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Homemade gifts that keep?

(21 Posts)
makingdoo Sun 07-Dec-14 14:25:05

I'm making up homemade gift bags for family this year as I love cooking and baking. Also trying to save money by not buying individual presents.

I'm making Chutney and fudge but need ideas for other things that keep well.

Any suggestions?

workatemylife Mon 08-Dec-14 17:27:14

We made biscotti one year and they lasted a few days. I am marking my place for more ideas though!

tassisssss Mon 08-Dec-14 18:57:46

chilli jam, maramlade, tablet and shortbread stars i've done before.

Oldieandgoldie Mon 08-Dec-14 19:03:52

Add a splash of alcohol (even if it cooks out!), and suddenly it all seems extra special! Eg vodka chilli jam, gin and tonic marmalade, port and plum jam etc etc

Last year Waitrose did a recipe for salted caramel sauce....with gold glitter! Very fancy!,

CatCushion Mon 08-Dec-14 19:04:18

flavoured vodka/chocolate liqueur.
bags of cake or cookie mix, with instructions.
Also hot drink sachets.
Christmas cake or pudding

newtonupontheheath Mon 08-Dec-14 19:16:31

Depending who they are for., we made home made pine cone bird feeders this weekend- cheap, easy, kids can make them. Result!

Oldieandgoldie Mon 08-Dec-14 19:24:04

I've seen similar pine cones - excellent idea! smile

Tartanthrifty Mon 08-Dec-14 21:04:52

I am right in the middle of a blog post on making truffles ahead of Christmas but I will save you the bother of reading it wink by telling you that creamy chocolate truffles a/ are a doddle to make and b/ can be frozen very successfully. The secret is to make the filling first, shape it into little balls and just freeze them, then coat them in chocolate straight from the freezer when you are ready for them. If you are in a hurry, just roll them in a bashed up flake or cocoa powder. It's even easier if you use silicone ice cube moulds because you pour the filling into them, top with a layer of melted chocolate and put the whole thing in the freezer. The silicone and chocolate protect from freezer burn and you can pop them out as and when you need some.

Greigorysgirl Tue 09-Dec-14 12:34:42

I'm going to attempt Nigella's Chilli Jam for the first time tomorrow. Looks easy to make and delicious. Hopefully it will sell well at my DDs nursery fair!

I'm also making Hot Chocolate Reindeer Cones. Spotted on Pintrest!

And will make bags of Scottish tablet which lasts well.

Nearer Christmas I will make Mars Bar Vodka.

tassisssss Tue 09-Dec-14 15:57:41

I made Bramble gin but there's none left for gifts! Will make more next year and keep some to share!

CatCushion Tue 09-Dec-14 17:41:34

Could I use frozen blackberries to make bramble gin/vodja?

makingdoo Wed 10-Dec-14 00:24:44

Thanks for all the suggestions! I made Chutney for the first time today. Very proud of myself but it tastes very vinegary! After much googling I have learned that it's best to leave it 3 months. Can I still give it as gifts?

I'm going to make Scottish tablet at the weekend and I'm very tempted by the chocolate truffles tartan . Have you a link to your blog?

CatCushion Wed 10-Dec-14 06:54:07

You can still give it, but in my experience the vinegar flavour doesn't mellow with time. A large batch I made went like that and I didn't feel I could give it as gifts last year. I ended up putting it all back in the pan, adding brown sugar and tomatoes (heating until the sugar dissolved) re-sterilising the jars and repotting. It worked, it is one of my best chutneys now!

makingdoo Wed 10-Dec-14 09:20:37

Thank you Cat I think I will try adding more brown sugar. I'd really like to be able to give it as gifts.

I do have to make some more so please feel free to share your recipes!

Tartanthrifty Thu 11-Dec-14 22:36:38

I am salivating at the thought of chutney with extra brown sugar. I have never much liked chutney I have made with malt or white vinegar but have had better results with cider vinegar, if that's any help in the future!

Truffle link at

chancer2014 Thu 11-Dec-14 22:55:29

Oh I've made chutney and it definitely DID mellow with age. I was opening a new jar two years later and it tasted even better. I remember the whole house smelling of vinegar but really, it lost this taste after 6 months storage

christmashope Fri 12-Dec-14 06:54:53

Hi i have just read your blog and the truffles sound fab.. Question for you is it ok to not put the alcohol in them? Thanks

Tartanthrifty Fri 12-Dec-14 12:07:04

It's definitely ok to ditch the alcohol - add double the amount of cream instead. You can make plain chocolate truffles using the basic cream+chocolate mix with milk/dark/white chocolate. You could also add grated citrus zest (or a few drops of citrus oil) to make, eg orange and milk choc truffles, chilli and lime and dark chocolate (go easy on the chilli powder - it gets stronger with time in the freezer) or lemon and white chocolate truffles.

christmashope Sat 13-Dec-14 08:30:10

Off to make them today thanks x

Baconsandwichandacupoftea Sat 13-Dec-14 09:10:17

Lots of German / Scandi Christmas baked goodies keep well. Pfeffernusse always go down well and can look really beautiful.

Tartanthrifty Tue 16-Dec-14 22:58:48

fblush christmas hope you haven't tried my truffles yet because I accidentally doubled the quantity of cream and whisky. I have updated the recipe now - it should be 30ml in total of cream and whisky per 100g of chocolate, not 30ml of each. Sorry!

With the extra liquid they taste fab but don't set solid enough to coat easily. This leaves me with the dilemma: do I melt them again with extra chocolate to give me a workable centre, or just dig in with a spoon?

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