I don’t mean to alarm you, but it’s time to start thinking about Christmas. It’s an expensive time of year, and making your friends and family some edible Christmas gifts is a great way of saving a few pennies and showing them that you care. It is the season for eating, after all! Get yourself some cellophane and some pretty ribbon for wrapping your presents, and you’ll be all set!
You only need a few ingredients to make these sumptuous truffles. Far better than the ones you get in fancy boxes at the supermarket, and far cheaper – even when you make a vat of them! Heat 70ml coconut milk over a medium heat until just simmering, before pouring over 200g good quality dark chocolate, broken into pieces. Cover and leave for five minutes, before stirring together until smooth. Add 2 tsp. rum or other spirit of your choice (Malibu would be good, if you have it!) and stir through. Cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for two hours. Scoop out tablespoons of the mixture and roll into balls. Dust with cocoa powder, and you’re done!
Bonus: Make these vegan by using vegan dark chocolate. Double win!
I made batches of this fudge for my family last year, and my mother-in-law actually gave me back the gift box I’d put them in so I could make her another batch. I’d call that a Christmas win! Melt 300g dark chocolate and 100g milk chocolate over a bowl of simmering water. In a separate saucepan, warm a can (397g) of condensed milk with 25g unsalted butter until melted and warm. Combine the two, before stirring in 100g icing sugar. Pour into a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and place in the fridge for an hour until set. Remove and cut into pieces, before dusting with cocoa powder.
Shortbread is a really fun and easy biscuit to make, and it’s so easy to customise. Add in some festive flavours like orange zest, ground ginger or cinnamon and you can make them Christmas-themed (you could even use a Christmas shaped cookie cutter – the options are endless!).
Cream together 125g softened unsalted butter with 55g caster sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in 180g plain flour with the zest of 1 orange and 1 tsp. ground ginger, until you get a stiff dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to 1cm thickness. Cut out with a cookie cutter and place on baking trays lined with parchment paper. Chill in the fridge for around 20 minutes and pre-heat the oven to 190C. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown and dust with cinnamon sugar once cooled.
Candy Cane Cookies
These cookies look pretty impressive, right? They’re super Christmas-sy and don’t take much effort. You will need to make them at most they day before you give them away, as a stale cookie is no gift at all, but don’t expect them to stick around long once you’ve gifted them!
Cream together 200g softened, unsalted butter with 300g soft brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in 2 eggs and 1 tsp. vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, sift together 300g self raising flour, 80g cocoa powder and 1 tsp. baking powder. Mix together the two and fold in 300g chocolate chips. Place tablespoons of cookie mixture onto baking trays, lined with greaseproof paper. Bake in a preheated oven (180C) for 10-12 minutes. Cool on the baking tray. In the meantime melt 100g white chocolate and crush 6 candy canes. Dip the cooled cookies in the melted chocolate and sprinkle with candy cane pieces.
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