Make Your Own Christmas Gifts
Whilst it's nice to go shopping and buy gifts that are ready-made, there is a lot to be said for creating your own and often homemade gifts are more appreciated as it really gives the personal touch.
For the festive season we bring to you 3 fantastic homemade gift ideas which we are sure your loved ones would love to receive!
To gift them they can all easily be bagged or boxed as you like and made to look as Christmassy as possible! We like to use cellophane bags with ribbons and festive labels. How will you make yours?
- 50g light muscovado sugar
- 50g salted butter
- 50g golden syrup
- 50g plain flour
- 50g glacé cherries, chopped
- 75g flaked almonds
- 175g dark chocolate
- 50g pistachios, chopped
- 2 oranges, zested
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Prepare two baking trays by lining them with baking paper.
2. Place the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a small saucepan and warm over over a low heat, stirring often.
3. Once fully melted together and mixed, remove from the heat. Add the flour and whisk in until it's fully mixed.
4. Next, add the flaked almonds, pistachios, orange zest and cherries. Mix well to ensure all the ingredients are covered well with the syrupy mix.
5. Using a tablespoon, scoop out the mixture into even amounts onto the baking trays making sure you leave some space between each scoop for them to spread whilst baking.
6. Bake for 10 minutes until golden. Leave to cool for a couple of minutes until they go firm. Then you can lift them off of the tray and place them onto a rack to cool down completely.
7. If you have some mixture left, repeat these steps again until all of the mixture has been used.
8. Place a bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water, add 175g of the dark chocolate to the bowl and stir gently to ensure all of it melts. Once melted, remove from the heat.
9. Turn the florentines over on the rack so that their bottoms face upwards. Using a small spoon, scoop chocolate on each one and use the back of the spook to spread the chocolate over each one to the edges.
10. Leave them for 1 hour to let the chocolate side set firm. Once cooled, turn the florentines over again.
11. Melt the remaining 25g of chocolate using the same method as before. Using a spoon, take a little of the melted chocolate and drizzle it over the florentines as you like.
12. Leave again to set for 30 minutes. Then they are ready to enjoy!
If wrapping up as a gift, allow a little longer to make sure they have had enough time to set.
- 200g caster sugar
- 5 tbsp golden syrup
- 2tsp bicarbonate of soda
- butter, for the tin
1. Lightly grease a 20cm square baking tin and set aside.
2. In a saucepan, add the caster sugar and golden syrup together and heat gently, stirring until both are mixed together well and the sugar as dissolved.
3. Increase the heat a little and let the mixture simmer until it turns into an amber coloured caramel. This will not take long, so keep an eye on it!
4. As soon as it turns amber and thickens (or if you have a thermometer, until it reaches 150c), quickly turn off the heat.
5. Add the bicarbonate soda and beat it quickly using a wooden spoon. Once the bicarbonate soda has dissolved into the mixture and is well mixed in and the mixture has started frothing, immediately pour it into the baking tin using a spatula or spoon to scrape out all of the mixture.
6. The mixture will continue to bubble in the tin. Leave it to set for 1-2 hours.
The honeycomb will become hard and then can be snapped into pieces ready to serve or bag up as a gift!
- 85g cocoa powder (unsweetened)
- 385g granulated sugar
- pinch of salt
- 55g butter
- 355ml whole milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Line a 20cm square baking tin with baking paper and grease the paper with a little butter.
2. In a medium saucepan add the sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Then add the milk and stir with a wooden spoon.
3. Warm over a medium heat, stirring continuously until it starts to boil.
4. Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking without stirring until the temperature reaches 112C (234F). This can take around 25-30 minutes.
5. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Add the butter and vanilla. This time do not stir! Leave it to cool at room temperature for around 30 minutes.
6. Next, using the wooden spoon beat the mixture for around 7-8 minutes until it starts to lose it's glossy appearance.
7. Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking tin and level using the back of the spoon.
8. Leave the fudge to cool and set completely, ideally overnight is best.
9. Once completely cooled, cut into squares and lift out of the tin. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks or in the fridge for 3 weeks.
These are great gift wrapped in a bag like below or even in a little gift box!