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Mince pies and chocolate trees!

Life has all been a bit swept away with sorting new terms, trialling new recipes, preparing for Christmas and life in general with two children, Christmas plays, parties and play dates! I think the ASDA ad with the harrassed Mum has it down to a T. The run up to Christmas should be a fuzzy and festive time, and whilst it is I think half the time most of us are doing the obligatory swan impression, calm and seren to the world but legs paddling as fast as they can behind the scenes!

Be it a faith celebration or a seasonal celebration, the Christmas period holds many sacred traditions, a lot of which focus on foods. I think most families will have a traditional Christmas fruit cake, that only a few people like but it has to be there, the same with Christmas puddings which tend to be purely a vessel for carrying all types of alcohol laden creams to your mouth… and of course sprouts. I point blank refuse to make my children eat them, luckily my eldest adores them, my youngest not so, but I do remember every Christmas lunch being spoilt by the presence of a deadly green threat on my plate – that had admittedly been boiled to within an inch of it’s life. For me as a Crafty Cooks leader, it’s the same, for the last two weeks we always do mince pies and stained glass biscuits!
This year I trialled a new type of mince pie in the shape of a lovely big star! It seemed to make sense, kids love something star shaped and they’re a bit different to the run of the mill pies you get in the shops.
Starry mince pies!

Starry mince pies!

Each week we have a little activity time, normally the kids learn where food comes from and get to try some new foods, this week though with Christmas coming we made some spectacular little Christmas trees, the idea is so simple, yet so effective. Take one ice cream cone and put it on a plate upside down, cover in melted white chocolate, sprinkle on some dessicated coconut and add silver balls Рbeautiful! The idea is that they can sit on a  cupcake with a hidden sweet beneath, we however, simply ate them!!

Very proud!

Very proud!

Beautifully delicious!

Beautifully delicious!

Pouring on the chocolaté

Pouring on the chocolaté

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If you’d like a go at making your own mince pies, here is our recipe:

6oz Plain Flour

5oz Butter

1oz Sugar

Orange juice

Mincemeat

Rub together the flour and butter, add the sugar and enough orange juice to make a nice ball.

Roll out the pastry on a floured surface and cut your shapes, use milk to stick the lids to the bases and cook for 12-15mins at 190oC/375oF/ GM5