Christmas Cookie Recipe and Gift Idea: Santa’s Sleigh Cookies

There is still time to make this treat as a nice gift for any child. This year, I made some cookie sleighs! You can involve your little ones like I did, by giving them some cookie dough to make the cookies with cookie cutters or let them help with the festive decoration or fill the sleighs with goodies!

ready sleigh
All ready sleigh!

You will need:

  1. Your favorite sugar cookie or gingerbread recipe, or use mine
  2. Sleigh cookie cutters or a template. I will give the link to that at the end of the post.
  3. Your favorite icing, or use mine
  4. Candy canes
  5. Decorations such as colorful sprinkles
  6. Food coloring (optional)
  7. Little treats to put into the sleighs

Eggless cookie recipe:

I used my favorite cookie recipe which is egg-less:

–          370 g flour

–          165 g sugar which has been through the food processor or blender

–          ¼ teaspoon salt

–          2 teaspoons vanilla extract

–          225 g butter, cold

–          30 g cream cheese

In a large bowl, mix the first four ingredients. Now add little by little the butter and knead with your hand. It will be a crumbled mix first. When you have added all the butter, mix in the cream cheese. Now, part the dough into two and wrap in clear wrap foil. Chill the dough for about half an hour. Roll the dough out as thin or thick as you like and cut out your cookies either with cookie cutters or using the template for the sleigh (which you can find here)

Put the cookies on a backing paper lined baking tray. Bake in a preheated oven for about 180 degrees C for about 8-10 minutes, until their light brown. Let them cool completely before decorating the cookies or assembling the sleigh.

This recipe is quite healthy, just as I want my kids’ snacks to be!

For icing I used my recipe, but any icing you would like is fine. Even store-bought is great, as long as it is usable as “glue” for the cookies. My recipe is a little runny, so it was a little troublesome to assemble the sleigh. Maybe using some other recipe is better, but I like mine since it has no raw eggs.

My favorite icing recipe:

–          5-6 tablespoons of meringue powder (I buy meringues and powder it in the blender)

–          250 g confectioners sugar

–          About half a cup of water

Use your stand mixer to mix all the ingredients, but add the water little by little to see how much it will take to have a thick icing. Thickness is crucial for using as glue, while thinner icing is used for decorating. If it gets too thin, use more meringue powder or confectioners sugar.

I assembled first and then decorated the cookies. It may not be the best idea if you want to make some more fancy decorations. I am a simple girl, so my décor is simple, too J

Steps to assemble the christmas cookie santa sleighs:

Step 1: Let your pieces cool down completely

sleigh step 1
Everything ready to begin the assembly

Step 2: Put some icing on the bottom of the sides pieces and glue the to the bottom piece. Hold for as long as necessary until they stay in place. Let it dry for at least half an hour.

sleigh step 2
Glue first the two sides to the bottom piece
sleigh step 3
Let it dry until everything is secure

Step 3: Put some glue on the three sides of the last pieces and slide them to the front and the back of the sleigh. They should be glued with a slight angle, so there will be more space for the candy. Keep them in place for 1-2 minutes and add icing if needed to close any gaps. Let it dry for at least 1 hour.

sleigh step 4
Assemble the back and the front of the sleigh

Step 4: Turn the sleigh upside down and glue on the two candy canes which you will have unwrapped before. Let it dry for half an hour and turn it on the correct side. Let it dry a little longer to be sure. I recommend putting the sleigh on a piece of cardboard for secure transportation.

Step 5: Decorate in any way you want. Let it dry and put in some candy.

ready sleigh
All ready sleigh!

Step 6: If you want, wrap it up and ready is your gift!

sleighs ready
Gifts ready!

The template I found at Lila Loa, here. You will find also great step by step instruction to make their beautiful sleighs if you have the talent!

Here another photo with a cute idea:

sleigh with reindeers
Sleigh with reindeers (image source)

Have fun making these!!! I wish to each and every one of you a Merry Christmas! Enjoy these happy season to the fullest!

