I am the sort of person who likes to make gifts of the edible sort, so this year I thought I'd make Homemade Peppermint Creams to give out as presents. I had wanted to try making these for a while, as the recipe seemed so simple and easy, and luckily, it was!
The recipe I used:
450g icing sugar
2 egg whites
food colouring & dark chocolate optional.
Basically you whisk the egg white til it forms soft peaks, then sift in the icing sugar and mix til you have a dough that is kneadable. Then you can add your flavouring and colouring if you wish to do so. Then roll out the dough, cut out into shapes and leave to set on a lined baking tray for 24 hours. Then I added melted dark chocolate to them.
I made one batch and added a few drops of blue food colouring to half of it. I left the other half of the batch white. I used four different shaped cutters :
star :: heart :: circle :: flower
The chocolate part was the most fun, although I ended up ruining a few (so they had to be eaten, of course) I put them in the fridge for a couple of hours after doing the chocolate to help it set.
Then I packaged them up in these cute little celophane bags with a label. These went down really well as they taste exactly like shop bought peppermint creams, only they looked sooo much prettier!
I did a little handmade/homemade hamper for my aunt - some homemade strawberry jam, handmade heart, some chocolates, a pretty teatowel, crackers, cheese, homemade chutney and some homemade peppermint creams. The hamper basket was £2 from Tiger and I wrapped it all in celophane. It cost hardly anything to make but it was made with lots of love!
The chutney was made by me in November but I didn't get around to prettifying it up until last week. I picked polka dot red for the men and floral print for the ladies. Its Delia Smiths Christmas chutney recipe and the little jars are in fact spice jars from IKEA, which are the perfect size for gift giving.
I am so chuffed that I made this chutney, it was one of those things that I really wanted to make, but I thought I would never get around to doing. I ended up making it with two lovely friends, so we split the cost of the ingredients, the jars, and shared all the chopping and cleaning up! It turned out to be so much fun and worked out a lot cheaper than if I had made it on my own at home.
It also meant that the girls got to use up some of my extensive fabric stash for their toppers, which I was pleased about too, as its far too big and I'll never manage to use it all.
Now not a gift as such, but I made a couple of deserts to take round to my brothers on Boxing Day, and this one especially was soo delicious! Its a Raspberry and Chocolate Tart, made with shortcrust pastry.
I lined my dish and blind baked the pastry. Then added a layer of delicious raspberries.
The rest was 250ml double cream and 250g dark chocolate poured over the top of the raspberries and decorated rather messily with some chocolate curls!
The best way to do the curls is to warm the chocolate by leaving it somewhere warm, then use a vegetable peeler to shave the curls off!
Lastly, my blueberry baked cheesecake. Sooo yummy and went down a storm.
I must experiment with other fruits and flavours too, I like the idea of some sort of compote on top. I think that would be even yummier!
Hope you enjoyed my foodie treats!