Edible Christmas Gifts

Spread some Good Food Karma at Christmas. Christmas is an opportunity to indulge in the finer things in life and to share and savour culinary delights.

Taking the time to make Christmas food gifts for friends and family is a great way of doing this. Gifts like these have a lovely personal touch and it’s also a great way to keep children entertained as they love to help in the kitchen – especially if there’s melted chocolate involved!

There are a few key pieces of advice that I’d suggest. Firstly be organised before you start.

Decide what recipes you are going to make and ensure you have all the ingredients to hand. There’s nothing worse than discovering halfway though that you are missing a vital cooking ingredient or piece of equipment. Sterilise jars, have labels ready and printed - or handwritten which makes it even more personal - and  have some ribbons or decoration to dress the jars.

  • Top Tip: To sterilise jars or bottles, preheat the oven to 160C/350F/Gas Mark 4. Wash the jars and lids in hot water with liquid detergent, then place them upside down onto a clean baking tray. Transfer into the oven for about 20 minutes before the preserves or chutney are ready, as the mixture needs to be hot when poured or ladled into the jars. Fill the jars or bottle to about 1cm gap from the lid, taking care not to touch the mixture or the rim of the jars, then seal tightly. Allow to cool then store as per recipe instructions. 

We have some lovely Christmas food gift recipes in Fresh Magazine that I hope you will try. The White Chocolate and Cherry Tiffin and Fudge went down extremely well with the testers! There’s also a delicious Kiwi and Apple Preserve, and a great Mince Pie recipe.  Here are a few more of my favourite food gift recipes that I hope you will get to make and enjoy.

1. Gogi Berry with Coconut Truffles & White Chocolate Truffles

Gogi Berry with Coconut Truffles & White Chocolate Truffles

Firstly there’s my Goji Berry and Coconut Truffles to try.  Goji berries are on trend at moment as they are considered a superfood and they can be added to salads, muffins, cookies and granola. Slightly sharp, like a cross between cherries, cranberries and raisins, these truffles are a wonderful contrast to my sweet white chocolate truffles.

2. Citrus Whiskey Marmalade

Citrus Whiskey Marmalade

This marmalade is a wonderful burst of citrus, an ideal gift for those who like homemade preserves. It’s perfect with some brioche or even as a glaze for your ham.

3. Spicy Plum and Apple Chutney

Spicy Plum and Apple Chutney

Use plums and apples that are plentiful to make this savoury chutney, delicious added to a sandwich or served with a slice of ham.

4. Pickled Pears

Pickled Pears

Pickled pears are a wonderful commodity to have in your larder and they go really well with slices of ham and cold cuts. Prepare well in advance as they need to be stored for at least a week before using.

5. Dried Rosemary Salt & Curried Salt

Dried Rosemary Salt & Curried Salt

Another great gift is flavoured salt!  It’s so simple to make, especially if using dried herbs like rosemary. Basically, you take the dried herbs and use a spice grinder to break them down, then combine with some sea salt.  You can dry the herbs in the oven if you haven’t got dry herbs in your larder.  This salt goes amazingly well with turkey or lamb, or even on your roast potatoes. My curry salt is a fantastic on popcorn! It goes really well with savoury snacks but sprinkle lightly!

6. White Chocolate Biscotti

White Chocolate Biscotti

Biscotti are Italian biscuits that are cooked twice, firstly as a loaf and ithen cut into slices to be baked again. Baking them twice ensures they are dry and have a long shelf life, which makes them the ideal gift when wrapped. Biscotti can be made using a variety of dried fruits such as apricots, cherries or cranberries with nuts such as hazelnuts, pecans or pistachio. My favourite is this white chocolate biscotti. Crunchy biscuits with a nutty flavour covered in white chocolate, what’s not to love?

There are plenty of other edible gifts you can give too; flavoured oils (chilli or garlic or herb), flavoured butters, soup mixes in jars (a variety of pulses), cookies or cup cake mixtures in jars. If you have the time, use your imagination -  the possibilities are endless.

Happy Christmas.

Kevin

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