Yummy Christmas treats to make for your family
22nd November 2019
Christmas is a time for family but it’s also a time for delicious food! For many people up and down the country, those tasty Christmas dishes are what they look forward to most, especially when it comes to baked goods. From cookies and gingerbread to cake and mince pies, indulgent treats and Christmas go hand in hand. If you are looking to bake a loved one some delicious goodies this year, this guide is for you. Here you will find a selection of some yummy Christmas treats that older people can make their families this year - perfect for gifting to family members or serving over the holiday season.
For grandparents that rely on indoor stairlifts, finding activities to do with grandkids is important. Baking is certainly one of these and the little ones will certainly enjoy making some delicious gingerbread men in particular. Gingerbread can be crafted into all kinds of shapes, making for a really fun baking activity, especially when utilising different icing to make faces and even Santa clothing when baking Father Christmas gingerbread men. The Craft Company have a great recipe you can follow for what they call “a classic festive treat”, saying that their recipe is perfect for making “delicious gingerbread houses and people for the Christmas holidays. It's a great recipe for getting children involved in baking!”
There are some treats that just have to be made at Christmas and a traditional Yule log is certainly one of these. Ruth from the food and craft blog Craft with Cartwright says that this classic is her top suggestion for those wanting to make something delicious for family members this year: “My go-to Christmas bake has to be a Yule log. Everyone loves chocolate and it looks so festive.” So, if there are chocolate lovers in the family, make sure this is on the menu. You can even take advantage of Ruth’s gluten-free Yule log recipe.
We all know about French toast, which doesn’t sound particularly festive, but there is a variant of this famous dish that would be perfect for making this Christmas. Denise of the food blog Easy and Delish shares: “I would suggest for them to make Rabanada -- which is a Brazilian French toast that is served as a dessert or afternoon snack (not for breakfast). It consists of stale French bread soaked in flavoured milk, coated in beaten eggs, fried, and then sprinkled with sugar-cinnamon. It is more custardy inside, crunchier outside, and is overall sweeter than its traditional counterpart. Rabanada is a delightful treat!”
Christmas tree brownies
A great tip for Christmas baking is to create treats in the shape of popular Christmas iconography. Christmas trees are a popular option and an easy shape to implement. Christmas tree cookies are a common choice for many but how about opting for some mouth-watering Christmas tree chocolate brownies instead? Bake them in the shape of triangles, decorate with green icing, stick a candy cane in the bottom, and voila! Jane from the baking blog Jane’s Patisserie has a scrumptious Christmas tree brownie recipe in case you want a helping hand. Give them a go this year and your family are bound to be impressed.
Is there a more popular treat at Christmas than a classic mince pie? If you are looking to be more adventurous with baked goods this year then you might want to opt for a different choice, but mince pies are always a crowd-pleaser. Some in your family might be even disappointed if none are available and they will certainly be delighted to hear that yours are home-baked! You can even get creative with festive tops for your mince pies with Christmas themed cutters. So, don’t automatically opt for the store-bought variant.
Mincemeat slab pie
Mince pies are a Christmas hallmark but that doesn’t mean a little variation can’t be brought to the table. Kellie from the feel-good food blog Food to Glow shared her favourite healthy treat to serve up at Christmas time: “My best - and health-minded - treat for seniors to make for their family would be my mincemeat slab pie. Made with high-in-fibre oats and apples, as well as warm spices and your favourite mincemeat, these are so easy yet so good. And perfect for those who aren't so keen on the pastry of traditional mince pies. They are basically like a crumble bar but with a festive twist! No creaming of ingredients or any heavy chopping or mixing.”
If you are hoping to create some little gifts to hand out at Christmas time, some lovely bags of fudge would be a great choice. Of course, you could just buy these from a shop but there’s nothing more personal than the home-made touch. The recipe over at Delicious Magazine only takes an hour and produces 20 squares! Once your fudge is ready to go, simply pop it in a nice, little Xmas bag with a name card attached, and you’ve got yourself a fantastic gift to hand out to loved ones. With a simple ingredients list, fudge is truly a terrific option this Christmas.
Simple baking tips for older people
To help make activity in the kitchen easier this year, the below tips should certainly be utilised. Ruth from Craft with Cartwright was happy to share some great advice: “The all in one food processor method to make cakes works a treat if you are worried about it not rising as well, add an extra 1/2 tsp of baking powder. Traybakes are great for feeding a crowd and are a lot easier than traditional shaped cakes. Also, ready-made pastry - shortcrust and puff - are really great quality these days and mean you can whip up a batch of mince pies in no time.”
Kellie from Food to Glow is bursting with great tips for those who want to make their Christmas treats a little healthier this year: “I've got several top tips for holiday baking. The first is to think about adding extra fibre from vegetables. Almost any traybake recipe and many cake recipes can be adapted to add a grated carrot, parsnip, beetroot or even cauliflower. These foods add much-needed fibre and nutrients without affecting the baked result. It is worth a wee experiment.
“If you like carrot cake, think of other likely cakes or other bakes that would suit. I like to add vacuum-packed beetroot - about 300 grams - to chocolate cake in place of some of the fat. It adds lovely moisture and the colour is not bright red!
“Another tip is to generally add less fat and sugar than is called for. Most recipes can have one-third of the sugar and at least one-quarter of fat slashed and the result still is really tasty. You may want to add some yoghurt in place of the missing fat as this helps so much with the texture and ‘crumbs’.
“Another tip is to add whole grains or even ground nuts. If your cakes and bakes are all white, consider replacing one-third of your flour with wholemeal flour, ground up oats (just put them in a blender to make a fine flour) or even ground almonds. Often people prefer the nuttiness and toastiness that these additions bring. These foods will add essential nutrients that are missing from white flour.”
Denise from Easy and Delish offers the following tips when it comes to baking:
“1. It is important to read the recipe before beginning;
“2. Baking is a science, so for best results sort all ingredients ahead, have them at the right temperature (e.g. cakes call for butter and eggs at room temperature), and weight/measure them well.
“3. Follow the recipe - don't be tempted to modify it at the last minute. If any substitutions need to be made, make sure to get accurate ones because it can alter the final result.
“4. Always keep the oven door closed! Taking a peek at your baked good may affect its proper cooking and rising. Happy baking!”
What to bake this Christmas for family members
- Gingerbread men
- Yule Log
- Christmas tree brownies
- Mince pies
- Mincemeat slab pie
- Vanilla fudge
The world is your oyster when it comes to yummy baked treats this Christmas but hopefully, the above suggestions have given you a little bit of inspiration. Whether you want to bake some treats as special gifts or to enjoy the activity with grandchildren, the possibilities are endless.
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