I remember Christmas when I was young.
There was so much cleaning, preparation and cooking, and cooking... and more cooking! We were all involved in some way whether it was cutting up the dried fruit, stirring the Christmas cake or pudding mixture or rolling out the sweet pastry for the tarts and fruit mince pies.
And afterwards, somehow or other, we all managed to scamper outside clutching tasty bits of pastry, fruit, biscuit or cake mix.
I loved watching the batches of beautiful Christmas cookies (we call them biscuits in Australia) cooling on trays before being stored in large glass jars or packed between layers of greaseproof paper in shiny, bright tins as gifts.
There were Snickerdoodles, Peppermint Chocolate Slice, Shortbreads, Meringue Kisses, Iced Vo-vos, Melting Moments and Florentines.
And although I'd love to recreate similar memories today for my children and grandkids- the same delicious smells and mouth-watering flavours- I just don't have time.
But maybe, I can create memories that are every bit as sweet for my grandkids without spending hours in the kitchen. And you can, too.
So here's my simple version of Christmas cookies that will take less than 15 minutes to make. And... if my grandson is anything to go by, you'll have them coming back for more.
Here's what you'll need:
* 1 cup of chocolate melts (Use natural chocolate melts if you're looking for a healthy alternative and there are even gluten-free versions.)
* 1 pack of mini salted pretzels (You won't need to use all of the pretzels.)
* 1 pack of mini gingerbread men (If you need a healthier alternative, there is a brand made with wholegrains and sweetened with grape juice rather than sugar.)
* 1 pack of shredded coconut (Again, you won't need the whole pack.)
* ! pack of Christmas M&Ms- the ones with green and red M&Ms
You'll also need a biscuit tray lined with baking paper.
1. Melt the chocolate. (I just popped a microwave-safe bowl with the melts in the microwave 30-40 sec but you may prefer to melt it gently by standing the container of melts over a bowl of hot water and stirring until melted.)
2. Make small circles of chocolate on the tray of baking paper using teaspoonfuls of melted chocolate.
3. Gently push a couple of pretzels, a gingerbread man and a few M&Ms in each chocolate circle.
4. Sprinkle with shredded coconut.
5. Refrigerate until the chocolate is firm.
6. Gently remove from the tray and arrange on small Christmas plates or platters.
And that's it! Easy! In fact, your kids or grandkids would probably like to help you make these. So go ahead and enjoy some family fun and make some wonderful Christmas memories.
Life as a grandma.. it's no 'quiet, restful days in the rocking-chair'. It's filled with activity, excitement and lots of family fun. Please share it with me.