Every Christmas it gets harder and harder to choose gifts that are both special and meet your budget.
Consumables are a great option for the recipient that has everything they need, and a thoughtful gift that is handmade is always appreciated.
I’ve put together three recipes that make for wonderful Christmas food gifts. The best part? They are quick and easy to make, and you can create them in your very own kitchen.
For packaging, you may want to consider going with some environmentally-friendly options as opposed to the usual cellophane bags or plastic containers.
Reuse what you can, including metal tins, glass jars, cardboard boxes, recyclable brown paper bags or leftover wrapping paper from previous years.
Alternatively, look for supplies from your local charity stores before scoping out department and discount stores.
If using glass jars, make sure they are washed in hot, soapy water to remove any odour or residue.
You can get as creative as you like with the packaging – personalise cardboard boxes and brown paper bags with a stamp, gift tag or ribbon.
Choose from Christmas bark, festive jam drops or holiday fudge and impress your friends and family with a delicious food gift this year. Happy holidays!
White chocolate Christmas bark
1 packet (290g) white chocolate melts
1 tablespoon copha
150g dried cranberries
1-2 tablespoons shredded coconut
Melt the white chocolate and copha using a double boiler* over simmering water.
Place baking paper on a baking tray. (This recipe usually makes two medium sized sheets of bark, so you may need two baking trays).
Once the chocolate mixture is completely melted, work quickly to spread a thin layer over the baking paper.
Before the chocolate sets, sprinkle pistachios and cranberries over the top, wait a couple of minutes and sprinkle over the shredded coconut.
Place the trays in the fridge until the bark has set, then remove from the fridge and break the bark up into shards.
Keep the bark in the fridge until you are ready to give the gift. Because the bark is thin be aware that it melts quickly.
Packaging tip: The festive bark is best packaged in a tin or sturdy box as it can be fragile. It should be kept cool when transported.
*A double boiler is a saucepan or bowl set over another saucepan containing a small amount of water that is brought to the boil. Note that the bowl or saucepan on top should never touch the water in the bottom pan.
Festive jam drops
¾ cup sugar
2 cups self-raising flour
1/2 jar raspberry or strawberry jam
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
In a mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and mix well. Then add the flour and mix until a soft dough forms.
Take a teaspoon-size of the mixture, roll it into a ball shape and place on a baking tray. Be sure to leave enough space between each of the biscuits to allow them to spread when baking.
Using the end of a spoon, create an indent in the top of each biscuit and place a small teaspoon of jam in the indent.
Place the biscuits in the oven and bake at 180°C for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Packaging tip: These work really well in an air-tight jar as it seals in the freshness and prevents the biscuits from breaking.
Choc-peppermint holiday fudge
1 tin condensed milk
1 packet (290g) dark chocolate melts
1 teaspoon peppermint essence
Sprinkles to decorate
Melt the chocolate and condensed milk together on a low heat using a double boiler.
Add the peppermint essence and stir thoroughly until smooth.
Once all the chocolate has melted, quickly pour the mixture into a loaf tin lined with baking paper. Add the sprinkles on top to decorate.
Place the fudge in the fridge overnight to set. Once set, remove the fudge from the tin and cut into small squares.
Packaging tip: For individual treats, wrap bite-sized pieces of the fudge in baking paper and place in a jar. Wrap larger blocks in baking paper then brown paper tied up with ribbon.