Food is so much at the heart of Christmas that when you make delicious things to eat and give them as presents, you are pretty much guaranteed to melt the heart of even the most cynical old Scrooge.
Here are our ideas for the best and easiest treats to make to give as pressies.
Rich, indulgent homemade truffles dusted in cocoa powder seem such a generous gift, but they are so easy to make and cost very little. We love Delia Smiths truffle recipie because it gives the basic instructions and four other variations to try, all on the same page.
The Teutonic essence of weinachtachten, Stollen has been a Christmas treat in Dresden since the thirteen hundreds. Sure, you can now pop in to Lidl and buy Stollen cake if you want, but by making little homemade stollen loaves, you can make loads of your friends love you all year round.
We have a sour cherry tree in our garden. I harvested the ripe cherries split the skins and put them in a Kilner jar, sprinkled on a couple of tablespoons of sugar and covered with a mix of 50% brandy and 50% vodka. Over the next few weeks the flavour of the booze turned from harsh alcohol to sweet cherry and we gave away little bottles of this amazing rocket fuel to our special friends at Christmas time.
Friends with kids will love these tasty and handsome gingerbread men as gifts. The size is entirely up to you.
It is easy to make Mary Berry’s Christmas Chutney and it tastes really good. Mary has got the balance just right. Seal in little half pound jars and add a personalised label to remind your friends who made it as they tuck into this sure fire winner.
Chocolate dipped orange slices
Really easy to do these. You just dry orange slices in the oven, dip them in melted chocolate and give them to friends.
Red onion marmalade
Onions are cheap in winter, so why not use these low cost ingredients to make a gift that recipients will see as the height of generosity.
This is the Rolls Royce of homemade edible gifts. It takes planning. You take seasonal fruits and layer them in a glass or special earthen wear jar, topping up with sugar and vodka. The trick is to do it through a whole year, adding foraged fruits as they come into season.