Baking is a fun family activity that’s ideal for the winter months. You don’t have to worry about making something that looks absolutely perfect. After all, it’s not the Great British Bake Off! Baking as a family is all about the fun you have doing it.

Mince pies are a Christmas classic and a great choice for baking with kids as they’re simple to make. Kids will enjoy helping roll out the pastry, cutting out the circles for the cases that go in the tins, spooning in the mince and cutting out pastry shapes to put on top as lids. You can pick up shaped cutters (stars, holly leaves, angels or anything else suitably Christmassy usually works well) fairly easily. And once you’ve got some cutters, they’ll come in handy for making things like Nanny Pat’s Christmas biscuits. Put some Christmas carols on the stereo and get baking!

Mince pies

This recipe will make around 12 mince pies, depending on the size of your tins and how thinly you roll your pastry.

What you’ll need:
– Around 300g pastry – you can either make your own pastry (a simple rough puff pastry works well), or you can use shop-bought short crust pastry.
– Jar of mincemeat
– Butter to grease the tins (if they’re not non-stick)
– Plain flour
– Icing sugar for dusting (optional)
– Beaten egg for brushing (optional)

1. Lightly grease the tins if needed.
2. Sprinkle a board with flour so the pastry doesn’t stick, then roll out the pastry and cut out the bases for the mince pies. If you don’t have a round cutter, a glass will work just as well.
3. Add the filling to the cases. Be careful not to overfill, as they will expand during cooking.
4. Cut out the tops for the cases. You can use whatever shapes you like, and the tops don’t have to completely cover the filling.
5. If you wish, lightly brush the tops of the mince pies with beaten egg. This will turn them golden.
6. Put in the centre of a pre-heated oven (220 degrees C/Gas Mark 7) for 20 – 25 minutes, or until they turn a lovely golden brown colour.
7. Wait until they’re cool, then turn them out and dust with icing sugar if you wish.

Bosinver’s baking box

stuff-in-baking-box

Have you seen our baking box? If you’re staying at Bosinver, it’s available for you to borrow whenever you feel the urge to bake. It’s packed full of all the equipment you’ll need to make just about anything, and includes scales, various types of cake tins, biscuit cutters, a Kenwood handheld whisk/beater, a copy of The Cookie and Biscuit Bible for inspiration, and, of course, children’s aprons!

If the weather’s wet, or you just fancy doing something creative in the kitchen, why not give it a go?