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A fun festive afternoon with salt

With just over five weeks to go until Christmas day, we’re now starting to get our salt-topped Santa hats on and think of some fun festive things you can do with the white stuff one afternoon.

So whether it’s being creative with your culinary skills or adventurous with your arts and crafts, find out how you can keep your family fed and your little ones in the festive spirit in the run-up to the holiday season. Using salt.

Crafting

Remember a time before iPhones, games consoles and digital TV? As the winter nights draw in and the weather gets colder and wetter, switch off the tech and turn your attention to art.

Not only is the time spent with your kids quality time, it is rewarding them with self-confidence and engaging learning in new ways. And salt can form a part of it.

Making a raised salt painting of Santa or a snowman couldn’t be simpler.

What you’ll need

  • card
  • craft glue
  • a paintbrush
  • a 250ml pot of water
  • water colours or food colouring

Method

  1. Get your paper and drizzle it gently with craft glue
  2. Sprinkle the sheet with salt and give it a shake to collect the excess
  3. Dip your paintbrush into your pot of water
  4. Mix paintbrush with food colouring in a bowl or paint colour tray
  5. Get your paint on

Cooking

From Rembrandt to Gordon Ramsey. As your masterpiece dries, move to the kitchen to make some festive salted caramel brownies to finish the afternoon of playtime.

Feel free to do this first, but these brownies will blow your festive socks off. So much so you might just spend the rest of the day baking and eating.

While salt is only a small ingredient, it’s an important piece in the process.

What you’ll need

For the caramel:

  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons of cream

For the brownie:

  • 85g of chocolate
  • 115g butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 85g flour

Method

  1. ┬áPlace a square of parchment paper over a baking tray and smear with butter so your caramel doesn’t stick
  2. In a separate saucepan, melt your sugar on a medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring if needed to break up chunks
  3. Wait until the sugar turns a copper colour, then remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the butter
  4. Stir in cream and salt then return to a medium heat and bring to a simmer
  5. Cook the bubbling caramel for a few more minutes until a shade darker
  6. Pour your mixture onto the parchment paper and place in the freezer for 30 minutes until hard
  7. Whilst waiting for your caramel to firm, turn the oven up to 350 F (175 C) and line another tray with parchment paper and butter
  8. Melt the chocolate in the microwave for 1 minute (in 30 second bursts so as not to burn it if you have a powerful microwave) and add your butter to the mix
  9. Whisk in sugar, then eggs, vanilla and salt
  10. Stir in the flour with a spoon to complete your brownie mix
  11. Now with your caramel firm, break it off into bitesize 1-inch squares
  12. Gently fold the pieces into the brownie mix and spread evenly
  13. Scatter any reamining caramel bits on top
  14. Now bake it altogether at 175 C until for 30 minutes, placing a toothpick in the middle if you have one
  15. When the toothpick comes out clean, there you have your salted festive brownies
  16. Leave to cool on the side or pop straight in the freezer
  17. Enjoy brownies so sweet even Father Christmas himself would struggle to finish

 

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