Want to impress with your culinary genius over Christmas and get the kids helping in the kitchen? We’ve been given four great recipes by organic baby food brand Piccolo for kids to make, eat and enjoy over the festive period.


1. White chocolate dipped ginger biscuits

Perfect for the holiday season
These delicious ginger biscuits are great on their own with a cuppa, or dipped in white chocolate, and are a great recipe to make with kids or wrap up as a present. For a less sweet biscuit, I have also tried it with half the sugar, they don’t stay as crisp as long, but still just as delicious!

Tip: Make double the dough and freeze half for another time, or just make double quantity as they disappear pretty quickly.

Ingredients
• 340g/12oz plain flour
• 100g white chocolate
• 60g icing sugar
• water
• red & green food colouring
• 3 level tsps ground ginger
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• 1/4 tsp nutmeg
• 100g/4oz butter
• 130g light brown sugar
• 4 tbsp golden syrup
• 1 large egg, beaten

Method
1. In a mixing bowl whisk together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg and set aside.

2. Either in a mixer or by hand, cream together the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Mix in the egg and combine. With mixer set on low speed, slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until combined, and you have a dough. Cover bowl with cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour.

3. Preheat oven to 180C / 350F / Gas 4 during the last 10 minutes of chilling.

4. For a smooth top to the biscuits, roll out the dough to around ½ inch thick and cut circles out with a cookie cutter, for a more rustic ‘ginger nut’ top, scoop out a dessert spoon of mixture from the bowl and shape into a ball, transfer to the baking sheet and, spacing around 2 inches apart, flatten tops slightly.

5. Bake for around 8 – 10 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

6. In a microwave safe bowl, melt the white chocolate in the microwave, in 10 second intervals until melted. Dip half of each cookie in melted white chocolate mixture then run bottom of cookie slightly along edge of bowl to remove excess, then return to Silpat or parchment paper to set at room temperature.

7. If doing the holly decoration, make a thick icing, using a little bit of hot water to mix into the icing sugar. Add a little from a teaspoon each time to make sure mixture isn’t too runny. Split the icing into two bowls and add a couple of drops of the red and green food colouring melt candy melts according to directions on package (I worked in small batches because it sets quickly, maybe 9 chips at a time, plus you won’t need much). Pour into a piping bags fitted with a #4 tip and pipe decorations. Allow to set a room temperature.


2. Christmas dinner for all stages and ages

Winner winner turkey dinner!
Our traditional Christmas meal is full of delicious flavours and textures that are brilliant for all the family. You do not need to cook them up anything separate, just watch to add the salt after taking out your baby’s portion.

This is our take on the Christmas classic, with a few little Mediterranean twists.

For Toddlers (any child over one) or finger food from 6 months

Simply cut up pieces of the roast potato and chicken, and give them the roasted batons of the parsnip and carrot.

To make a roast chicken puree:
Take the set aside pieces of boiled potato, parsnip and carrot and puree with a few pieces of chicken or turkey (the brown thigh meat is more nutrient dense than the breast meat) and a little water or juice from the meat pan.

Ingredients
• 2kg free range turkey or chicken
• 50g softened butter
• grated zest of 1/2 lemon
• 2 tsp chopped thyme
• 2 sage leaves, chopped
• 1 garlic clove, crushed
• 1 onion, halved
•  800g potatoes (maris piper are great for roasting)
• 100ml olive oil or 100g duck or goose fat
• 600g parsnips, peeled and chopped into thick batons
• 600g carrots, peeled and chopped into thick batons
• 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup (for the roast parsnip and not suitable for anyone under 1 year old)
• 3 tbsp olive oil
• cracked black pepper
• 200g green vegetables such as Brussel sprouts, green beans or petit pois

Method
1. Remove the bird from the fridge 1 hr before cooking to allow it to come to room temperature. Remove any giblets from the turkey and save for stock (if you are making your own)

2. Prep the vegetables (this can also be done the night before and left in a bowl with cold water in the fridge). Peel the potatoes, carrots and parsnips, and quarter the potatoes, and chop the carrots and parsnips into thick batons.

3. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Drop the potatoes into a large pan and pour in enough water to barely cover them. Add a pinch of salt, then wait for the water to boil. As soon as the water reaches a full rolling boil, lower the heat, and simmer for around 5 minutes. Drain the potatoes and give them a good shake in the pan to fluff the edges. If you want to puree the potato for your baby, take out a couple of potato pieces at this stage and set aside.

4. At the same time par boil the parsnips and carrots by placing them in cold water, bringing them to the boil and simmering for five minutes. Drain and place in a roasting dish – taking out a couple for your baby’s dish.

