BRANDY snaps are one of England's oldest and best-loved confections.

They are glossy, lacy and have a honeycombed tube shape which shatters under the edge of the fork or the bottom of the shopping trolley.

This golden syrup, toffee-enriched, ridged cigar biscuit is formed by wrapping the warm-from-the-oven tuiles around the handles of wooden spoons.

I have a peculiar association with this bendable Christmas treat – as a child I just loved brandy snaps and so did my dad for that matter.

I would watch eagerly for the slim, cellophane box coming out of dad’s Christmas works food hamper every year, which was then lodged in a high-up kitchen cupboard.

My mum said this was ''in case'' guests called over the Christmas holidays, and the goodies bestowed upon guests did not always trickle down the food chain to me and my brother.

After what seemed liked weeks of waiting for the occasion when I might get to taste a snap or two, I decided one day to sabotage the near-empty box of softened brandy snaps.

Making your own brandy snaps is simple and lots of fun, and with a little practise you soon master the process with the help of a soothing Christmas CD to glide through the recipe in a calm and collective manner!

Your kitchen will become deliciously fuddled by the smell of homely baking, with an assembly line of wooden spoon handles at the ready.

The secret to good brandy snaps is all about timing: you soon learn this through repetition, with the mixture being spread thinly into as perfect a circle as possible on a roomy baking tray, then baked until they bubble and darken in the oven .

They must be watched like a hawk as they bake to golden perfection, becoming lacy as dollies.

Then you and your pallet knife must wait until they are cool enough to hold together, but not so firm that they refuse to be curled. If so, pop them back in the oven for a minute and they will once again become game for the wooden spoon and all manner of snapping.

The traditional shaping of a brandy snap is tubular, but if you wish so, drape the warm rounds over a few tangerines. Once cooled they make excellent baskets for filling with ice-cream.

Originally brandy snaps were made flat and did contain brandy, hence the name, but as time went by the recipe was cheapened without brandy and sold to the middle classes at fairground attractions.

Finally back to my wooden spoon and lost oven mitten – make and bake small batches, that way you will soon get into the full swing of a snappy production line, and remember like most things in life you get better with practice!

Yes dad, I will make you a batch at the weekend!

• Have you missed any of Baker Mike’s previous recipes? You’ll find them all available on our website – simply visit, click on What’s On then Food & Drink.