KP has shared her favourite homemade treats for Christmas! Read on for more details and pretty food pictures!
With the festive season upon us, I wanted to share my favourite homemade gifts – the edible kind! My personal favourites are shortbread and gingerbread, but these tips will apply to any homemade treats. (Apologies for some of the photos – I’m a nighttime baker but that doesn’t lend itself to the best photos!)
I’ve created a bit of a Christmas tradition these last few years. Since the first year I lived out of home, I’ve always made shortbread and gingerbread at Christmas as gifts for work colleagues, as little treats to add to friends’ and relatives’ gifts, and to serve at home when people drop by or on Christmas Day. And because it’s the silly season, no one feels too bad about indulging in several at a time!
The recipes I use are from an old edition of the Common Sense Cookery Book (shortbread, but you can also use this recipe ) and from taste.com.au (gingerbread). I can’t take credit for those. Find a recipe you like and run with it.
Other great options include rocky road, coconut ice, peanut brittle, brownies, chocolate truffles or rum balls.
So here are some tips and ideas for gifting lovely Christmas cookies, or any homemade treats.
* Put aside enough time to make them. I feel that baking in a rush is never a good idea. Things don’t get mixed thoroughly enough, baked or refrigerated for long enough, or taste just right.
* Don’t feel like you need to decorate beautifully. People love homemade gifts because they taste better, they’re made with real ingredients and they’re made with love and care. No one expects them to look professional. A bit of good quality ribbon or a cute gift tag can help if they need an extra little something. However, if you’re good at decorating and have a lot of patience, go for it! Who am I to stop you?
* Think about who you’re giving them to, and package them to suit. I gave my sister-in-law a beautiful large jar with a hinged lid, filled with biscuits, and a bottle of wine when she hosted Christmas lunch. For friends, I package them up in small quantities in clear bags (found on Amazon – small boxes would work too) and add a cute gift tag. For work, I usually take an entire batch and leave them out for people to help themselves. I recently bought some cute snowman canisters which are perfect for this.
* In Australia, think about the temperature! In short (haha), shortbread doesn’t deal well with heat. It falls apart, and because of the high butter content, can taste funny if it gets warm. The same goes for anything with chocolate, obviously. If you want to serve your treats on a hot day, go with something that won’t melt.
Never underestimate the power of delicious homemade treats and a little Christmas cheer! Enjoy making new Christmas traditions and have a great festive season.
KP lives in Canberra with her husband and cat, spends her days dreaming about dinner and her nights dreaming about home décor. She loves spending time with her family and friends, and nurturing her love of lists by browsing Pinterest late into the night.