Christmas with a three year old is very different to a Christmas with a baby and we’re only eight days into December. Yes Christmas with a baby is cute with them in awe of the twinkly lights and being content with a piece of paper as entertainment, but once they hit three they begin to understand traditions and events.
- They get excited about impending events even if their concept of time is skewed – 1st December “Is it Christmas tomorrow?”
- In time honoured tradition they don an old cot sheet and tea towel to play the part of an innkeeper in the pre-school nativity.
- On the talk of pre-school nativity, as a parent you’re thrust in to a whole new world of pre-school parent etiquette and witness scenes, not to dissimilar from Motherland, unfurl in front of your eyes. Yes there were parents queuing an hour at the nativity to get front row seats then commando crawling down the aisle to get the best pics of their little darlings.
- Gro-clocks suddenly lose their power. 5:45 – “Muuummmmmmmmyyyyyy, it’s 123 Santa [advent calendar] time.
- They like to enthusiastically dance to Wombling Christmas… lots. Even better when it involves wearing a twirly Christmas dress and sparkly shoes.
- It’s a bit of a whirlwind but great fun too and I’m very conscious that she won’t be as excited in a few years time.
Ever since we made firework biscuits for bonfire night LB has wanted to decorate more biscuits. That’s when the idea of decorating gingerbread men so they could don Christmas jumpers came about. If you wanted a neater finish put the icing in a piping bag, but keen 3 year olds don’t have time for that.
The biscuit is based on a fabulous recipe by The Pink Whisk that doesn’t require any chilling and doesn’t spread while baking. They produce a biscuit with a pleasing snap.
Christmas Jumper Gingerbread Men
Makes around 24 gingerbread men
- 220 g butter (softened)
- 200 g soft dark sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 425 g plain flour
- 100 g icing sugar (you may need more depending on how enthusiastic/heavy handed/messy your child it)
- food colouring
- festive sprinkles
- Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy then beat in the egg.
- Stir in the ground ginger and flour until you have a soft dough. At first the dough may seem dry but keep stirring and it comes together. Gently knead the dough until it is soft. it has a texture similar to Playdoh.
- Roll out the dough until it is about 4 mm thick and cut out your gingerbread men and place on a lined baking tray. using a piping nozzle to make the eyes and smile on the gingerbread men.
- Bake at 180°c for 8-10 min until they are just beginning to brown on the edges. Allow to cool on the baking tray for a few minutes before allowing to cool on a wire rack.
- While the biscuits are cooling making your water icing. Place the icing sugar in bowl and add boiling water a tbsp at a time until you have icing the consistency of smooth double cream. Split between three bowls. Colour one red and the other green.
- Drizzle the icing over the biscuits giving the gingerbread men a rather snazzy jumper. Embellish with sprinkles. Lick the icing spoons when your mum isn’t looking.
Note: this dough freezes really well. In fact it’s better to freeze it than store it in the fridge. Freeze either as a block of dough or as raw pre cut biscuits. Cut biscuits then open freeze before putting inside a freezer bag. Bake from frozen. Voila, tasty biscuits on demand.