Christmas eve… much to do… It’s the same routine every year in our home but I always write a list – just in case. I’m afraid though my list is not nearly as exciting as Santa’s, or my small one’s for that matter but probably as long as both.


Having spent the day before baking little foodie gifts for family – so as to leave today free to prepare the Christmas dinner – the small one helps me to pretty these up with ribbons and bows before setting off to visit family.

Smartie cookies for my big sister’s adorable three-year old – her baby sister not nearly ready to munch on these just yet. Myjella muffins for my brothers dare I say teenage twins and their big sister. Fruity whiskey muffins for the mammy-in-law – she put her order in way back in November – and also for my younger sister to welcome her for her first Christmas in her new home.


And finally to my mam and dad’s to drop off their presents. They’ll be joining us for christmas dinner so they’ll get plenty of leftover desserts and goodies to take home tomorrow but we leave gingerbread anyway.

Once home and the best part of Christmas eve begins… My little family all cosied up for the evening… dinner over… christmas tree lights twinkling… we sit in front of the roaring fire to watch Santa on the RTE 6 o’clock news, setting off from North Pole.


A little later, sleepily rubbing his eyes, the small one lays out gingerbread and a glass of milk for Santa, before pulling on his little green wellies over his brand new spiderman pyjamas. Hand in hand with his daddy, he ventures into the cold brisk air to sprinkle his reindeer food over the front lawn.

With one last eager look to the sky, the small one reluctantly drags himself inside and off down the hallway to bed, chattering excitedly for at least another hour before I hear the sound of soft little snores coming from his room.

Bonibakes wishes you and yours a very Happy Christmas.



Makes 9 squares • Baking time: one hour
Adapted from Good housekeeping The Baking Book

100g margarine
100g light golden brown sugar
2 tablespoons treacle
1 tablespoon golden syrup
100ml milk
2 tablespoons Bailey’s
1 medium egg
150g plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
100g currants
Icing sugar for dusting

1. Preheat the oven to 150c/gas mark 2/130c(fan). Grease and line a square 20cm baking tin.
2. Put the butter, sugar, treacle and golden syrup into a saucepan and simmer until melted. Stir in the milk and Bailey’s and once cool mix in the egg.
3. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and spices into a bowl and pour the cooled mixture into it, stirring well. Mix in the currants.
4. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 1 hour. Allow to cool in the tin for a few minutes before turning out on a wire tray.
5. Cut the edges off the gingerbread and then divide evenly into 9 squares. Using Christmas stencils, sprinkle with sieved icing sugar.

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