Full confession, I haven’t finished my Christmas shopping yet.
How about you?
Perhaps you’re still looking for the perfect gift for someone hard to buy for.
Or maybe the kids would like to make something for family but you’re not sure where to start on that. Or even if you’ve got time to help!
One option might be a delicious foodie treat, baked with love – a wonderful gift for Christmas.
So whilst you may be planning a festive feast in coming weeks, why not also take a little time to bake a gift for loved ones?
If you’d like to try but you’re not sure what to make, read on for my top tips on baking delicious edible gifts this year. Plus some quick and easy recipes (and video tutorials) that you can bake along with.
Read on for more.
1. Bake something simple but delicious
This is already a busy time of year. So choose recipes that are simple and quick. That way, you can bake a gift in the same time you might find one online or head to the shops to buy.
One such idea is shortbread biscuits. Either keep them plain or use orange or lemon zest to flavour them. You could also add chocolate chips or finely chopped nuts.
Cut out biscuits with festive cutters such as stars for an extra Christmas twist.
Fancy baking your own? You can follow along with our shortbread biscuit recipe by clicking the link below (although note that it’s listed as an Easter biscuits recipe!).
2. Make the best use of your time
Now might not be the time for lavish creations. Step away from baking a three-tiered cake masterpiece for every person you know. You probably don’t have time!
Instead, go for bakes where you can make lots at the same time. You’ll have plenty to make up into gifts then, plus perhaps a few to sample at home.
You could make batches of biscuit dough and fit three trayfuls in the oven to bake at once.
Or bake multiple mini muffins or a large traybake, sliced up and shared around.
Plus keep decorations simple. A dusting of icing sugar, a swirl of frosting or perhaps a simple shake of sprinkles. This is a great activity to involve the kids in too.
If you know people who prefer a savoury treat, why not give these cheese straws a try? Perfect nibbles whilst you wait for Christmas lunch to be ready.
3. Get the kids involved too
Baking can be a great activity to get the kids involved in (no, really!).
Use simple, short recipes and, depending on their age, get kids to weigh out and mix ingredients, grease trays, spoon out mixture into cases and decorate the finished products.
Decorating especially can be where kids get really creative. You can even ask them to have a go designing packaging that’s perfect for the gifts (see below).
Why not try baking these jammy dodgers with the kids?
You could cut them out as star shapes and fill with a plum or apricot jam if you prefer.
Dust the finished biscuits in plenty of icing sugar – a delicious gift that goes perfectly with an afternoon cup of tea.
Click the button below to bake along with the video.
4. Make sure your baked gifts arrive in one piece
If you’re intending to post or deliver your creations, choose a product that has more chance of arriving intact.
Biscuits, biscotti, fudge, gingerbread, cakes such as teabreads and sliced traybakes such as brownies are likely to be sturdy enough for this.
Don’t go for anything that needs chilling or could melt or fall apart. Likewise, detailed icing or complex construction should also be avoided if possible.
A good choice could be these chocolate-dipped Viennese and Florentine biscuits – a great treat for Christmas!
Click the button below to bake along with the video.
5. How to package your homebaked gifts?
Once you’ve baked all your beautiful gifts, what can you use to package them up? Especially if you need to post or deliver them – your packing needs to be a little bit sturdy!
Start by saving any pretty boxes, tins or jars you have at home. These could be from other foods or perhaps another gift.
You could also save boxes such as cereal boxes – cut in half lengthways to make a sturdy tray, or cut the bottom off to make a thin sleeve for biscuits.
Wash or wipe clean any container you have. Line with brown baking paper before placing your baked goods inside.
If you’re re-using boxes, get the kids to decorate them before filling, or wrap them in Christmas paper.
Finally, tie ribbon or string around your packaged gift to decorate. Make a label to let the recipient know what’s inside.
You could also wrap the box or jar fully in brown or baking paper and then decorate the outside with Christmas stamps or stickers.
Enjoy getting creative!
Live bakealongs are back for Christmas!
If you’ve enjoyed these suggestions, why not join me for two special Christmas live online bakealongs.
They’ll be held in aid of two charities I support with my family
The live bakealongs will take place on my Facebook page on:
Saturday 19 December (10am)
Wednesday 23 December (10am).
Short and simple recipes that you can bake along with – and kids can join in too.
Gift vouchers are now available for online bread making classes with The Epsom Bakehouse.
The perfect gift for the budding bread baker.
Classes are live online with plenty of time for questions. You’ll receive a detailed recipe to use at home too. No previous bread making experience needed to join – classes are relaxed and good fun.
Classes are 5*-rated on Google reviews by previous students.
Online classes will continue in 2021 – you can learn to bake baguettes, cinnamon buns, ciabatta, brioche, stollen and more.