Nothing beats handmade gifts where the gift giver has put thought, time and love into creating a gift for you. Give that kind of gift this year with handmade Christmas treats from our festive food ideas.
Try some of our Christmas recipes for great gift giving ideas
- 125g unsalted butter, softened
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 free-range egg, lightly beaten
- 2 1/2 cups plain flour
- 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 cup white chocolate melts
- Silver and red cachous or any Christmas themed edible decorations
- Christmas themed cookie cutters or traditional gingerbread man shape.
- Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add maple syrup and egg. Beat to combine.
- Sift flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon over butter mixture. Using a wooden spoon, stir until just combined and a soft dough forms. Place dough on a lightly floured surface. Knead gently until smooth. Shape into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm.
- Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Line 3 baking trays with baking paper. Roll dough between 2 sheets of baking paper until 5mm thick. Use your cookie cutters to cut shapes from the dough. Re-roll dough scraps and cut to make a total 30 gingerbread shapes. Place, 2cm apart, on prepared trays.
- Bake 1 tray at a time for 20 to 25 minutes, or until just firm to touch. Stand on trays for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Recipe makes 30 biscuits.
- Place melts in a heatproof, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium-high (75%) for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds or until smooth. Spoon into a small snap-lock bag. Snip off 1 corner. Decorate gingerbread shapes with melted chocolate and cachous. Set aside to set.
- Presentation tip: Gift wrap in cellophane or glass sealable jars and decorate with ribbons and other Christmas decorations.
Easy peanut brittle
- 4 cups unsalted roasted peanuts
- 4 cups caster sugar
- 150g butter, chopped
- Grease two 18cm x 28cm oven trays. Line bases and sides with baking paper, allowing a 2cm overhang on all sides. Place two cups of peanuts, in a single layer in each pan.
- Combine sugar and two cups of cold water in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook without boiling, stirring constantly for 5 minutes or until sugar has dissolved.
- Increase heat to medium-high and bring to the boil. Allow to boil for 10 to 15 minutes or until mixture turns golden. During cooking brush down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush regularly to prevent the mixture burning on the sides. Remove from heat.
- Working quickly, stir in butter until melted then pour mixture over peanuts in pans. Tap pans gently on bench to remove air bubbles. Set aside for 3 hours or until firm. Using a mallet or the back of a large metal spoon, break brittle into pieces.
- Presentation tip: Package peanut brittle into cellophane bags or glass jars with a sheet of baking paper between layers to prevent sticking.
Chunky cranberry relish
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 2cm-piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
- 170g packet dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tbs red wine vinegar
- 1 dried bay leaf
- pinch of ground cinnamon
- Heat oil in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add onion and ginger. Cook for 5 minutes or until soft.
- Add cranberries, sugar, wine, water, vinegar, bay leaf and cinnamon. Stir to combine. Increase heat to medium-low. Simmer for 20 minutes or until the cranberries are soft and the mixture thickens.
- Set aside to cool. Transfer the relish into sterilized glass jars and seal. Makes 1 ½ cups.
Presentation tip: add a tag to the jar with the serving suggestion “ Try serving this relish with traditional roast turkey. You can also use it in burgers and sandwiches, or as an accompaniment to roasted, chargrilled or barbecued beef, chicken and lamb.”