The Snowman has been a part of my Christmas routine for as long as I can remember, as has baking with the kids, so I was delighted to be asked to join in with The Snowman and The Snowdog Great Festive Bake Off Blog Tour. Two things that we love in one project !
Raymond Briggs first published the iconic book all the way back in 1978 and I instantly fell in love with it, but watching it on TV for the first time in 1982 really took the festive magic to a new level. The heartwarming and often humorous tale of the friendship between the snowman and the little boy, along with a visit from Father Christmas, is a timeless classic that has enchanted generations of children (and grown ups !). I don't think there has been a single year when we haven't sat down to watch it and it still works its magic every time. The Snowman and The Snowdog will be shown on Channel 4 again this Christmas and we'll definitely be watching ! We also have the book but it is well-used and decidedly tatty so we were delighted to receive a brand new, deluxe hardbacked edition of the original classic tale - the story and illustrations are just the same but we love the fresh look of the front cover. The book is available from Puffin and costs £12.99 - as it is wordless, it would be a fabulous gift for children who love books but haven't learnt to read yet. We love looking at the pictures together and making up the dialogues - giggles guaranteed at bedtime !
I always love seeing all the spin-off products to help bring The Snowman off the pages and screens and into our home. We were delighted to receive a gorgeous Snowman and Snowdog advent calendar from Thorntons, which the kids wanted to open immediately, along with some ultra cute cookie cutters (£4.75 from Party Delights) for us to have fun in the kitchen with and join in the challenge.
Now, I would love to say that this is how ours came out, but I'd be lying ! These fantastic creations that look almost too good to eat are from Biscuiteers - their beautiful Snowman and The Snowdog Big Biscuit Card costs £22.50 and shows just how fabulous edible creations can look.
Biscuiteers have kindly provided a video tutorial to show you how to try to make your own Snowman biscuits. She makes it look so easy ! I also didn't realise you could bake icing to make it set - that's a new technique to experiment with in the kitchen.
But on to The Madhouse version ! I decided to use basic cookie dough and add some cinnamon because it's just such a festive flavour. We went for three different decorative options, using ready-to-roll icing, a tub of frosting and white chocolate, along with sprinkles and icing gel pens. I'll let you decide which one worked best !
As I scuttled around the kitchen getting out ingredients to make the biscuits, I told the Madhouse kids to scatter some flour on the table for roling out the dough. I laughed when I turned round and was confronted with this !
The cookie dough I used was a bit too soft so they didn't hold their shape that well, but they didn't fall apart either, which is always a bonus ! For our first option, we used up the end of a tub of ready made vanilla frosting.
For the second option, we rolled out some ready-to-roll icing that was lurking in the cupboard. It had gone a bit hard but seemed to come back ok with a bit of enthusiastic squishing !
For the third and final option, I melted some white chocolate and spread it over the top. Then the real fun started and it was time to decorate them, using icing gel pens and sprinkles.
We soon had an entire table full of Snowmen and Snowdogs, much to Pierre's delight !
Here's how the ready-to-roll icing ones came out.
And the buttercream icing ones.
And the white chocolate ones.
I asked Pierre which ones he thought looked and tasted best and he said all of them ! I think his favourite part of all was licking out the bowls !
They may not be as impressive as the Biscuiteer ones but I bet they didn't have as much fun making theirs as we did !
If you want to see some of the other entries for the #SnowmanSnowdog Bake Off challenge, head over to twitter and search for the hashtag. Also don't miss Mummy's Little Peeps tomorrow, as the blog tour will be stopping off there !
Disclosure : We recived the products in order to take part in the blog tour and bake off.