Every once in a while, I’m reminded that my love of cooking and baking is an advantage when it comes to times like Christmas. I’m confident in my ability to make delicious treats that can be shared and given away, but sometimes, it feels easier to buy sauces or jams or jellies instead of taking the time to make them myself.
This year, I’ve been inspired to create edible gifts for family and friends. They’ve been fun to make, and hopefully will be just as fun to receive and eat.
(All of these edible gifts have gone into sterilised jars. To sterilise, either pop the jars and lids through the dishwasher and remove when dry, OR wash in hot, soapy water and dry in a 140degC oven. Whichever option you choose, ensure you don’t let anything touch the inside of the jars or lids.)
Fill your jar with caster sugar. Split a vanilla bean lengthways to expose the seeds, then slice each half into two or three pieces. Add half a vanilla bean to each jar, pushing down into the sugar.
Use: wherever sugar is required! Makes a nice addition to hot chocolate or coffee, and can be used in baking, frostings, etc etc…
Store: for one year, and as the sugar is used, you can top the jar up with more caster sugar.
Chilli and Capsicum Jelly
Finely chop one red chilli and one or two red capsicums in a food processor. In a pan over a low heat, dissolve 1kg jam sugar in 600ml cider vinegar – resist the urge to stir the sugar! Once the sugar is dissolved (and it can take some time), add the chilli and capsicum and bring to the boil; let it cook at a rolling boil for 10 minutes, then remove from the heat and cool for 40 minutes. The jelly will change consistency as it thickens and set. After 40 minutes, ladle into jars.
Use: in sandwiches, on a cheese board, with crackers, cold meats…
Store: in a dark place for one year, unopened, and for one month in the fridge, once opened.
Instructions here; my first attempt were much too wet and didn’t hold together, but the second attempt were perfect. I took the instruction to mix to a paste quite literally, and in reality, not much water was needed at all.
Use: as a pretty addition to high tea or a lazy Sunday breakfast
Store: in an air-tight container
Add Maltesers (or any other round chocolate-covered balls) to a jar and mix in a few Jaffas (or other red-shelled round candies).
Use: as bribery for your children
Store: hahahahahahahaha. Ha. Good one.
There are countless other foodie treats that make great gifts, like fudge, cookies, jam, fruit sauces….I could go on, but I don’t want to be responsible for the drool that might short-circuit someone’s computer or smartphone. They make great gifts for people who are notoriously hard to buy for, or when you want to give a little something without embarrassing the other person.
Linking up with Miriam for