Edible gifts are perfect for your little ones to give out this season
Time Out Kids staff
Home-made gingerbread, fairy cakes and cookies make great personalised pressies without breaking the bank. You can experiment with the packaging, making them look as upmarket as you like using pretty cardboard boxes lined with tissue paper, or decorated paper plates inside clear bags tied with a ribbon and tag.
Tart up the presentation by adding a fresh sprinkling of icing sugar and a sprig of holly. Make them as near to Christmas as possible, though, so you can give them out fresh. They don’t contain the preservatives of shop-bought treats and so won’t last as long.
Instructions 1) Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/gas four. 2) Line a baking tray with waxed paper or baking parchment. 3) Chop the nuts and cherries finely. 4) Melt the butter over a low heat, add the sugar. 5) When the sugar has dissolved, boil the mixture for one minute. 6) Take the pan off the heat and stir in the nuts, cherries, peel and cream. 7) Put teaspoonfuls of the mixture on the baking tray, then bake in the oven for 10-12 mins (until golden brown). 8) Leave to cool. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate over a saucepan of hot water. When melted, spread the chocolate over one side of the florentines to make a chocolate base. Yummy!
Rudolph’s fairy cakes
Ingredients 125g unsalted butter 75g caster sugar 2 large eggs (beaten) 125g self-raising flour 205g sweet mincemeat 1 tsp baking powder 1 small tub of glace cherries Ready-made icing or sieved icing sugar (to mix with water to make glace icing)
1) Pre-heat the oven to 190°C/ gas five. 2) Place paper cases in your bun/muffin tins. 3) Cream together the butter and sugar until the mixture turns pale and creamy, then whisk in the eggs a little at a time, with a tiny amount of the flour to stop it curdling. 4) Fold in the flour, sweet mincemeat and baking powder. 5) Divide the mixture equally between the 16 bun cases and bake in the oven for 15-20 mins (until golden and firm). 6) While they cool, prepare the icing (according to pack, or mix your own) and spoon a small amount onto the top of each cake. Smooth the top with a round-bladed knife and place a cherry in the centre of each.
Ingredients 450g plain flour 65g sugar 1 egg 125g butter (or margarine) 225g golden syrup 60ml milk 2 tsp ground ginger 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, pinch of salt (optional)
Instructions 1) Pre-heat oven to 180°C/gas four. 2) Cream together butter and sugar until pale and creamy. 3) Add the egg and mix well. Stir in the golden syrup, mixing well. 4) Sift together flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and salt, then add little by little to the creamed mixture, alternating with the milk. 5) Mix well after each addition. Using your hands, knead to a stiff, smooth dough. 6) Roll out to a thickness of approximately 5mm and cut to whatever shapes you like. Place the shapes on a greased baking tray. 7) If you wish to turn the biscuits into tree decorations, make a small hole at the top of your shapes, approximately 5mm from the edge of the biscuit. Bake in the oven for 10-12 mins. Cool on a wire rack and decorate with icing and sprinkles or glace fruit etc. Thread a thin ribbon through the holes to make yummy edible tree decorations.