When your kids get up early, you need more than a few ideas to keep them entertained. If it’s only 8am and you’ve already had breakfast, watched a bit of TV, played a game and split up a few sibling tussles (“Mine!” “No, Mine!” etc) then it’s probably time to change tack. Thinking of things that will keep a five and a one year old busy isn’t always easy, but I’d seen these salt dough decorations before and thought they looked pretty straightforward and fun to make. They also have the added bonus of looking like biscuits but tasting absolutely vile (half the mixture is salt) so it stops the cubs from scoffing half the dough before you’ve even rolled it out! Just a small plus point there.
A quick google and I found the recipe.
1 cup plain flour
1 cup salt
1/2 cup water
Mix it all together, adding more water if needed, and voila, your dough is ready to go. You just roll it out as if you’re making biscuits, then grab some cutters and start creating your decorations. We used reindeer, star and circle biscuit cutters, but you could use anything you’ve got to hand. A good tip I read about is to use a straw to punch a small hole in the top of the shapes, so you can easily thread a ribbon through when they’re baked.
Spread them out onto foil and bake them for 2-3 hours at 100C. Take care not to bake them at 200c instead and end up with burning, bubbling biscuits (like I did).
I took mine out after an hour and think I salvaged them. We haven’t painted them yet so I’ll update you when we do.
I have to say, both my children loved making these, the little one just likes to roll the dough and press her fingers in, and the eldest likes to make the shapes his own way. The last bit of dough was quickly moulded into the shape of an onion. When I asked what it was, he said it was “the thing from that book, you know, where they go off on a boat and find things.” I finally realised the book he meant was Moomin and the Moonlight Adventure by Tove Jansson, and the character was Little My! I’ve taken a photo of the book in case you’re not sure who I mean. He’s nothing if not original!
If you’d like to read about how we painted the decorations, you can do here.