2019 looks set to deliver not so much a white Christmas, as varying shades of grey. In keeping with tradition, the weather is forecast to be foul for the full festive period, dampening Christmas spirits with an unholy alliance of cold, cloud and rain.
Indoors is the place to be this December, and festive foodstuffs represent a great opportunity to get the kids away from screens and involved in the kitchen, while serving up the kind of sugary snack only acceptable come Christmastime.
Move over milk and cookies, these festive favourites will tempt Santa into lengthy delays…
1. Christmas cupcakes
The perfect opportunity to flex the creative muscles for parent and child alike, cupcakes are where cooking and art class combine. The devil is in the decor, and a few well-placed lashings of icing can conjure up snowflakes, mini-Santas or Christmas trees.
2. Reindeer brownies
Sweet, scrumptious and satisfyingly straightforward, brownies and reindeer make an obvious aesthetic match. Pretzels double as antlers and Smarties as red noses, and you easily cook up a whole herd in an afternoon. If that’s not enough of a sugar rush, just think of all the other-coloured Smarties you’ll have leftover at the end.
3. Christmas pud cookies
Christmas pudding is not universally loved by the younger generation, but pud-themed cookies definitely will be. These seasonal treats are just as sleek-looking as they are simple to create.
4. Yule Log
A Christmas dish so traditional it predates Christmas itself, this decadent delicacy probably has roots in Nordic paganism. Much more importantly, it’s outrageously chocolatey, iced within an inch of its life, and equipped with a mesmerising cream and sponge swirl.
5. Father Christmas macarons
Macarons come in all manner of festive styles – from snowman white to Christmas tree green – but it’s these unmistakable Santa sweets that take the cake. Props for perfectly evoking Father Christmas with no more than two small spheres and a belt buckle.
6. Mounds of gingerbread
Gingerbread is a seasonal staple, and a set of Christmas cookie cutters is all you need to lend a timely twist. Kids will love gluing on bonbons with icing nearly as much as subsequently scoffing them, and more elaborate designs make excellent party pieces. Tradition dictates you should build a gingerbread house, but no one will judge if you opt for stars and snowflakes over fully-fledged masonry.
7. An icing covered Santa hat
For the extremely talented or the extremely reckless. Do not attempt unless you’ve won Bake Off.