KIDS the writing in bold is for you. ADULTS the rest is for you. Make a chocolate chip mincemeat mix. Get your children to weigh out the mincemeat
in a bowl and mix in the chocolate chips (if a few get eaten, not to worry, it is Christmas!). Set aside.
Rub the butter and flour together. To make the pastry, tip the butter, flour and spice into a bowl. Get them to rub it together until combined to the texture of breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and squidge together to make a dough – don’t be tempted to add any liquid. Tip the dough onto a floured surface and knead.
Get counting and start to make the pies. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Halve the dough (discuss with your child how half makes two, etc), and get them to roll half into 12 balls – another counting opportunity. Get them to gently press the balls into the holes of the tin so that they come up the sides with a little overlap.
Fill the pies. Spoon the filling into the pies – try to be as neat as you can, as you don’t want to get any on the sides.
Top the pies. Make 12 more balls (again counting) and pat them out flat (cue the Pat-a-cake song), so that they are large enough to cover the pies. Top and press the edges together. You don’t need to worry about sealing them or being too neat.
Brush with egg and bake. Brush the tops of the pies with egg. Put the tray in the oven and bake for 20 mins or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly.
Make them neat and tidy. If you want neat-looking pies, you can use a 7cm round cutter to trim the edges. This is easiest done while the pies are still warm.
Cut out some letters. For some extra learning fun, you can now dust the work surface with icing sugar, press some marzipan out flat and use letter cutters to create letters of your choice. Brush the letters with a drop of water and gently press them onto the pies.
Make a snowstorm.Leave to cool a bit more, then gently slip the pies out of the tin. Put some icing sugar in a fine sieve and give the pies a snowy dusting. Eat straight away, give to neighbours and friends, or keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days.