The Season of festiveness is upon us, and it is high time we started embracing the true spirit of Christmas: Making the people we love happy.
And while we can always buy them the things we know they love, no over the top present or expensive wrapping can replace a genuine gesture or action. This is why this Christmas you should let your children join in the very preparation of your Christmas goodies, be them snacks or sweets, or beverages. This way they will feel like part of that adult world they can’t wait to go into (because no one told them it was a trap), and you will be bonding on a whole new level.
So, without any further ado, here are the options we have selected for you.
Start out with some easy snacks that don’t involve cooking or baking.
Sweet Christmas Snacks
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A great idea would be preparing reindeer out of pretzels, peanut butter, M&Ms and mini chocolate chips. Make sure you get some round crackers, or if you have the square ones in your pantry, don’t fret, place them in a diamond-like position prior to preparing your reindeer, and you are good to go.
It is as simple as ABC, just spread some peanut butter on top of the cracker, place a red M&M in the middle for Rudolph’s nose, or if you go for the diamond version place it in the bottom corner, and add the two mini chocolate chips or raisins to form the eyes. As for the antlers, place them on the two opposite sides and press gently for them to stick in the peanut butter, or add a drop of melted chocolate to act as a glue.
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An even simpler idea would be the one for strawberry Santa Clauses. But mind you, don’t go for a regular whipped cream stuffing, although it seems like a good idea it isn’t. Whipped cream alone is too thin to hold Santa’s “body” and “hat” together. A better option would be beating some cream cheese, honey and vanilla together because a mixture of these would have a tiny bit firmer texture that will hold the pieces together. These will surely trigger a smile on your children’s faces, and what’s more, they can easily put the “hats” above the stuffing, or decorate the Santas with mini chocolate chips for the eyes.
An alternative to the cream cheese would be a slice of banana in between the strawberry “body” and “hat”. If you opt for this version, decorate Santa’s eyes with two poppy seeds.
And if you want an all fruit Christmas version you can always make Grinch Kebabs. Prepare these by adding a green grape, a banana slice, and half a strawberry on a toothpick and finish everything up with a mini marshmallow. Grinch never looked so cute!
Salty Christmas Snacks
Make a salty Christmas snack by using some salty crackers and cheese. Choose your favorite type (mozzarella, cheddar, feta, taleggio) and cut it into triangular shapes. Cut some prosciutto into thin slices and add two slices to make them look like tinsels and then proceed to add a star tree topper made out of carrot slices. Chop some parsley and sprinkle on top. You will get a Christmas tree-looking cheese.
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Another quick and easy savory snack would be one made by adding two pretzels on a cheese wedge and placing some olives or red peppers for the nose. Plate your reindeer cheese wedges together on a big tray or separately on individual crackers.
Baked Cookies in Christmas Shapes and Forms (a Great Base for Your Children to Get Creative)
Now, off to a tiny bit more complicated ideas. The important thing is to focus on the phrase “tiny bit”, so don’t worry, even not so experienced cooks can manage to prepare these.
If you want delicious cookies done in just an hour, then the Merry Christmas Cookies will surely be your cup of tea. You can prepare the dough, but let your kids use the holiday cutters and cut out all the different Christmas-y shapes. Go ahead and prepare the icing and put it into a pastry bag, then let your children do all the decorating. The fun is guaranteed.
And, if you want to have a healthy little Christmas, then you can go for a healthier recipe, like the one for the Soft and Chewy Paleo Gingerbread Men Cookies (grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free). Your children can play the part of the little old woman and enjoy the art of cutting the gingerbread men shapes and drawing some eyes, mouth, and buttons to make them come to life.
A not very complicated recipe, yet as delicious as ever, is the one for the Snowballs. Prepared with white cake mix these snowballs will not give you a hard time, and the best part is: your children will be able to use their imagination and ingenuity.
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For instance, you can turn these snowballs into snowmen. Melt some chocolate and give your kids toothpicks so that they can draw the eyes and mouth. You can always plate them in an interesting way, let’s say with some colorful sprinkles underneath them or some silver glitter on top. Use a Rolo chocolate candy for the snowman’s hat, or even some mini Reese’s butter cups turned upside down.
Maybe you want to prepare some crunchy sweet bites; We’ve got you covered. Go ahead and give the Christmas cornmeal cookies a try. Not only are these incredibly tasty, you and your children can prepare them in as many different forms as you can possibly think of. (Plus, you can always add some colored M&Ms to make your regular cookies way prettier).
Christmas Pancake Ideas
If you want a recipe that will be done in less than an hour and leaves a lot of space for experimenting in terms of decoration, then pancakes are the right choice for you.
You can cut your pancakes into three different sizes, and stack them starting from the largest one, to the smallest one. Spread whipped cream on the first one, then go ahead and add the middle-sized one, apply whipped cream and finally place the smallest one. Using mini chocolate chips decorate the snowman’s face.
You can do the same with cream cheese frosting instead of the whipped cream, and if you do this melt some chocolate, get toothpicks and start bringing your snowman to life J.
As it turns out, whipped cream is the solution to everything J. Make your favorite pancakes and create Santa’s beard and hair using it. For the eyes, you can use anything, from M&Ms, to chocolate chips, to blueberries or raisins. The mouth can be made out of dry cranberries or sliced strawberries.
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You can use the same technique of piling previously mentioned, only, this time, make several different sizes instead of just three. Using some food coloring or gelatin powder color your pancakes green and start stacking them. Sprinkle with some red and green sprinkles, or even go for a white glaze and silver glitter to represent snow.
Another alternative would be adapting the spiced ghost pancakes to a more season appropriate variant. Although If you are trying to recreate the Christmas Carol story, these will be a fitting choice as well. However, you can add a drop of green food coloring to the heavy whipped cream, use some colorful sprinkles and voila… you will get a Christmas tree on top of your pancake stack.
And, since we believe that the human ingenuity is endless, we encourage you to go ahead and check our pancake recipe collection – Best American Pancake Recipes – Quick, Easy and Delicious. Maybe you will get inspired to recreate one of the recipes and give it a Christmas-y twist.
Whichever of these ideas you opt for, be sure to include your kids in the whole process of preparing the food. Time spend with your family is a time well spent indeed. When prepared with your closest ones any outcome (even burnt cookies) will taste twice as delicious as it normally would.
Happy holidays to you all, and to all a merry Christmas!