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The Snowman star Aled Jones teams with charity for Christmas baking challenge

Star of the hit 1980s animated short film ‘The Snowman’ and classical music superstar, Aled Jones, has teamed up with school-feeding charity Mary’s Meals for a Christmas baking challenge.

Mary’s Meals serves nutritious school meals in 20 of the world’s poorest countries. The promise of food attracts hungry children into the classroom where they can gain an education and hope for the future.

Mary’s Meals is a simple idea that works. The charity provides one daily meal in a place of learning in order to attract chronically poor children into the classroom, where they receive an education that can, in the future, be their ladder out of poverty.

Singer and presenter Aled, who shot to fame at the age of 14 with his version of Christmas classic Walking In The Air, has donated his recipe for Gingerbread Snowpeople to the charity’s fundraising campaign, Raise Some Dough, in a nod to the song’s association with the animated film, The Snowman.

Aled says: “This Christmas, I’m hoping people will have fun baking my favourite biscuit recipe while helping to spread festive joy and hope to some of the world’s poorest children who depend on Mary’s Meals.

“Now has never been a better time to dig out your rolling pin and get baking to raise money for the charity’s Raise Some Dough campaign, especially when donations will go further this winter towards transforming the lives of hungry children by giving them hope of a better future.”

Aled is just one of the famous faces supporting Mary’s Meals this winter. Strictly Come Dancing star Ellie Taylor, Great British Bake Off winner Giuseppe Dell’Anno and actors Joanna Lumley and Tamzin Outhwaite have all shared their favourite biscuit recipes in the charity’s free fundraising pack – which includes a mug-shaped cookie cutter. It is available online from marysmeals.org.uk/raise.

Donations made to Mary’s Meals until 31 January 2023 will be doubled by a generous group of supporters, up to £1.5 million, with the charity’s Double The Love campaign. There is no better way to spread ho-ho-hope this Christmas!

For further information on Mary’s Meals, please visit www.marysmeals.org.uk

Aled’s Recipe for Gingerbread Snowpeople

You’ll need:

350g/12oz plain flour, plus extra for rolling out
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
125g/4½oz butter
175g/6oz light soft brown sugar
1 free-range egg
4 tbsp golden syrup

To decorate the Snowpeople:

Writing icing (optional)
Cake decorations (optional)

Method:

Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon and pour into the bowl of a food processor.

Add the butter and blend until the mix looks like breadcrumbs.
Stir in the sugar.

Lightly beat the egg and golden syrup together, add to the food processor and pulse until the mixture clumps together. Tip the dough out, knead briefly until smooth, wrap in cling film and leave to chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180° C/160°C Fan/Gas 4. Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.

Roll the dough out to a 0.5cm thickness on a lightly floured surface. Using cutters, cut out the gingerbread people shapes and place on the baking tray, leaving a gap between them.

Bake for 12–15 minutes, or until lightly golden-brown.

Leave on the tray for 10 minutes and then move to a wire rack to finish cooling.

When cooled decorate with the writing icing and cake decorations, if using.

Finally… make a pot of tea or coffee or pour a glass of your favourite tipple and sit back and enjoy!