Making gifts for loved ones and friends makes Christmas present-giving truly special. When your child puts effort and creativity into a gift they have made themselves, it is so touching for grandparents, aunts and uncles, and parents to receive.
With a bit of artful presentation, food gifts make wonderful pressies, and needn’t cost much to make. Here are some ideas that were featured in back issue #39 (available to order) of our children’s educational magazine, BRILLIANT BRAINZ.
A chocolate truffle melting in your mouth gives a feeling of pure joy. Now you can share that gift of joy with your family and friends. (They need to be eaten within 3 days of making)
(Makes about 36)
- 150g orange flavour dark chocolate (or mint or coffee-flavoured chocolate). Or just plain dark chocolate. (Must be at least 70% cocoa solids)
- 150ml double cream
- 25 gms salted butter
- 3 tablespoons of good-quality cocoa powder (for dusting)
- Mini cake cases
- Saucepan and a mixing bowl that can sit on top of the saucepan.
- Silicone spatula
- Plate, knife,
- Chopping board
1 – Break your chocolate up into squares then chop into small pieces with a knife. Put the chopped chocolate into your mixing bowl along with the butter.
2 – Boil some water in your kettle then add the water to the saucepan. Place your mixing bowl containing the chocolate on top of the saucepan. Don’t let the chocolate get wet!
3 – Once the chocolate and butter has completely melted, add your cream stirring constantly to ensure an even mix.
4 – At this stage, the mixture should start to stiffen.
5 – Once you have mixed it all in (try to resist eating it all!), cover with clingfilm and stick it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
6 – Grab a big flat dinner plate and sieve the cocoa powder onto the plate. Get your mini cases ready.
7 – Take a heaped teaspoon of truffle mixture and using two teaspoons roll it gently into the cocoa powder until it is thoroughly coated and place carefully into a paper case.
8 – Arrange truffles in a box for gifting and remember to keep them in the fridge, – or you could freeze them.
More Joyful Treats
Handmade chocolates: Truffles are not the only kind of homemade chocolate you can make; try using milk, white and dark chocolate so you can make your very own selection box just by melting and dipping shredded coconut or a collection of your favourite nuts. Prunes or marzipan made into balls or squares and dipped in chocolate are also yummy, or how about dried mango or crystallised ginger. Give it a go.
Christmas shortbread: Stack up spiced shortbread stars and tie them up with ribbon or string, and wrap. Place in a glass jar or cellophane. Look up any recipe you like online and just add some cinnamon or mixed spice to give them an extra Christmas jingle.
Green tea peppermint creams: Made with 200g of icing sugar, 15 -25ml of cold green tea, ½ tsp lemon juice and ½ teaspoon of peppermint oil. Add a very small amount of green tea gradually until you create a fondant dough that is firm but not wet and sticky. Use a little cornflour to stop your fingers from getting sticky. Creating shapes using mini biscuit cutters, stars, bells or just round shapes, presented in mini cake cases.
Coconut Ice: 250g sweetened condensed milk, 250g icing sugar,200g desiccated coconut. Colour it pink or keep it natural. Mix in all the ingredients. Squidge together with your hands to form a rectangle shape or split into two and colour one half pink. Leave overnight in your fridge and cut into squares, package them up in boxes or bags with ribbon – a perfect joyful gift.
Mincemeat Jar: make your own to give as a gift. All you need is raisins, currants, zest of lemon and juice, shredded suet (veggie friendly), brown sugar, nutmeg, and grated apple.
Chai tea bags: Mums and Dads will love this one: buy some fill-me-up teabags, then add cardamom pods, ground ginger, cinnamon, grated nutmeg, ground cloves, and black Assam tea leaves. Mmmm!
Every issue of top kids’ magazine BRILLIANT BRAINZ is packed with great recipes, art projects, science experiments, music facts, stories, inspiration and knowledge-galore to stimulate young growing minds! SUBSCRIBE NOW to help your favourite young person become all that they can be with a fresh magazine delivered to their doormat every month!