Inspired by her three children, who love reading as much as their mum loves cooking, Great British Bake Off winner and television personality Nadiya Hussain’s second book for children combines a unique mix of delicious recipes and scrumptious stories. A perfect celebration of the UK’s Christmas holiday season…
Little Fir Tree Biscuits
These ginger biscuits are crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside – Christmas never tasted so good! Will you cover your tree in baubles or will it look like it has come straight from the forest? It doesn’t matter, as long as you enjoy decorating it.
Makes 1 large biscuit plus 24 small biscuits
2 tbsp golden syrup
1 large egg yolk
200g self-raising flour, plus extra for the work surface
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
100g unsalted butter, cold and cubed
75g soft light brown sugar
For the buttercream icing
75g unsalted butter, softened
150g icing sugar, sifted
2 ½ tbsp. whole milk
pinch ground cinnamon
For the decorations
70g desiccated coconut
1⁄4 tsp green gel food colouring coloured dragees for decorations
1 yellow fondant star for the top of the large tree
You will also need
1 x 12cm tree cutter and 1 x 6cm tree cutter
Preheat the oven to 160°C fan/gas mark 4. Line two baking trays with baking paper.
Mix the syrup and egg yolk together in a small bowl, then set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon until combined.
Add the butter and, using your fingertips, rub it into the flour mixture until it resembles breadcrumbs.
Add the sugar to the ‘breadcrumbs’ and stir through. Now add the syrup/egg mixture and, using your hands, bring the dough together.
Dust the work surface and your rolling pin with flour. Roll out the dough until it is about 3mm thick.
Using the large cutter, cut out one tree and place it on one of the trays. Using the small cutter, cut out 24 trees and place on the trays.
Chill the trays in the fridge for 20 minutes so the biscuits will firm up and keep their shape while baking.
After chilling, bake the biscuits for 12 minutes.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the tray for 20 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the icing and decoration
Make the buttercream icing by putting the butter, icing sugar, milk and cinnamon in a bowl. Whisk with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
Put the desiccated coconut and the food colouring into a zip-lock food bag, seal and mix by shaking the bag or mushing its contents around with your fingers. Keep going until all the coconut is green.
When the biscuits are cold, cover one side of each tree in icing (except for the trunk), using a spatula. Hold the tree by its trunk and dip it into the green coconut.
Place the dragees on your Christmas trees like baubles, then put the star on top of your large tree!
Cranberry and White Chocolate Shortbread
These biscuits can be a real team effort. Younger children can enjoy rolling the little balls and coating them in sugar, and older children can give it some welly creaming the butter and sugar. Everyone can get their hands in and get messy!
125g unsalted butter, softened
55g caster sugar, plus 20g for rolling 1 tsp vanilla extract
180g plain flour
60g white chocolate, finely chopped or chips
60g dried cranberries
Preheat the oven to 170°C fan/gas mark 5. Line two baking trays with baking paper.
Cream the butter and the 55g of sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and mix well.
Add the flour and mix to make a smooth dough.
Add in the chocolate and cranberries, stirring until they are evenly spread throughout the dough.
Pour the 20g of sugar for rolling into a shallow dish.
Separate the dough into 18 small balls. Dip and roll each ball in the extra sugar so they are completely coated. Place the balls on the trays, spaced about an inch apart.
Bake for 20 minutes, until they are golden brown.
Remove from the oven and leave the biscuits to cool on the tray for 15 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Bake Me a Festive Story by Nadiya Hussain (Illustrated by Clair Rossiter), out now in hardback RRP £14.99 from Hodder Children’s Books