My children are bouncing off the walls with excitement. I tried to enforce a moment of calm for some sweet making and it lasted about five minutes. Luckily these aren't too involved so I didn't end up cooking alone for too long. If your children are of the more patient and calm nature you might have more luck.
Anyway no childhood Christmas is complete without peppermint creams. We always made them at school and they're so easy and pretty. You can get all fancy and cut them out with little cutters - but I went old school and just squished them with a fork. I was loathe to use raw egg white like we did back in the day so I was pleased to find that condensed milk was a good substitute.
To join in the Christmas Eve sweet making fun you will need:
225g icing sugar - sifted 115g condensed milk A few drops natural peppermint extract - to taste A tiny amount of red and green food colouring (optional)
Put your condensed milk in a bowl and gradually mix in the sugar until you have a smooth "dough". Add a few drops of peppermint extract and knead to distribute the flavouring.
Divide your dough in half. Make a well in one half of the dough and add a tiny drop of food colouring - the more you add the darker it will be. Knead the dough again to distribute the colour. Repeat with the second half.
Roll into balls and the use the back of a fork to squash them down and make a pretty pattern.
If you'd rather not use food colouring you could always leave them white and drizzle over some chocolate - sort of home made after eights.
Leave to set for an hour or so. Then eat as many as you like because it's Christmas and you're allowed.