It's all in the recipe and some clever presentation tricks
Save a fortune and earn brownie points this Christmas by making some gorgeous foodie gifts. Here are our best-ever edible gifts: easy to make and stunning to look at.
If it's going by mail it needs to be a robust enough not to arrive in pieces. Solution: send something that's already in pieces! The glacé cherries and salted peanuts in this chocolate nut brittle give it a sweet-and-sour deliciousness.
Artisan touch: take the corner of a cellophane bag and fill it with brittle at an angle so it forms a cone. Tie with loads of multi-coloured curly string.
Under a tenner
You’ve done all your gift shopping, it’s still a week till payday and you’ve got £7.50 to your name. And then you remember the people you forgot. Oops. Heard of a brigadeiro? These melt-in-the-mouth choco bombs are just like posh truffles but made with condensed milk and cocoa powder meaning they’re seriously cheap to put together. And they taste AMAZING.
Artisan touch: fill a piping bag with melted chocolate and drizzle over the brigadeiros. Leave to cool and pop in paper bags.
Make in less than half an hour …
Homemade gifts don’t have to be an endless labour of love – these cute scones only take 30 minutes.
Thyme, rosemary and Parmigiano make them taste divine and they’re delicious filled with soft Brie and cranberry sauce. Blink and they’ll be scone!
Artisan touch: brush each scone with edible metallic paint, then leave to dry. Line up and wrap in cellophane, then tie with ribbon at each end to look like a Christmas cracker.
Dinner party gift
These fruit and nut chocolate rounds definitely could have come from a posh choc-shop. Or if you’ve got a bit more time, take along a marzipan-filled stollen: wrap in a brown paper bag, tie with string and tuck in few sprigs of holly.
Artisan touch: make paper pouches for your chocolate rounds. Cut 7cm x 12cm strips of waxed or parchment paper and fold in half. Trim the edges with pinking shears (if you have them). Sew the sides with three stitches of yarn or slim ribbon, then pop in your chocs.
One for the kids
Christmas excitement x too much sugar = mayhem², so give the kids bite-sized cake pops. Ready-made sponge is fine to use if they don’t like fruitcake and you can even coat them in milk and white chocolate, topped with sugar holly decorations so they look like Christmas puds.
Artisan touch: pop some cake pops in a festive mug then put fondant icing in the bottom and fill with tissue paper, artificial snow or even rice, to help them stand up. Wrap in clear bags, add a label and tie with a ribbon. Ta-dah!
Don’t have a sweet tooth?
Got a friend who always skips dessert only to hog the cheeseboard? Then they’re bound to go crackers over these Christmas tree cheese biscuits. Hand them over with a bottle of plonk and their favourite stinky cheese. You’ll be their BFF.
Artisan touch: cover a box with sparkly wrap, fill with tissue paper and lay your baked beauties inside. Pop on the lid and stick a pretty paper snowflake on top.
Mulled wine and fudgy muscovado sugar make this red onion chutney utterly 'lish. Cover the lids of your jars with squares of red fabric and tie with twine for Bonne Maman chic. (Find some other ideas for Christmas in a jam jar right here).
Artisan touch: use alphabet stamps to print the name of your chutney on a brown label tag and tie round you jar. Could have come from a posh deli.