'I really enjoy making fun, novelty treats with my young boys at Christmas time. I love to see their little faces light up as we create a magical masterpiece and these skiing teddies are certainly no exception! The recipe is deceptively easy; a buttery ginger teddy sits bravely upon candy cane skis. They are guaranteed to make your child squeal with delight.'
- For the teddy bear biscuits:
- 90g plain flour
- 1tsp ground ginger (you could try using ground cinnamon instead or omit the spice)
- 50g butter, chilled
- 25g caster sugar
- 2–3tsp milk
- For decoration:
- 20g icing sugar
- 175g white fondant
- 10 raisins or sultanas
- 20 candy canes
- 10 chocolate chips
- 5 Matchmakers or Mikado sticks, broken in half
- You will also need a teddy bear-shaped cutter – our cutter measured 3 inches tall.
Ask your child to grease a baking tray with butter. Place the tray to one side for later.
Weigh the flour into a mixing bowl. Help your child to measure the ginger onto the teaspoon. They may feel inclined to add more – I speak from experience!
Take the butter from the fridge then weigh it before slicing into chunks. If your child is old enough to use a table knife then they might like to tackle this task. Add the chunks of cold butter to your mixing bowl.
Your child can now use their fingertips to rub the butter into the flour.
When the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, it’s time to add in the sugar, then measure in the milk.
Now all of your ingredients are in the bowl, you can bring the mixture together to form a ball. You can use your hands for this but I recommend starting off with a spoon, otherwise things could get messy!
Once you have transformed your dough into a smooth ball, it’s time to wrap it in cling film and place in the fridge for at least half an hour to firm up. Meanwhile, you can try to convince your child not to eat scraps of leftover dough, or is that just me?!
Preheat your oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4. While the oven heats up, it’s time to gather up the dough from the fridge and roll it out with a rolling pin.
You can dust your worktop with flour or roll the dough out between two pieces of cling film. I find the second option a lot easier and far less messy! Your child can be in charge of rolling out the dough but just be sure that it is rolled out to about the thickness of a £1 coin (approximately 3mm).
Make your teddy bears with your teddy-shaped cutter. No doubt your child will love this. We found ourselves “ooohing and ahhhing” as each teddy was ‘born’.
Place your teddy bears onto the greased baking tray and deposit them into the oven. The biscuits will need to cook for 15- 20 minutes. If you have used a smaller or larger cutter, you will need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
Take the cooked biscuits from the oven and lay them on a wire rack to cool. Once the biscuits are cold, you can turn them into skiing teddies!
First of all, make a tiny amount of icing ‘glue’ to hold your lovely creations together. To do this, simply sift the icing sugar into a small bowl, add a few drops of water at a time and mix to form a stiff icing.
Lay your teddies flat on the worktop and use a small amount of fondant to create each nose. You will only need a little for each teddy, roughly the size of a pea. Roll the fondant between your hands, dip in the icing glue and press into the middle of each head. Add a chocolate chip for the tip of each nose.
To make the eyes and buttons, simply take one raisin and slice into four pieces. Two pieces form the eyes and the other two become buttons. Stick in place with icing.
Before attaching the teddy bears to the candy canes, you will need to make the candy canes shorter (unless you are using mini ones). I found it easiest to snap them in half with my hands.
Use a tiny amount of fondant to stick the underside of the candy canes to whatever you wish to display them on. I used a sheet of tinfoil.
Use small pieces of fondant to press onto the teddy’s little feet, and then very gently press the teddy onto the candy canes. I took over at this point as my little boy, who is only four, was rather forceful and we suffered a few casualties! An older child should manage with just a little assistance. Use more fondant to attach the Matchmaker poles to the teddy’s hands.
When you have created all of the teddy bear skiers, you can shower them with a dusting of icing sugar and if you have any leftover fondant, roll into snow balls to complete the snowy scene!
Top tip for making Skiing teddy bear biscuits
If time is limited, you could use any spare gingerbread dough to make just a few teddy bears!'