When I was little (as in young, not short, because some things never change!) I loved helping my mum in the kitchen. And Christmas baking was no exception.
Now florentines aren’t a traditional Christmas treat, the Italian biscuits can be made all year round. But the use of glace cherries makes them festive to me!
It became a tradition for me to help making them. They’re so simple that there are plenty of steps that even a young child can assist with. Eventually, I took over more and more of the steps until I was making them independently. What a perfect example of grading an activity!
So this is what you’ll need:
3 cups of cornflakes
1/2 cup of chopped nuts (I chose dry roasted almonds and macadamias)
1/2 cup of glace cherries
1/2 cup of sultanas
1/2 tin of condensed milk
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees and line a baking tray. Combine all of the ingredients:
LIGHTLY crush the cornflakes (you want small cornflakes, not dust!) For sensory sensitive children, you could get them to use a tool (eg. wooden spoon) to crush the flakes, or use clean rubber gloves (double glove if they’re particularly sensitive). Children will need good proprioceptive feedback from their hands to know how hard to squeeze the flakes.
Use kitchen scissors to chop up the glace cherries. This will help to develop your child’s bilateral coordination and grip strength. Once again, if your child is sensory sensitive you can use some thin latex gloves to touch the sticky cherries with.
Whilst your child is chopping the cherries, you can chop the nuts (or if you’re like me, buy them pre-chopped!)
They can also help to measure out the sultanas and spoon out the condensed milk.
Place heaped spoonfuls onto the lined tray.
Bake for 10 minutes or until golden. Let them cool slightly on the tray and they’ll be easier to lift off.
Meanwhile, melt 250g of dark chocolate melts according to packet directions. Once the biscuits have cooled, spread the melted chocolate on the bottom of the biscuit. And for a fancy touch, you can run a fork through the chocolate to create a pattern.
I still make Florentines every Christmas, and hope that one day my children will be making them with me too. So now that school holidays are in full swing and Christmas is upon us, why not spend some time with your kids in the kitchen!
OTFC wishes everyone a warm and merry festive season and we look forward to posting some new and exciting blogs in 2013.