homemade Christmas pressies

29 Dec

A bit late to inspire anyone so this is more just a post to show-off!!  As i posted last time i hand made a few Christmas pressies this year for my family.  I couldn’t post about it because my sister reads my blog and it would’ve spoiled the surprise.  So here’s how it all turned out.

Firstly I made toffee for my father in law.  This is the single most terrifying thing i have ever cooked.  Me being anywhere near boiling fat and sugar seemed like a recipe for disaster but actually it turned out OK.  I covered part of the toffee with chocolate and left the other half plain.

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Next I made vanilla essence for my Dad, my big sis and my Gran who are all keen bakers (and very accomplished at it too i might add).  This just basically involves splitting vanilla pods and adding to vodka.  I poured the mix into these cute Kilner bottles.  The hardest part of this recipe is trying not to drink all the vodka (particularly while trying to steady nerves when making toffee!!) – especially after you’ve added the vanilla as it smells divine.

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I then placed stickers on the bottles that i found here.  The finished product is below.  The essence slowly turns brown and is ready to use in three months.

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Finally I made candied nuts for my mother in law.  These are super easy to make – you whisk up an egg with a load of sugar and whatever spice you wish to use (i used cinnamon on pecans and almonds) then bake on a really low heat, turning occasionally, for an hour.  A side effect is that the house smells amazing for a good while after (and you get to eat any nuts that don’t fit in the jars or that happen to fall into your mouth!!).

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I put the toffee and nuts into Kilner jars and added labels that I found here.  It’s amazing that such talented people are willing to share things like this.  I’m sure you’ll agree they are great.


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I’m really pleased with the results and my recipients seemed to be happy.  Above all no-one has seemed to suffer any poisoning after eating any of the products i made.  So that’s a bonus.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday.  Looking forward to the New Year now.

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