and enjoyed with our children. Beyond the sheer delight of nibbling on delicious warm cookies, there are also valuable skills which our kids will learn whilst baking. The best thing? They won’t even realise there is a lesson involved!
Teamwork and Collaboration
In the realm of cookie-making, teamwork is key. From dividing tasks to ensuring that the ingredients are seamlessly blended, kids learn the art of collaboration.
These are skills that extend beyond the kitchen and which they can then put into practice in other aspects of their lives.
Patience and Precision
Baking is also a lesson in practice and precision. Waiting for the cookies to rise to perfection teaches our little ones that good things come to those that wait.
Meanwhile, measuring ingredients with care instils a sense of precision. This is an invaluable skill which is essential in baking but which again is a great overall life skill.
Now, when decorating Christmas cookies (as with decorating the Christmas tree) it is important for us adults to allow the little ones a little free rein. Decorating cookies for Santa should provide children with a blank canvas on which to express their creativity. Yes, they might not look Insta perfect but your children will have a blast and isn’t that the make thing?
From vibrant sprinkles to chocolate drizzles, let them unleash their artistic flair. This will foster a sense of imagination.
Math and Science
Without realising it, when baking, kids are delving into the realm of maths and science by following recipes with precision.
We can also take the time to provide them with a little science information as they add each ingredient.
The flour is the backbone of the cookie. Containing proteins and gluten it will give our cookies structure. Mixing the flour with the wet ingredients is when the magic starts to take place. But we must be careful not to over mix! When over mixed, the gluten in the flour will result in tough cookies – not the result we want!
As you cream the butter and sugar we incorporate air into the mix. These air pockets will expand as our cookies bake thereby giving us a light and fluffy texture. The butter also helps the cookies brown and adds a delicious richness.
Of course, sugar provides sweetness but it also helps retain moisture which again helps keep our cookies soft.
Eggs act as binder to hold the cookie dough together. They also add moisture and contribute to the cookie’s structure. Eggs contain protein which thickens during baking, helping the cookies set.
This is a little magic ingredient. When mixed with wet ingredients, baking powder releases carbon dioxide gas. This gas gets trapped in the dough allowing it to rise and making the cookies light and airy.
Cookies for Santa
222g (1 cup) butter at room temperature
233g (1 cup) granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
456g (3 cups) plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp Biscoff spread
- Royal Icing
3 egg whites (or 6 tablespoons of egg whites from a carton)
680g (4 cups) icing sugar
Food colouring of choice
- Preheat the oven to 175℃ (350℉)
- Cream together the butter and sugar then add the vanilla and mashed banana.
- Sieve the flour and baking powder and add it to the wet mix, mixing slowly until the dough comes together.
- Wrap your cookie dough in some cling film and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
- Roll out to about ¼ inch thick and use your preferred cookie cutter shape.
- Bake for 6-8 minutes on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Once cooled, decorate with Royal icing.
- Royal Icing
- Beat the egg whites with a whisk attachment on medium speed. You want the egg whites to become frothy.
- On a low speed (unless you want an icing cloud to cover your entire kitchen!) add the icing sugar and mix until blended. Increase the speed to medium, and continue to mix for a further 3-5 minutes until the mix is thick and glossy.
- Divide the icing into different bowls depending on the colours you want to use.
- Add a little food colouring to each bowl and mix well.
- Add a little water to the bowls in order to reach a consistency which provides a ribbon trail on the surface of the mixture. This will be the icing which you will use to “flood” (cover) the cookie. You will also need some thicker icing to provide outlines and detailing to your cookies so leave some bowls with no added water.
- If you are concerned about using raw eggs in your icing you can replace these with meringue powder. Follow the packaging instructions and then proceed with the recipe as normal.
For us, Christmas baking is an important part of the Christmas Eve fun. After all, the magic of Christmas lies not only under the tree but especially in the memories we share, one cookie at a time.
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