Posts Tagged ‘gifts from the kitchen’

Only a week to go…how are you all travelling?

We’re doing pretty well – Pete has our Christmas jams made (apricot, nectarine and raspberry, strawberry and chilli) and my various fruitcakes are maturing in the fridge.  There’s not much room in there for anything else at the moment!

If you’re slightly daunted by the looming “deadline”, maybe these last minute gift suggestions will help.  They’re all easily made in the kitchen, and much less intimidating than trying to navigate the shops at this time of year!

1. Chocolate chip cookies: these never, ever fail to please and the recipe we use results in over three dozen cookies. If you can’t find good choc chips at this late stage, try chopping up blocks of good quality chocolate (Lindt is particularly nice). Once cool, these cookies freeze brilliantly, so you can keep a stash in the freezer and package them up for gifts as needed.  Click here for the recipe.

2. Butterscotch bars: if we had a recipe de casa, this would be it.  It’s an absolute breeze to make, but its success is contingent on the quality of the chocolate you put in it.  We use Callebaut, but we’ve also had great results using Lindt bars and balls from the supermarket.  One batch will cut into 32 small pieces, giving you lots to share around.  The recipe is here.

3. Lemon or lime curd: make this in the days leading up to Christmas, and keep it in your fridge as a ready gift.  It only takes a few minutes in the microwave.  If you buy a bag of lemons, butter, sugar and a carton of eggs, you can make three batches (about nine jars worth) in under an hour. The original lemon curd recipe is here, and the lime variation here.

4. Amaretti: these are super-quick to make, and they’re nutty and Christmassy and look lovely in a cellophane bag with a colourful ribbon.  This gluten-free recipe doesn’t even need a mixer!

A packaging tip: baked goods look gorgeous and rustic wrapped simply in a sheet of parchment paper and tied with ribbon or raffia.  Added bonus – it’s foodsafe packaging!

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Please see our Christmas page for more gift ideas!

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