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Thursday, 22 December 2011

Help is at hand if your edible Christmas gifts are a disaster!

I've you've burnt cake, cut off the burnt bits and mix the rest with buttercream icing (homemade or store bought) and make cake pops then dip them in chocolate.  They don't have to be on sticks either. You can make them cake balls and put them in mini muffin paper cases and they will look gorgeous.

Dipping things in chocolate covers a multitude of sins. Either half or fully dip your wonky biscuits, fudge, peppermint creams or other slightly dodgy looking creations.  Cover your mistakes in chocolate, nobody will notice and tis the season of decadence after all!

If your biscuits are rock hard or slightly over cooked, crumb them in a food processor or put them in a bag and bash with a rolling rolling pin. Use them to roll truffles in or mix with chocolate ganache for cookie crumb truffles. You could also mix the crumbs with melted butter, use them as a base, and top with ganache or your favourite cheesecake topping for a quick and decadent dessert solution on Christmas day.

Savoury gifts are fab for those who don't have a sweet tooth. Some port and a hunk of cheese packaged well can be a real treat for someone who is tortured by endless cakes, chocolate and cookies.  Cheese straws, homemade crackers and/or booze is always a hit! Just make sure you pack things well and label carefully and clearly if things need to be kept in the fridge.

If all else fails tell people that your kids made whichever tasty treats that turned into disasters. Nobody will moan at your angelic children and shatter their self esteem because their rock hard biscuits could build a road, would they?! ;oP

If you haven't made enough of something, make it stretch. If you are short of biscuits, wrap them in cellophane and put them in an attractive coffee mug or tea cup. Add a pack of hot chocolate, coffee or tea and you've got a gift that should please even the pickiest person.

If you don't, can't or won't bake then gifts in a jar are perfect. Give people the ingredients and instructions and let them do the baking. LOL You could even include a wooden mixing spoon and a cake tin so they really get the hint.

Make sure you find out if people have food allergies or intolerances before you give them edible gifts.  Nothing spoils festivities like a trip to the Emergency Department due to an allergic/adverse reaction. 

If all else fails then go to the supermarket and find the most "rustic" looking mince pies, biscuits or other tasty treats that kinda look homemade and pass them off as your own. You won't be the only one pulling off this trick, especially when everyone is really busy at this time of year.  Either that or buy some biscuits or Christmas cakes and decorate them yourself.  Still has the homemade touch without as much faff.

Hit up a friendly baker to bake your treats for you to decorate.  Yes, I am a soft touch and have been baking for all and sundry the past couple of weeks. Some I do it out of the goodness of my heart (to the detriment of my bank account and frustration of my husband), but most at least give me the ingredients so I am not that out of pocket.

There is SO much food around at this time of year, you could always make up some vouchers people can use for early in the New Year.  Make your own vouchers for afternoon tea at yours, baking someone a cake, some muffins, or batch of biscuits (state which flavour on the voucher) and include them with some small baked treats, a lovely cup/mug and pack of their favourite hot beverage.

Lastly, be proud of what you have made! Package your creations well and make them look fab! If you've spent time slaving away to make gifts, make them look really special and show off your creations as best you can.  Make sure you put "Homemade with love" on the gift tag too so everyone knows you've made an effort and created something for them, so they'd better be grateful! LOL

Christmas icons chocolate mould (with instruction card)
Homemade chocolates
What are your top tips for saving the day if gift making/baking goes pear shaped?

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