If you’re not sure that you want to go out and buy gifts for everyone this year, why not make them instead?
Something homemade is perfect to give to a host of a party, have your children make for friends or their teacher, or even to give to everyone in your family on the big day. And after all, who doesn’t love a gift they can eat?
I’ve been making gift guides for the last few weeks for people who want to go out and purchase that special present for someone, but I think a home baked gift is just as good as anything you can buy. I’ve created a little list of suggestions as to some recipes that might be helpful when it comes to giving sweet treats for Christmas.
This is my absolute go-to brownie recipe when it comes to any kind of celebration. I’ve gifted these dark, fudgy beauties in Christmassy wrapped boxes throughout December and baked them for all kinds of parties, weddings and office celebrations too throughout the year. They are the best gift to give and one I would be delighted to receive myself!! You can add any kind of mix-in that you think the recipient would love, from peppermint flavour to nuts to caramels to white chocolate chips. The world is your oyster (or brownie).
If you know someone who lives life more on the healthy side, then granola is a fabulous gift. The store bought stuff is normally high in sugar and fat, but when you make it at home it’s full of whatever you decide to put in it. You control the show. Use spices that remind you of the season so that it has that festive touch, pick the recipient’s favourite dried fruit and nut combo, and then maybe add some dark chocolate chips for a bit of a special Christmas treat. This recipe for gingerbread granola looks scrumptious and it’s vegan too.
CHUTNEY & JAM
As a child this is something I would have thought of as an odd gift. But now as an avid cheese lover, I would be super happy to receive a jar of homemade chutney alongside a large block of my favourite cheddar. Jams come in all kinds of fancy flavours too and it’s fairly simple to whip up a batch of jam large enough to feed your whole extended family. Just make sure you have a good enough saucepan or pot and some jam sugar and you are winning! If you’re in doubt as to which to choose, it’s almost certain that a Delia recipe will never fail you (I’ve made many before). This chutney (not pictured) from her website looks delicious and it’s aptly named Christmas Chutney, so it must be perfect at this time of year!
This one is a trickier one for people to get behind because it’s so easy to pick up a box of chocolates from the supermarket. However, I think chocolate and fudge making are super fun and easy and worth a try! Plus, you’ll end up with something that’ll look amazing and you were the one to make it happen. Making a cheats ‘Chocolate Fudge with Sprinkles‘ is just the easiest thing in the whole world, and these ‘Mint Chocolate Biscuit Bites‘ are also the work of moments. If you want something with a bit more texture then Nigella’s Christmas Rocky Road is definitely worth a try. It’s delicious.
BISCUITS & COOKIES
No one is going to be disappointed when you hand them a tin of biscuits, and I mean no one. In the US they even have the tradition of a cookie swap, where people bake (or buy) cookies to swap with their friends, colleagues and neighbours. I love this idea. There are absolutely gazillions of recipes on the internet just waiting for you to try them out so you’ll never be short on options. My favourite ‘Christmas Spiced Biscuits‘ are definitely perfect for the festive period, but you could also try Bill Granger’s Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (a favourite with anyone who has ever eaten them) or my seasonal adaptation using cranberries and white chocolate. So delicious. If you want even more biscuit inspiration then this cookie baking post has quite a lot of delicious sounding recipes.
HOT CHOCOLATE BUNDLE
I love hot chocolate and I love having my stout little Father Christmas mug to drink it out of. A combination of mug and chocolate is a great gift and combines something homemade with a useful little purchase. You can easily make hot chocolate on a stick (chocolate blocks on the end of bamboo spoons or skewers) as a gift, wrap the blocks in baking parchment leaving the stick poking out and tie it up with a ribbon. Then just pop one into a mug along with some mini marshmallows (or some biscuits), add instructions as to how to make the hot chocolate, and gift them like that. It would be so cute! You could absolutely use a less tacky mug than mine. One with the recipients initial (under £5 vs under £10) on would be lovely or even just one with a festive design would be super seasonal.
Mince pies are definitely the most Christmassy baked good that you can give as a gift and they are always going to be so much better than the ones bought from the supermarket. I love making these little star topped ones as I think they look even more festive. Pop them in a seasonal looking box and then everyone can receive the joy of Christmas all wrapped up. Yes!
I hope this has given you a little last minute gift inspiration for all your friends and family if you need it and happy baking!!