Thursday, November 12, 2009

Visions of Homemade Sugar Plums...

Continued extract from NCT Christmas Shopping and Crafting article…

Recipes for lemon curd, plum jam, mango chutney, apple sauce and mint jelly can all be found online and are all-round winners in my books as the ingredients are not mind bogglingly expensive (particularly in the quantities required to dose out to relatives), nor do they need thermometers, soft ball testing and other fiddly stages.

gingerbreadmen iced

Another idea for giving away are shortbread or biscotti. James Martin does the most wonderful recipe for Fruit & Nut Biscotti that keep really well. If you're feeling really clever you can package them in a vintage tin or cellophane and add them to a hamper with all your other treats. Self-applause and flourishes upon presentation optional.

A lovely present popular in the States (but more unusual and hence more deserving of praise and love by your friends in this country) is the Gift in a Jar. You layer in the jar dry ingredients for hot chocolate, say, or a basic cookie dough and then seal the jar with a pretty fabric lid and a label detailing what to add to the ingredients before cooking. Kids can get involved with the layering (like one of the coloured sand sculptures you made as a child) and even get excited with a pritt stick or glass paints to decorate the jars. Recipes can be found here and most even include a printable label for easy peasy wrapping!

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