Icing Pens, cookies, lollies, sweets, chocolates for decorating.
This kids' activity couldn't be easier!
Give your kids cookies, icing pens, and a bowl of sweets.
And let them decorate as they please! Their imagination is their only limit. And you can enjoy the results in a lovely teddy bear tea party at the end.
I used these cookies in my book Hellie the Hovercraft Elephant. Kids love seeing the sweet treats in a book and pretend to eat them. It's really fun to see their imaginations working overtime.
I always thought...gingerbread house - wow it's beautiful but gosh it must be hard! I made the flat pack Ikea gingerbread house one Christmas and that was pretty easy so I thought... why not give it a shot?
And yes I know, mine doesn't look like the BBC Food one, all glamorous and beautiful and frosted. But - I am a real person not a chef! And my kids helped me make it!
250g unsalted butter
200g brown cane sugar (can also use dark muscovado sugar for a deeper colour)
7 tbsp liquid caramel (any thick dessert topping would do e.g. treacle, golden syrup, maple syrup but it needs to have a thick sticky consistency)
650g plain flour
2 tsp bicarb soda
4 tsp ground ginger
1 egg white for icing mixture
300g icing sugar (if you want a LOT of icing everywhere double the egg whites & icing sugar quantities)
lollies and choccies for decorating
Heat oven to 180C. Melt butter, sugar & syrup in a pan.
Mix flour, bicarb & ground ginger in a decent size bowl.
Mix the wet & dry ingredients. Get your hands dirty & really squish it together.
When you are rolling the dough, the gingerbread mix can be a bit crumbly, so keep squishing the cracks together & roll with light pressure. Keep squishing the mixture into the general shape you want around the edges so that the edges aren't cracked.
Bake the sections for 14mins - should be just a little bit darker around the edges. Rest for a few mins and then recut each piece to your template to get perfect edges as the mixture grows when it bakes. Don't wait too long or it will be too firm to cut nicely!
Glue the front, back & side walls together with icing mixture (egg white & icing). Use a piping bag.
It's a good idea to use a cup or bowl to support inside while the icing glue is setting. Leave it an hour or so to set nicely.
Use your icing to glue the roof on. It should overhang a bit on all sides but don't stress if not - icing and decorations can cover all your little cracks and crumbles!
Now the fun bit; get your kids and decorate like crazy! Lashings of icing & sweets everywhere. And enjoy serving and eating your very own kids made gingerbread house.
I made my gingerbread house with a 3yr old & 6yr old. It can get a little intense! I recommend younger kids help you only with the mixing and decorating. Save any leftover dough mixture and let them roll out cookie cutter shapes to decorate as well. Stars, teddy bears, any cutter shape you have for cookies or even playdough.
Older kids can make the whole house with a little help & guidance.