Christmas is the season of giving… and eating! These homemade Christmas presents are sure to go down a treat with the foodies in your life. Who wouldn’t love to find a homemade chutney or an infused oil under the tree? Plus you can make them even more special by presenting them in personalised gift wrap. So let’s get started!
Make Your Own Gingerbread
Nothing says Christmas quite like the smell (and taste!) of gingerbread, and it also makes a wonderful present. For something a bit different, why not turn it into a fun do-it-yourself gift. This idea is really simple to put together and has serious wow factor!
Simply layer up the dry ingredients from the recipe below into a jar or even one of Zazzle’s personalised mason jars. Then attach the full recipe to a label or gift tag. All your recipients have to do is add the wet ingredients and follow your simple steps!
• 175 g plain flour, plus extra for rolling out
• 80 g light soft brown sugar
• ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
• 1 ½ tsp ground ginger
• 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
• 50 g butter
• 1 small free-range egg
• 2 tbsp golden syrup
Step 1: Sift the dry ingredients in this jar (flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon) into a food processor. Add the butter and blend until it resembles breadcrumbs.
Step 2: Beat the egg and syrup together, add to the mix and pulse until it clumps together.
Step 3: Remove the mixture from the processor and knead the dough briefly until smooth. Wrap in cling film and leave to chill in the fridge for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/Gas Mark 4 and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
Step 4: Roll out the dough to about 0.5 cm/¼ inch in thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut out gingerbread men using a cookie cutter and pop them onto the baking tray, leaving a little space between them.
Step 5: Bake for 12–15 minutes, or until golden-brown. Leave on the tray for five minutes and then move to a wire rack to cool down. Once cool you can add any icing or decorations!
If your recipients are not the best bakers, just make these yourself then pop them into jars or even favour bags for some pretty presentation.
Hot Chocolate Cones
Is there a better combination than hot chocolate and a roaring fire on a cold crisp evening? I don’t think so! This gift is great for children and adults alike and makes for a cute stocking stuffer too. Simply fill a cellophane cone about a quarter way up with hot cocoa or chocolate mix and tie with some ribbon or string. Why not add marshmallows, chocolate chips, or candy canes for an extra festive treat?
Homemade Winter Spiced Chutney
You’ll need to plan this gift ahead since the chutney needs a few weeks to reach premium tastiness. Pop your preserve into collected jam jars then dress them up with some Christmassy ribbon like this tartan design from Zazzle. You can even label your little pots with cute personalised stickers so everyone remembers who made them!
I use this recipe year in, year out because it has proven to be such a winner. So I can personally give it the seal of approval.
750 g cooking apples peeled and chopped small
1 orange – zest, flesh chopped and juice
1 onion, chopped
350 g fresh or frozen cranberries
100 g prunes, chopped
300 g dried dates, chopped
400 g caster sugar
1 tsp crushed whole cloves or ground cloves
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
500 ml white wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
Step 1: Put all the ingredients (holding back the vinegar) into a large pan. Now, pour the vinegar over the top, and stir well.
Step 2: Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down low and simmer without a lid for about an hour or so until the mixture thickens like jam.
Step 3: Use a funnel to pour the mixture into sterilised jars and leave in a cupboard for 4-6 weeks to mature before enjoying!
Infused Olive Oil
This gift is perfect for the aspiring chef in your life. What’s more, it requires little effort and basic ingredients!
Simply place some garlic, chilli or rosemary into a bottle – whatever flavourings you fancy. Next gently warm some olive oil in a pan, being careful not to burn it. Then simply pour the oil into the bottle ready to infuse with what’s inside. Be sure to use a funnel to avoid a warm oily mess!
DIY Peppermint Lip Scrub
This isn’t exactly a food gift but it does have sugar in it so that counts as food, right? This is one of my ‘go-to’ DIY gifts as I always have the ingredients in my cupboard.
Just add two parts sugar with one part oil, add 2-3 of drops of vanilla essence and 3-4 drops peppermint essential oil to give the scrub a yummy candy cane taste.
Then scoop it into a little jar or pot and, voilà a super sweet sugar scrub! This is perfect for keeping your lips ready for the mistletoe!
So there you have it, my little assortment of homemade festive goodies. Now it’s over to you to create some Christmas gifts for your loved ones.