Posted in: Recipes
Bake Your Own Christmas GiftsWith Christmas just days away, now is a great time to get cracking on those home-made Christmas gifts. Do it yourself gifts are a good way to add that personal touch to the presents you give and are often a more cost effective way of gifting during the festive season. After being inspired by the great bakes on this year's Great British Bake Off, we've put together a few of our favourite recipes for home-made, edible Christmas gifts that are sure to wow your friends and family on Christmas Day and beyond.
Crunchy Italian BiscottiA great accompaniment to a nice cup of tea, this Italian classic makes a great Christmas present. These biscuits keep for up to a month in an airtight container, so they’ll be fine to eat long after the Queen's Speech!
- Heat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas Mark 4 and line two baking sheets with greaseproof paper.
- Place the flour, baking powder, spices and sugar into a large bowl and mix well using a hand mixer such as the Tower 300W Stainless Steel Hand Mixer. Stir in the eggs and zest and when the mixture starts to come together, add the fruit and then use your hands to form the mix into a dough.
- Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface and divide into four pieces. Roll into sausage-like shapes and bake for 25-30 mins until the dough has risen and feels firm.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack until cool enough to handle, and turn down the oven temperature to 140C.
- Using a large serrated knife and cut the dough diagonally into 1cm slices then return to the oven for a further 15 minutes, then turn the biscuits over and bake for another 15 mins until completely dry and golden.
- Place the baked biscotti into a gift box, tie with a ribbon and you’ll have the perfect gift for those with a sweet tooth! Don’t forget to add a label with the recipe as an extra finishing touch.
Buttery Christmas ShortbreadA Christmas favourite, this buttery treat is one of the simplest and quickest gifts to make and is sure to be a hit with anyone that keeps a keen eye on the biscuit tin.
- Preheat your oven to 170°C/Fan 150°C/Gas Mark 3 and then place the plain flour, cornflour and sugar into a food processor such as the Tower 1000W Professional Food Processor, and pulse until combined.
- Add the butter and pulse until the mixture has the consistency of breadcrumbs.
- Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and using your hands, bring together into a soft dough.
- Gently roll out the dough, cut your shapes and transfer onto a baking tray lined with baking paper.
- Bake for around 12 minutes or until the biscuits are a very light golden colour.
- Place on a wire rack to cool.
- Slice into long fingers and present in a glass jar for a sweet treat that’s a perfect pick me up after all that turkey!
Sparkly MacaroonsAdd a touch of sparkle to your Christmas gifting with some glittery French macaroons. The ultimate in patisserie-based sophistication, these are the perfect gift for the trendsetter in your life.
- Sift the icing sugar and ground almonds into a mixing bowl.
- Into a stand mixer (the Tower 1200W Die Cast Stand Mixer is especially useful for this task), add the egg whites and whisk until stiff peaks are formed.
- Gradually add the caster sugar and continue to whisk until the mixture is thick and glossy.
- Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and gently fold in the vanilla extract until fully incorporated.
- Sprinkle in the icing sugar and almond mix and gently fold in, then spoon the mixture into a piping bag.
- Onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper, pipe 5cm circles of the macaroon mixture then leave to rest for 10-15 minutes or until the macaroons have formed a skin.
- While the macaroons rest, preheat the oven to 120°C/Fan 100°C/Gas Mark 1/2 and bake for around 15 minutes or until the macaroons are cooked all the way through.
- Transfer the macaroons to a wire rack to cool while you make the filling.
- Combine the lemon curd and mascarpone and use to sandwich the two halves of each macaroon together.
- Generously sprinkle with edible glitter to finish.
- Present in a rectangular box, tied with a ribbon.