I cooked, baked and styled for a massive 21 recipe festive photoshoot for the Good Food Channel website last week. It was a HUGE job that involved a lot of list making, shopping, recipe developing, and intense baking sessions.
Anna, Sharron and I had a huge amount of fun on shoot days though, so all the preparations paid off. Christmas tunes were blaring, icing sugar was dusted and brandy glugged into quite a few of the recipes…
So in the run-up to Christmas I’m going to be sharing everything I made in a series of blog posts that I hope will help inspire for the season to come.
We’ll start with…
Edible Christmas Gifts
Making your own Christmas presents is all the rage in this cash strapped climate.
The time and effort you spend preparing something for someone is a sure fire way to make them feel more special than if you’d just grabbed a bottle of shower gel from Boots.
These projects are also perfect to make with the children to give as end of term pressies to their teacher. Let me know what you think of them!
Christmas biscuit wreath
Not something to hang on your door, unless you sprayed it with glue! No, this edible wreath made of snowflake shaped cinnamon flavoured cookies is something to pop in the centre of a party table, or package up in a nice box as a present. It’s actually much more achievable than it looks, so is definitely worth having a go at if you want a bit of a festive centre piece this year.
Chocolate dipped ginger biscuits
These little fellas are melting moment style biscuits flecked with warming crystallised ginger, then dipped in dark chocolate. Definitely a treat for grown-ups, with the possibility of being dunked in an Irish Coffee of a Christmas Eve!
Oreo fridge cake
This is the ultimate make-with-kids recipe as it’s so simple. It’s only got four ingredients – popcorn, marshmallows, oreos and melted chocolate. It also looks fantastic once it’s sliced up, and most importantly tastes just as good as it is bad for you. What’s not to love?
Cookie mix in a jar
This will always be my absolute favourite home made gift idea. I remember seeing them for sale in the Selfridges Food Hall years ago for a ridiculously inflated price and promising myself I could do just as good a job at home for a fraction of the price. You have all your dry ingredients layered up in the jar, then you write out the instructions for the recipient along with a list of what else you need to add plus full instructions for baking.
The resulting cookies are those scrumptious crispy chewy ones with plenty of texture. Highly scoffable!
Another classic, another one to get the kids involved with, give them all pots of their favourite toppings and let them loose! It packages up well, just make sure it’s kept cool or it’ll melt everywhere!
Chocolate and nut breadsticks
I love these festive chocolate wands, they look so striking and taste DIVINE. You can customise them with any toppings you fancy, but these ones have pistachios and cranberries on. The key is to get them setting in the fridge as soon as you’ve coated them, so they stay in tact! You could package them up three at a time in cellophane bags, or pop a handful in a festively decorated jar and serve them up at a party.
Brownie mix in a jar
And finally another creation in a jar, this time brownies. It makes a great gift for any chocolate-loving bakers in your life, or could be a welcome addition to any gift stalls at all the Christmas Fairs coming up.
Don’t forget to style it up!
As well as having some great recipes up your sleeve, arm yourself with lots of pretty trimmings to give your packaging a professional finish. I scoured Amazon for a lot of the ribbons and twines you can see in these photos, and Lakeland are always a winner for packs of the clear cellophane bags.
Anna had this brilliant stamping kit she used for the labels that she’d got a while ago from Muji. The jars we used for the cookie and brownie mixes were kilner jars which are the right 1 litre capacity for both recipes. I customised the top of the lids with festive Scandinavian crafting paper from Amazon and stickers from Lakeland.
What are your favourite things to make as gifts? Let me know what you’ll be making this year!