Today I am sharing an excerpt from a post from last year. Light and buttery, melt in the mouth chocolate labels to make the Christmas tree extra special or jazz up a gift!
3 days to go! Still not got all the Christmas shopping done? Feeling stuck for gift ideas? Feel the panic rising as you wish you’d thought about all of this at the beginning of December instead of 3 days before Xmas??!!
I swear, that yesterday was December 1st but when I woke up this morning and started packing my suitcase for Christmas away I had to admit that it was definitely the 22rd of December and in a blink of an eye a whole month had whizzed by. If you have woken up to the 22rd Dec in a breathless panic fear not and read on!
I am calming myself down by writing, baking and getting back on track. Here we go!
I like nothing better than giving gifts but I feel like I have exhausted all present ideas this year. I want to give the people I love in my life something that is original, thoughtful and most of all wanted! There is nothing worse that receiving a gift that there is either no room for in the house, that is whacked on ebay the minute the gift giver has walked out the front door or that hangs around the house for the next couple of years hidden in a corner only to see the light of day when said gift giver pops round. So I am baking gifts this Christmas knowing that each one is personal to the friend or family member I am giving it to. Plus it can be shared with others too. The love goes a long way!
Instead of slugging it down Oxford street, battling it out with the cold and all the other desperate shoppers stay at home, put the heating on, drink tea and listen to the radio while you tailor make a treat for someone you love. For an even more thoughtful and cost effective gift you can box and wrap them in things you make or design using bits and bobs from around the house. Some of these can even be hung on the tree and you can get the kids to help you too.
To wrap and box my presents I am using cellophane bags (these can be bought from any of the cake craft companies on line and egg boxes which I have painted in vintage white with tons of ribbon.
These are great fun to make and a number of them accidentally got broken which meant I had to keep eating them as I went (it’s so hard doing my job!!) Light, crumbly and buttery, dipped in Orange dark chocolate for the adults and milk chocolate and dusted with glitter for the kids. I will be having a glittery one this year as at Christmas I revert back to about 10 years old. It’s a funny thing. It usually starts when I am sent to sit with my cousins on an old picnic table that has been brought in from the shed and is masquerading as the other half of the dining table. We sit on stools or old boxes of books pretending to be chairs and pretending (not very well) at being comfortable! It’s the kids table but the problem is we are now all between 21 and 32.
I will be hanging these on the tree the night before Christmas so that first thing in the morning we can pluck them off and eat them before breakfast! So you will need some ribbon for this! If you have a piping bag you can write names on the biscuits and actually use them as gift tags on your wrapped gifts to makes them extra special.
These are from a lovely little recipe I saw in Jamie Oliver’s Magazine last Christmas. Make these on Christmas Eve with any young cousin’s, nephews or daughters that need amusing. Or in my case the boyfriend!!
Ingredients – (makes about 20 ish)
300g Plain four
150g caster sugar
250g butter (room temp)
1 egg yolk
(1tsp) vanilla extract
200g Dark Chocolate Orange and 100g Milk Chocolate.
Edible Glitter or anything else you would like to decorate with.
1 – Preheat the oven to gas 180°C
2 – In a large mixing bowl whip together butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy .
3 – Beat the egg yolk, milk and vanilla in a jug/bowl and add to our butter/sugar mixture.
4- Add flour and mix until we bring a dough together.
5 – between 2 sheets of baking paper roll out the dough to just under 1cm thick. Cut shapes out with your label cutter. Now to make the holes to thread your ribbon through. After looking through the cupboard with my friend while considering many different baking tools she suggested the end of a birthday candle to make the holes. They are perfect! Otherwise if you own a skewer that would do (but a bit trickier).
6 – With a pallet knife lift biscuits on to a lined baking tray. Bake for 20 minutes golden in colour (make sure to whip them out before the edges start to deepen in colour) we want a nice even colour. Place on a cooling rack.
7 – Melt the each chocolate in the microwave for 2 mins, checking twice and stirring. Dip half of each biscuit in the chocolate. Let the excess drip off then place on a sheet of baking paper. Leave to set. With my glitter and milk chocolate labels I dripped chocolate with a tsp back and forth over half of the biscuit.
8 – When all set grab your self some Christmassy ribbon thread through each biscuit label and hang on the tree!
Have a wonderful Christmas and a really positive and feel good beginning
Treat yourself well.
The Cake Diaries xoxo