Traditional home baking at Christmas

Even those who rarely bake through the year will dig out the scales, mixing bowls and food mixer at Christmas and take over the kitchen with a brutal determination to produce all manner of Christmas treats that will be oohed and aahed at before being demolished. Nobody should be afraid of baking; it is relaxing, therapeutic and cost effective, and well as a lot healthier than shop bought cakes and biscuits.

There are so many bits and pieces that you can knock up for the Christmas season and as some of them are incredibly simple that there is no reason why nobody can produce home made treats over the festive season. Whether you have your own favourite Christmas recipes, or are looking on the Internet for some new inspiration, there is much fun to be had in the kitchen in the run up to Christmas.

The first thing you should make is the Christmas cake as the longer this is made before eating the better. You can make this literally months in advance and while it may seem like a lot of hassle when you see the list of ingredients, it is so worth it and tastes a million times better than a shop bought cake. By following your favourite Christmas cake recipe and taking your time, you will produce a cake to be proud of.

Ginger bread men and Christmas trees iced and decorated always look great laid out on a plate, and if your artistic skills aren’t up to scratch it doesn’t matter one iota as the rule of thumb here is the more rustic and home made looking the better. Who wants to have a plate of stuff that looks like the mass produced biscuits full of E numbers that you can buy is a supermarket? Some white icing and few silver and red cake decorating balls and you are set.

One of the easiest things to make bar none is shortbread. It literally takes minutes and by pressing the dough into circular shape, making lines where to snap off the pieces and sprinkling it with sugar before it goes in the oven you have delicious petticoat tails that everyone will love. This is so easy to make that it is a great introduction to Christmas cooking for kids, and they will be overjoyed to see their creations taking part in those buffet teas we have so often over Christmas.

There isn’t any part of cooking that allows you to have as much fun and experiment as home baking, and unlike fancy cuisine, if you make a mistake so what? As long as you haven’t forgotten the sugar, flour and eggs nobody will notice the difference.

There is also that priceless feeling of pride and satisfaction when you see others enjoying the home made treats that you have produced, so it’s always advisable to make extra as guests will probably be asking you if they can take some home with them to enjoy with a cup of tea and

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