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Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Make ahead Christmas Presents?

With the cost of living constantly rising and people trying to save money anyway possible we have been thinking about how we can save money on Christmas presents. Christmas is my favourite time of the year, it’s not the presents, its the fact that you see and spend time with people and family you may not have seen for a while.

Every year we go to my parents for Boxing Day to celebrate Christmas with them and my brother and his girlfriend join us for the day. This year in an effort to save money etc we have decided that all of our presents to each other will be hand made!! I have a few ideas already but if you have anymore that you would like to share please let me know – all ideas are welcome!!

We aren’t the only ones thing in a festive theme, in November’s issue of the Good Food Magazine there is a special section on ‘Make ahead Christmas Gifts’, my favourite recipe from this section is

Pistachio and Cranberry Cookies

Makes 22. Prep 15 mins plus cooking. Cook 15 mins

175g/6oz butter, softened
85g/3oz golden caster sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
225g/8ox plain flour
75g/2 ½ oz pistachios
75g/2 ½ oz dried cranberries

1. Mix the butter, sugar and vanilla extract with a wooden spoon. Stir in the flour, then tip in the pistachios and cranberries – you might need to get your hands in at this stage to bring the mix together as a dough. Halve the dough and shape each half into a log about 5cm across. Wrap in cling film, then chill for 1 hr or freeze for up to 3 months.

2. Heat oven to 180 c / 160 fan / gas 4. Slice the logs into 1cm thick rounds, place on baking tray lined with baking parchment and bake for 12-15 mins. Completely cool on tray.

Make ahead
Well wrapped, these dough logs will happily freeze for up to 3 months, meaning you can include freshly made biscuits in your Christmas hampers without any last minute effort. Simply defrost in the fridge overnight, then slice and cook as above.
So has anyone got any other make ahead recipes or home made gift ideas they want to share?

All the best

Claire
Xx

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