Just finished Bill Buckley's Sunday Lunch show on BBC Oxford where we've been talking about making edible Christmas presents with the help of Rachel Allen on dial in, pity she couldn't have been in the studio but it was good to catch up as I've not seen her since the summer.
Making Christmas gifts is a fab way of beating the recession and also a much nicer gift to give family and friends and teachers than something you've bought.
Anything from a Christmas Pudding, mincemeat, stollen loaves to either a big Christmas cake, as Rachel says this is a great one to give to a family as they can share with their own friends over the Christmas period and it helps them with catering too. Or make your normal cake mix and split it between 7 or 8 washed and lined baked bean tins. If you don't want to eat baked beans for the next two weeks make a whole cake up and cut it into squares or use a round cookie cutter to make round shapes either eating the rest of the cake crumbs and off cuts or rolling those into balls and decorating them as mini puddings.
Homemade fudge, popping candy chocolates and chocolate bark are all easy favourites but if you don't like cooking then you can make edible gifts. Kilner jars can be purchased cheaply in homewares shops in different sizes. Use small ones to make flavoured sugar - wash a sterilise them first and add caster sugar with 1-2 tablespoons of lavender (available from the herb aisle of big supermarkets) just mix and handwrite a recipe for lavender shortbread. Add ground cinnamon to sugar instead to make cinnamon sugar or place a vanilla pod, slit down the centre to the sugar to make vanilla sugar.
Use a large kilner jar to layer dry ingredients to make up Christmas muffin mix, or any muffin mix, omit the wet ingredients such as the eggs, butter and milk and add a handwritten label with instructions on what to add and how to cook them. You use the same idea for cookies.
If you would like a little inspiration then Splat Cooking Silverstone and Princes Risborough are running Christmas Baking, Edible Christmas Present and Gingerbread workshops from now through to December, there are Christmas cookie workshops too along with Christmas Cake Decorating to help you turn your fruitcake into a gorgeous winter wonderland.
For details check out http://www.splatcooking.com, i've started recording some YouTube videos too, the first one is on there with chocolate tempering instructions too:
Chocolate Bark and tempering chocolate