With Christmas almost on top of us now, my last installment of DIY Christmas is all about edible gifts. I love making people food gifts as you know the recipient will enjoy it and it's so much more personal than buying a box of chocolates or tin of biscuits. I must confess, none of these recipes are of my own doing! But, I will link to all recipes so you can make them yourselves. :)
I do like to go to town on my decoration, so I bought cute little treat bags from amazon and various ribbons and bells from Hobbycraft and Tiger. I also made little tags out of brown paper and made labels out of wrapping paper. I enjoyed this part far too much!
So first up is my personal favourite! Vanilla Salted Caramels! Yum yum yum. I was literally obsessed with eating the leftovers! I found this recipe on Shutterbean, see here. It was super easy, although you do need a food thermometer for this. I bought mine relatively cheaply from Lakeland, but you can buy cheaper versions from amazon. The recipe didn't take long to make and set in about an hour in the fridge. Definitely a recipe you can quickly whip up. Do be careful though, making caramel means heating your ingredients to around 120C, and you don't want that mixture to drip onto your hand as I found out. It HURTS. Once my caramels were cool, I cut them into little rectangles and wrapped them up in baking paper to stop them sticking together. I think they look really cute. :)
Gingerbread Men have become ubiquitous at Christmas time, and for good reason. The lovely warming taste reminds me of cosy nights in and decorating them as a child. I just had to include them in my treat packages. I like quite a strong ginger flavour and the recipe by Edd Kimber that I found is great for this. You can find it here, it is actually for gingerbread houses, but you can make them into any shape you like. I finished them off with piped fondant icing around the edges, to give them a sweet kick.
Thirdly is classic Chocolate Fudge. I'm a big fudge lover, but not of the supermarket kind. I find it way too crumbly and sickly sweet. I love a rich, decadent creamy fudge and this recipe did not disappoint. Its really simple to make, although again does require a food thermometer. There are plenty of simpler fudge recipes out there that don't require a food thermometer though, so don't worry! The recipe stated to leave this to set for 30 minutes, I assumed this meant at room temperature. However, mine was still too gooey to cut at this stage, after 30 minutes in the fridge however it was fine. I dusted my pieces in cocoa powder, to give them a lovely finish and so they wouldn't stick together in the bag. You can find the recipe here.
Fourthly, is less of an edible gift and more of a drinkable one. Is that a word?? I saw this cute personalised tea tutorial on the treasure trove of a website that is A Beautiful Mess. The original idea (here) is to also make your own teabags, but as I'm not much of a sewer I decided to simply make the cute heart tags. It was so easy to do, and I think it'll look so cute hanging out of someones tea cup. :)
Finally, is another less edible and more drinkable treat. The Vanilla Syrup from the again, brilliant A Beautiful Mess website and the Gingerbread Syrup from Annie-Eats. Flavoured coffees are such a delicious treat, but they can become an expensive habit so why not make your own? The Vanilla Syrup was literally the easiest thing to make ever. I thought I'd done it wrong! But it tasted amazing with my morning coffee. The Gingerbread syrup was slightly trickier, but purely as because this requires spices it needs to be strained through a cheesecloth or similar. I had nothing to hand, but finally found that two tissues placed over a small sieve works brilliantly. It just requires quite a lot of patience. I decanted the syrup into small empty wine bottles, you can usually get them quite cheaply in big supermarkets, and made pretty labels. You don't have to just use these in coffee either, you can use them in hot chocolates aswell! :)
So there we have it, my final DIY Christmas. I hope you liked this little series and that it gave you a few ideas this Christmas! :) Here are all the posts in the series: