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Thursday, 6 December 2012

Ho - Ho - Homemade Christmas Gifts

I love Christmas time. I really love everything about it. I adore Christmas carols, decorating my home, and I am a Christmas tree perfectionist, with each item placed on very carefully.

Most of all I love giving people gifts. I know many people see Christmas as being very commercial. However, I really feel that it is one time a year that I can think of a gift for people I love, look for it, buy it and wrap it with care.

I also LOVE to bake for people. I really love to cook, particularly sweets. I also do a bit of cake decorating as a hobby, so I really enjoy to put together a few treats for family and friends at Christmas.

With the introduction of Pinterest into my life my ideas for what to make have doubled. If you love to cook, decorate or craft and you do not have a pinterest account yet then GET ONTO IT!

So here are a few ideas of what I am thinking of making this year.

1. Gingerbread house

I have made a few of these in the past, not always with a lot of success. This year I have decided to make small gingerbread houses as a gift for some of the people I work with. I am not going to make them really large, so hopefully I will have more success this year.

2. Cookie jars

I have been saving Moccona coffee jars all year in preparation for Christmas. I am saving them so that I can fill them with yummy biccies and give them as gifts.

I wash the jars in the dishwasher to get the labels of and get rid of the coffee smell. Sometimes they also need a bit of bicarb left int hem for a day or so, then another wash. Once cleaned and label free they are lovely jars that are ready to be filled.

I have a particular biscuit recipe that I like to use from an old Donna Hay magazine. It makes a sweet, shortbread type biscuit. It also is one that you can turn into so many different flavours. I often use the same recipe to make chocolate chip, white chocolate macadamia, and cranberry and pistachio cookies.

Also, it freezes really well so you can make the dough ahead of time and freeze it then just bake when needed.

3. Sugar Cookies

Because I love to decorate cakes, decorating sugar cookies is a natural extention of that. I like to use fondant to decorate rather than royal icing. This year I am going to experiment with making my own marshmallow fondant, and am thinking of trying to flavour some of it.

My cookies from last year.

I use this recipe often for sugar cookies. They make great tasting cookies, but are still firm enough to decorate.

If I make everything as planned I will come back and share my photos!

Do you plan on making any gifts this year? If so, share your ideas with me. I'd love to hear your plans.

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