5. Now onto the chicken. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Mix the butter, lemon zest, herbs and garlic together and season with a little pepper. Spread the mix over the skin of the bird. Stuff the neck end of the bird with the onion.

6. Weigh the turkey or chicken and calculate the cooking time – it will need 40 mins for every 1kg.

7. Transfer the bird to a roasting tin, breast side down, cover loosely with foil and place in the middle of the oven. Cook for 20 mins, then reduce the temperature to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 for the rest of the cooking time. 30 minutes before the cooking time is up, take the bird out of the oven, remove the foil and turn the bird over to allow the skin on the breasts to brown. Drain the juice from the pan and reserve. Scatter the carrots and parsnips around the bird and drizzle over a little olive oil and honey or maple syrup and some cracked black pepper. Put back in the oven for the last 30 minutes.

8. At the same time as putting the turkey or chicken back in the oven for its second cook, put an empty roasting tin in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove and carefully add the olive oil or duck fat to the hot tin. Add the par boiled potatoes and give them a good shake to coat them in the fat. Put in the oven and roast for about 45 minutes, or until they go golden (have two timers, one for the meat, the other for the potatoes!).

9. To check if the turkey is cooked, pierce the thickest part of the thigh with a skewer. If the juices run clear, it’s cooked. If they are pink, return it to the oven for another 15 mins, then test again. If using a meat thermometer, it should read 80C for the thighs, and the breast should be 75C.

10. Once the bird is cooked, place on a serving platter (use the tin to make a gravy) and decant the roast vegetables into another dish and keep warm. Cover the bird with foil and place a tea towel on top and leave to rest for 20-30 minutes before carving.

11. While the bird is resting, steam any green vegetables such as green beans or peas, or roast some Brussel sprouts.


3. Sweet potato & cinnamon stars

Finger food for the whole family to enjoy
These super quick sweet potato stars make great snack food, but also a great base for a canape. Simply top with cream cheese and chopped chives for little ones and adults alike!

Tip: Try mixing up the flavours, grate carrot or add spices such as paprika for a little kick.

Makes about 15 stars

Ingredients
• 200g sweet potato, peeled and grated
• 60g Cheddar cheese, grated
• 2 eggs, whisked together
• 120g fine oats
• 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Method
1. Pre heat oven to 180C / 350F / Gas 4.

2. Grate the sweet potato in a bowl (the smaller the grate the neater the stars) and top with a little boiled water to just cover the sweet potato. Cover with cling film and cook in the microwave for 3 minutes on high.

3. Drain the sweet potato and then place on a clean cloth / a few layers of kitchen paper and squeeze out the liquid (The carrots need to be quite dry).

4. Place the sweet potato back in the bowl and mix with the remaining ingredients. The mixture is quite wet.

5. Prepare a baking tray with baking paper or use a silicon baking sheet.

6. Form star shapes of the mixture onto the sheet using a cookie cutter. Use a heaped teaspoon and stuff into the cookie cutter. Use the back of the teaspoon to push down the mixture into the corners and to lift off the cookie cutter.

Bake for around 12 minutes, until brown and crispy on the sides.


Parsnip, leek & carrot

A Great Veg Only Recipe
The sweet, smooth flavours of parsnip and carrot make great first tastes for babies. Whilst the slightly nutty taste of parsnip and celeriac compliment that carrot and leek perfectly.

Tip: This makes a delicious soup. Simple use a whole leek, 4 parsnips, 2 carrots and a whole celeriac. Remove baby’s portion once finished and add seasoning, a dash of milk or a sprinkling of parmesan.

Ingredients
• Dash of olive oil
• ¼ leek, trimmed, washed and chopped
• ½ garlic clove, peeled and crushed
• 2 medium parsnip, peeled and chopped
• ½ carrot, peeled and chopped
• ¼ medium celeriac, peeled and chopped
• 200ml of boiling water
• 1 sage leaf, chopped
• pinch of fresh thyme or dried

Method
1. Add the sage and thyme and water and stir together. Place the lid on the pan and cook for around 10 minutes stirring occasionally. If the vegetables dry out, add a little extra water.

2. Heat the olive oil in a deep, heavy bottomed pan and add the leek. Stir for a few minutes until the leek starts to soften, then add the garlic and cook for another minute.

3. Add the parsnip, carrot and celeriac and stir. Cook over a medium heat for 6-8 minutes.

4. Take off the heat when you can easily pierce the vegetables with a knife and they are cooked through.

Blend.