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Christmas Savvy Countdown Continues....

Jo RossComment

With only 45 days to go until Christmas and counting I have decided to get Savvy! I have already enjoyed baking Christmas Star biscuits with the kids now it's time to get creative. I bought some gold and silver craft spray paint at the weekend from a local craft store now all I had to do was to put it to good use. So this earlier on this evening we took our Cocker Spaniel 'Ben' for his evening walk, I dug out the old wicker basket from the garage and gave it to the kids... we live close by to an old disused railway track that is now a nature walk and gave them the task of filling the basket with foraged festive foliage!!! When we returned they had a basket full of pine cones, twigs and some other strange bits they had collected on the way !!! So this weekend they can have fun OUTSIDE !!!! Spraying their finds with the festive gold and silver spray paint. Just as long as they don't get it on my walls or patio as a sobering reminder come summer of next year !

We can keep the decorations for next year and the children will remember enjoy helping to collect them and all for the cost me of a couple of cans of spray BARGAIN!!!!

Silver Glitter spray

Silver Glitter spray

Gold Glitter Spray  

Gold Glitter Spray  

Countdown To Christmas - 7 weeks to go !!!

ChristmasJo RossComment
Christmas Is Coming !!!

Christmas is on it's way and things will start to move fast now if you don't get yourself in gear !!

I always seem to be on the back foot, so I decided to give a list a try and this is what I came up with.

1st weekend of November:

This weekend I am going to try and bake a few Christmas biscuits, cakes and snacks that I can freeze. As I always seem to be caught short in being able to offer people a little something to eat...when they pop round, especially before I have started my proper Christmas food shop.  so I am going to bake some Christmas Iced Biscuits, I can freeze them and if I cut them into star shapes and thread them with ribbon they will also hang nicely on my tree on Christmas Eve !

Ingredients

  • 100g/3½oz unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 100g/3½oz caster sugar
  • 1 free-range egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 275g/10oz plain flour
  • To decorate
  • 400g/14oz icing sugar
  • 3-4 tbsp water
  • 2-3 drops food colourings
  • Edible glitter

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

  2. Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl until pale, light and fluffy.

  3. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract, a little at a time, until well combined.

  4. Stir in the flour until the mixture comes together as a dough.

  5. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured work surface to a thickness of 1cm/½in.

  6. Using biscuit cutters or a glass, cut biscuits out of the dough and carefully place onto the baking tray. To make into Christmas tree decorations, carefully make a hole in the top of the biscuit using a straw.

  7. Bake the biscuits for 8-10 minutes, or until pale golden-brown. Set aside to harden for 5 minutes, then cool on a wire rack.

  8. For the icing, sift the icing sugar into a large mixing bowl and stir in enough water to create a smooth mixture. Stir in the food colouring.

  9. Carefully spread the icing onto the biscuits using a knife and sprinkle over the glitter. Set aside until the icing hardens.

Variation Tips

You can swap some of the ingredients, to make  honey biscuits instead, simply swap the caster sugar for 70g/2½oz honey and 30g/1oz caster sugar. Increase the vanilla extract to 2 teaspoons. Cook at 180C/Fan 160/Gas 4. Pipe on Christmas shapes with 40g/1½oz melted white chocolate instead of using icing.
For reduced sugar biscuits, use 60g/2½oz soft brown muscovado sugar instead of 100g/3½oz caster sugar. Increase the vanilla extract to 2 teaspoons. Add 1 teaspoons ground cinnamon and 1 tbsp finely chopped candied peel with the flour. Decorate with halved blanched almonds instead of icing.

I need to get as many things ticked off my checklist as I can, then I can hopefully achieve a STRESS FREE CHRISTMAS...... yeah right !!! so lets see how many things I can actually achieve off my list before December 24th ... join me in getting those things done and then nobody can nag us on the big day.