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Healthy Toddler Snack: Whole Wheat Apple Muffins Recipe

Apple muffins
Apple muffins

Sunday afternoon is increasingly becoming cake time lately. Or muffin time! Of course, always with the help of my kids. They get really excited every time, they just love to help! And what great helpers they are! I searched for an apple muffin recipe, which would be on the healthier side. After finding some recipes, I decided to go with the one from http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2008/04/whole-wheat-apple-muffins/ , which I adapted a bit to fit my taste and the ingredients I had at home. They came out delicious; we loved every bite of them.
So, here is the recipe for about 15 muffins

Ingredients for this healthy toddler snack:

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ or less teaspoon salt
½ tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons of coconut oil
2 medium eggs
¼ cup milk
2 large apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon dark chocolate
1 teaspoon butter

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 220o C. Line your muffin tin.
In a bowl, mix together the first six ingredients. In another bowl, cream the butter and both sugars until somewhat fluffy. Next add the eggs and mix well. You might need to scrape the sides. Next add the dry ingredients, the milk and the apples and combine, taking care not to over-mix the dough.
Divide the dough into the muffin cups and bake for about 10 minutes. Turn down the heat to about 200o C and bake for another 5-10 minutes, until the famous toothpick comes out clean. Take them out of the oven and let them cool for a few minutes. Then take them out of the tin and let them cool on a wire rack.
Melt the dark chocolate and combine with the butter. Scoop the chocolate into a polybag and cut off the tip. Drizzle the chocolate over the muffins and enjoy!!!

Fun and Healthy Kids Recipe: Meatballs on a Stick

meatballs on a stick
Meatballs on a stick

So, that is a photo of meatballs I made following my meatball recipe. As I have said in another post, my kids like their food on a stick, so that is exactly what I did! Now that my little girl is a little older, I cooked them in the oven.

I am a little reluctant to upload my own photos, since I am really not in any way a good photographer, nor am I a – even remotely close to – professional cook. I have no idea how to place dishes, how to arrange the food, how to use light, etc. Really, no clue whatsoever!

But, despite that, I will from time to time post some photos of the things I cook or make with my kids, asking you not do judge them too harshly 🙂

Healthy and Fun Pizza Recipe for Kids

pizza
Funny pizza face (image source)

Today, I thought I could share with you my favourite recipe for home-made, delicious and healthy Pizza!!! I mean, who doesn’t love Pizza? I don’t think a lot that can resist a slice, especially if it is home-made, with the best ingredients and toppings of your choosing!

So, what will you need? …continue reading

Fun Toddler and Kids Food – Rolling A Toast

toast rolls
“Sushi” toast rolls (image source)

So simple and yet mouthwatering! Just get (or make!) some whole-grain toast bread without crusts – or cut them off. Then flatten the slices with a rolling pin. And now get creative! Use whatever ingredients you like. Tomato, cucumber, cream cheese, ham, the variations are countless! You can combine  fruits as well. Once you have arranged them on the toast, all you – or your kids – need to do, is to roll them up. If you want you can cut them in a way that they get a “sushi” look, or you can grill them. Tasty!!!

For a sweeter rolled toast you can try the French toast variation, proposed by http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com. Don’t they look awesome?

French Toast Cheesecake Roll-Ups
French Toast Cheesecake Roll-Ups (image source)

Baby finger food ideas and tips – and a meatball recipe

turkey meatball
Turkey meatball (image source)

Somewhere after the age of 9-10 months, babies start demanding to eat food with their hands. And by all means, let them do exactly that! It will create a mess, agreed, but it is a very important development stage for your baby to do exactly that. It needs to explore the food, get to know it, examine it in every aspect, not just to fill its belly. So, in order for your baby to get to love food for what it is, you need to keep in mind a few things:  ...continue reading... continue reading

A little different “Souvlaki”

souvlaki sandwich
A different sandwich (image source)

My kids love to eat food on a stick, like “Souvlaki” or kebab. So, here is an idea, colourful, fun and nutritious, if you choose the right ingredients. Use whole-wheat or multi-grain bread, even better if it’s home-made, turkey fillet, high quality cheese (e.g. Greek Graviera Cheese) and vegetables, like tomato, cucumber, carrots, baby spinach leafs or some other green leaf vegetable. Then use some fun cookie cutters and …continue reading…