The countdown is on! Here are a few recipes to keep your kids festively entertained as we make our way through the holiday season.

Marshmallow Dippers

Ingredients:
150g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
4 candy canes (or 16 lollipop sticks)
16 marshmallows
4 tbsp desiccated coconut, or 6 tbsp sprinkles, stars, or hundreds and thousands (or a mix)

Directions:
Melt the chocolate in the microwave or a bowl over simmering water, then pour into a smaller bowl or shallow cup where the marshmallows can be individually submerged easily (too shallow and they’re harder to dunk). Leave for a few mins to cool slightly.

While the chocolate is cooling, break the candy canes into 4 equal pieces (a few pieces will be slightly hooked but that’s ok). Insert a piece of candy cane (or lollipop stick) into each marshmallow in the wider end. Line 2 boards or trays with baking paper and arrange a cooling rack over one of them. Put your coconut or sprinkles into small bowls.

Dunk the marshmallows into the chocolate – use a spoon to drizzle over the top of them if you need to (the chocolate around the top will help to keep them stuck when set). Let any excess drip off back into the bowl, then transfer to the cooling rack. Repeat with all the marshmallows.

Once the chocolate has stopped dripping and is starting to set, hold the dippers over the coconut or sprinkle bowls and scatter pinches over them, spinning to coat all over (any falling off will go back into the bowl).

Once coated, leave to set on the baking paper for at least 1 hr in a cool place. Keep in a cool place for 2 weeks if using lollipop sticks, 2-3 days if using candy canes.

Rudolph Chocolate Bark

Ingredients:
14oz / 400g chopped dark chocolate
pretzels, halved
red M&M’s
flaked almonds
1 candy cane, crushed

Directions:
Line an 8-inch brownie tin with baking parchment. Melt the chopped dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. While the chocolate is melting, prepare the decorations.

Use halved pretzel knots to create antlers, red m&m’s for the/his nose, and flaked almonds dotted with a little melted chocolate for the eyes. Once melted and smooth, and pour the chocolate into the prepared tin – allow to stand for a few minutes until beginning to set, this will make it easier to decorate.

Work swiftly to decorate, making Rudolph faces. Finally Sprinkle over 1 crushed candy cane, and chill for 2hr until set. Chop around the Rudolph faces with a sharp knife to create shards.

Jack Durner’s Snowball Cookies
“Our family used to make these delightful cookies every year. They are so light they almost pop when you eat them.”

Ingredients:
1 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup finely chopped pecans
Powdered sugar

Directions:
In a large bowl beat softened butter. Add sugar and mix till creamy. Add water and vanilla; mix well. Add as much flour as you can with mixer. Stir in remaining flour and pecans.

Shape into 1-inch balls or make into logs. Place on ungreased cookie sheet, 1-inch apart.
Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit about 20 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned.

Let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes.

Roll cooled balls (or logs) in powdered sugar.
Then, let them rest until completely cooled, before rolling them a second time in powdered sugar.
Decorate with coloured sugar sprinkles, if you like.