Four kids in a kitchen - The destructive tale of when we had a bake off.

The weekend before Christmas I had the kids staying over. With money being tight I hit on the great idea to do something indoors, and asked the kids if they fancied doing some baking. “Yes!” was the outstanding response, and I decided to split them into pairs and gave them a couple of hours to come up with what they wanted to make. There was only a couple of rules: 1) It couldn’t be anything too complicated 2) It couldn’t be anything too expensive and 3) It had to have a Christmassy twist to it.

Straight away, my 11yo and 9yo daughters got together and colluded as to what they could make. My 13yo daughter took her 7yo brother to another room to discuss what they could make between them. The challenge was set.

A few hours later, and after much deliberation, the two pairs had settled on their final choices. Desperate to keep their ideas from each other, they told me what they were planning to make. The two girls would be making gingerbread biscuits in Christmassy shapes, covered with icing. The other two would be making truffles which they would then decorate.

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We popped into Tesco to pick up the ingredients. No one had thought to check if we had any flour at home (myself included), so we picked up a bag just in case, and I now have two and a half bags of flour in the cupboard as a result. We also picked up chocolate for the truffles, ginger for the biscuits and icing sugar. It was agreed that the truffles would be made first simply because, without revealing what was being made, my eldest said that it needed preparation time.

I left them pretty much to their own devices as I sat in the living room that’s adjacent to the kitchen, acting more as a bouncer keeping out the opposing team than as an advisory chef, and soon enough the first team had finished and they swapped over. The second team made and cooked their biscuits in quick time and we decided to leave the decorating until later as we visited Kip and Loz who’d invited us over earlier in the day.

A few hours later we came back and both teams finished off their creations. Everyone had fun in making things, and all four of the kids were well equipped to do most of the bits involved, though getting things cleared up afterwards was a different matter altogether!

Are there any other quick and easy recipes that anyone can recommend?


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