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FG's winter treats and edible gifts

Why not try something different this year by baking your own treats to give away as Christmas presents? Leah Byrom gives us edible treats for everyone

Coconut ice

Coconut ice

Make your own traditional sweeties for pretty gifts to go under the tree.

 

Ingredients (makes 49 squares)

 

Cooking time: 0 mins; Preperation time: 15 mins

  • 397g tin of condensed milk
  • 300g icing sugar
  • 300g desiccated coconut
  • Drop of red food dye

Method

 

Line a 20cm by 20cm (7in by 7in) baking tin with paper. Add the sugar a spoon at a time into the milk

 

Add the coconut a spoon at a time until it is all combined

 

Place half the mixture into the tin and press down as firmly as possible. Add a couple of drops of food dye to the remaining mixture and

stir in until it is evenly coloured. Place on top of the white coconut and press down

 

Leave to overnight to set and then cut into squares using a sharp knife 

 

Leah’s tip

If you have a kitchen mixer I strongly suggest using it to mix as it is a stiff mixture to stir together

Chocolate snowflakes

Chocolate snowflakes

A tasty butter cookie recipe which is pretty on the eye and even better dunked in a cup of your favourite hot drink

 

Ingredients (makes 18 cookies)

 

Cooking time: 10 mins; Prep time: 5 mins and as much time as you would like to decorate!

  • 100g butter
  • 100g caster sugar
  • ½ egg
  • 150g plain flour
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 250g icing sugar
  • One sachet powdered egg white

Method

 

Preheat the oven to 180degC/350F/Gas Mark 4

 

Mix together the butter and sugar. Add the egg and gradually add the flour and cocoa to make a soft dough

 

Roll out on a lightly floured surface to a 15mm thickness. Cut out the cookies and place on a lined baking tray and bake for 10 minutes

 

Make the egg whites as per the packet instructions and place in a mixing bowl. Add the sugar a spoon at a time and mix until you get a toothpaste-like consistency

 

Place into a piping bag and pipe patterns on the cookies. Leave to set

 

Leah’s tip    

You can make these cookies into hanging decorations by cutting a small hole before baking then thread a ribbon or some pretty string through to hang them up

Make your own cookie jars

Make your own cookie jars

A fun homemade gift to make and give to friends which love to bake

 

Ingredients (makes one jar) - Prep 15 mins - Cook 0 mins

  • 300g plain flour, split into two x 150g amounts
  • ½ tspn bicarbonate of soda
  • ¼ tspn baking powder
  • 130g soft brown sugar
  • 55g caster sugar
  • 250g chocolate chips
  • Sheet of baking paper
  • One-litre jar

Method

 

To assemble the jar, layer the ingredients

 

Start with 150g of flour, the bicarb and baking powder and press down as firmly as possible

 

Next add the brown sugar and press down again, then do the same with the caster sugar

 

Layer the chocolate chips on top

 

Carefully screw the paper into a ball and place on top of the chocolate and seal the jar

 

Decorate with ribbons, a wooden spoon and write the cooking instructions on a luggage label

 

Instructions for the gift tag:

 

Chocolate chip cookie mix

  • (Makes 24)
  • Preheat oven to 180degC/350F/Gas Mark 4
  • Melt 120g butter and crack an egg into a cup. Lay the baking paper on a baking sheet
  • Tip the contents of this jar into a large mixing bowl and mix in the egg and molten butter. Stir to form a dough. Squeeze and roll into ping pong-sized balls and place on tray
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes

Leah’s tip

Ensure each layer is packed down as firmly as possible to prevent the layers muddling together. If you have a coffee tamper use that, if not then the end of a rolling pin works well

Rocky road

Rocky road

A really moreish recipe that does keep really well as long as it’s not gobbled down!  You can prepare a big batch way before Christmas.

 

Ingredients (makes 28 squares) - prep 15 mins - Cook 5 mins

  • 120g butter
  • 450g dark chocolate
  • Four tbspn golden syrup
  • 200g shortbread biscuits
  • 100g mini marshmallows
  • 170g Maltesers
  • 100g glace cherries

Method

 

Place the butter, chocolate and syrup in a mixing bowl and sit over a pan of simmering water to melt.  Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly

 

Measure 150ml of this chocolate mixture into a separate jug.  Meanwhile, line a 25cmx20cm baking tin with baking paper

 

Break the biscuits into chunks and cut the cherries in half.  Mix all the rest of the ingredients into the mixing bowl of melted chocolate and stir together

 

Pour into the lined tin and gently press down. Pour over the measured molten chocolate and leave to set

 

Cut into pieces and present in cellophane bags or jars or pile into pretty Christmas dishes

 

Leah’s tip

Try swopping ingredients round to personalise them further. For example, try adding crystallised stem ginger, dried fruit, walnuts or different types of biscuits

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