85g good-quality cooking chocolate (we usually use milk chocolate, but dark chocolate will work just as well)
1 tsp cream
1 tsp rum
1 egg yolk
- Melt the chocolate over a bowl of boling water.
- Remove from the heat and slowly stir in the egg yolk, butter, cream and rum.
- Beat the mixture until thick.
- Pour it into a bowl and place in the fridge for 10 minutes until it firms up a little.
- Remove from the fridge and take a teaspoon of mixture and roll between your hands to form a ball.
- Roll the balls in the chocolate powder until they are covered and store in the fridge until you are ready to deliver them (make sure the recipient stores them in the fridge too!).
Sassy tip: Although the alcohol called for in this recipe is rum, you can substitute it for something like Amaretto, Cointreau or Malibu. Of course, you can also leave out the booze entirely if preferred!
Packaging: We use miniature foil cupcake cases like these and place them on a Christmas-themed paper plate, but if you can’t get hold of any we think these chocolate boxes from Baking Maniac would also be great for gifting your truffles. Grab some festive ribbon from Sham Shui Po or Pottinger Street and you’re good to go!
Recipe courtesy of Baking Mad
800g strawberries (stalks removed)
1kg Silver Spoon Jam Sugar or granulated sugar
1 tbsp unsalted butter
200ml Champagne or sparkling wine/Prosecco
Small pot of edible glitter
- Crush the strawberries with a potato masher or using a blender (depending on how chunky or smooth you want your jam) and place in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan.
- Add the sugar and heat gently, stirring continuously until the sugar has dissolved. Make sure not to boil the mixture.
- Stir in the butter and add the champagne.
- Increase the heat and bring the jam to a rolling boil that bubbles vigorously, rises in the pan and can’t be stirred down. Boil for 4 minutes only.
- Remove from heat and stir in enough glitter to satisfy your sparkle needs.
- Pour the jam into warm, clean jars and cover. If your jars are cold, the heat of the jam may crack them!
Sassy Tip: It’s recommended you sterilise your empty jars before pouring your mixture in to help prolong the shelf life of the jam. You can do this by placing them on a baking tray in a 160°C oven for ten minutes after washing (just remember not to put the lids in – you can soak them in boiling water instead), or by microwaving slightly wet jars after washing for 30-45 seconds. Alternatively, if you don’t have an oven or microwave, you can place them in a large pan and cover with water, before bringing to a boil for 10 minutes.
Packaging: If you don’t have any empty jars in your flat that you can repurpose for the jam, you can easily pick some up from any Japan Home Centre. To decorate, cut out a large circle of Christmas wrapping paper to place over the lid (check out the great selection from The Lion Rock Press) and secure with some curling ribbon.
400g nuts of your choice (we like to use a mix of unsalted peanuts, unsalted cashews and unsalted almonds)
1 tsp sea salt flakes
1 tsp cracked black pepper
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp melted butter or oil
For extra spice you can add ¼ tsp of chilli flakes, or if you want some sweetness add 2 tbsp of honey
- In one bowl combine your nut mix and in another combine all your dry spices.
- If you have an oven, pour the nuts onto a baking tray and cover with melted butter or oil before rubbing in the spice mix. Then roast for 10 minutes at 160°C. Keep checking on them so they don’t burn and lift out when they look nicely toasted. Alternatively, heat the butter or oil in a large frying pan and toast the nuts until they start to turn golden. Then add the dry ingredients and toss until well coated.
- Allow to cool before pouring into jars.
Sassy Tip: This is a recipe you can really experiment with. Try making up your own spice combinations depending on what’s in your cupboard. You can also add some seeds (like sunflower or pumpkin) into the nut combo.
Packaging: Once again you can repurpose old jars for the nuts and add some festive decorations. As before, fashion your lid covers from festive wrapping paper and secure with some ribbon.
Recipe courtesy of BBC Good Food
150g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
100g butter, chilled and cubed
50g caster sugar, plus 1 tbsp for dusting
Christmas cookie cutters
- Place the flour, butter and sugar into a mixing bowl.
- Use your hands to combine the mixture until it resembles breadcrumbs and then squeeze it together until it forms a ball of dough.
- Lightly flour your work surface and roll out the dough to around ½ cm thick. Cut out into shapes using your Christmas cookie cutters and place on a lined baking tray, before sprinkling with the remaining 1 tbsp of caster sugar.
- Chill in the fridge for 20 minutes while you preheat your oven to 170°C.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, remove from the oven and let them cool on the tray for 10 minutes.
Sassy Tip: If you don’t have any Christmas cookie cutters, you can always cut the dough into fingers and once it is baked, dip one end of each finger into some melted chocolate for added decadence.
Packaging: These Christmas Bell Cookie Bags from BakingWarehouse are perfect to store your goodies. You’ll just need to secure the top with some Christmas ribbon or curling ribbon. Speaking of BakingWarehouse, we love its Christmas Tree and Christmas Deco cutters too!
1 litre vodka (best to go for a middle-of-the-range vodka – don’t go too cheap!)
Flavouring of your choice (see our favourites below but you can be as creative as you like!)
For chilli vodka you will need 2 red chillies (sliced)
For vanilla vodka you will need 2 vanilla pods (split lengthways)
For cinnamon vodka you will need 2 cinnamon sticks
For mint vodka you will need 200g of mints like candy canes or Fox’s glacier mints (crushed up with a rolling pin)
For toffee vodka you will need 200g of hard toffees likes Werther’s Originals (crushed up with a rolling pin)
- Simply add your flavouring of choice into the bottle of vodka and leave to infuse for a minimum of one week. The longer you leave it, the stronger the flavour will be. Don’t forget to give the bottle a shake every now and then to help infuse the flavours.
- After this it’s ready to decant into smaller miniature bottles of your choice (don’t forget to strain your mixture first – the easiest way to do this is through a coffee filter).
- As with our jam recipe, it’s best to sterilise the bottles first. As stated before, you can do this by placing them on a baking tray in a 160°C oven for 10 minutes after washing (just remember not to put the lids in – you can soak them in boiling water instead), or by microwaving the slightly wet bottles after washing for 30-45 seconds. Alternatively, if you don’t have an oven or microwave you can place them in a large pan and cover with water, before bringing to a boil for 10 minutes.
Packaging: You will need several mini bottles to decant this mixture into (the number you need will depend on how many people you’re giving to). Pick these up somewhere like Japan Home Centre or reuse glass bottles you may already have. We think you should get crafty with the labels for these bottles and fashion some Alice in Wonderland-style “Drink Me” labels to attach around the lid. Check out this selection on Etsy for some inspiration.
Dried orange slices
- You can basically make up portions of spice mix to suit your individual taste (or that of your lucky recipient). We always throw in several cinnamon sticks, star anise, cloves and cardamom pods in our mulled wine mix, so you can start with that as your base.
- Then also add in any of the optional extras we have also listed. And that’s it – all you need to do is package your spice mix individually (the quantity you choose to put in each bag is really down to you).
Packaging: We suggest a trip to Stanley Market to pay a visit to one of the linen shops there. You can pick up gorgeous small, embroidered drawstring bags to put your mulled wine mixture in. They have specific Christmas ones with Santas or bells on them, but if you’d prefer you can pick up ones with initials on them or the double happiness symbol. Attach a gift label like these ones from Paper-Roses detailing what’s inside and telling your recipient that they’ll need to add red wine (of course!), possibly some sugar to taste and they can also throw in fresh lemon or orange slices if they like.
Half the fun in gifting these edible Christmas presents is in the making and presenting them, so put some festive tunes on and enjoy getting creative!