A day of industry in Cawood’s Crafty Kitchen.

Homemade gifts

Blimey, I’ve been in my kitchen all day making bits and pieces for Christmas pressies. I’ve made some peppermint bark (with limited success: I’ve discovered I’m no good at drizzling chocolate, I must practice with the next batch and I also discovered to deep angst that is chocolate seizing)

I made some candy cane vodka (following a recipe I found in a magazine last year and saved). Not enough sugar for my liking so I added a load and put more candy cane dust in too and now I have something resembling Pepto Bismol. It tastes OK though: sweetly, medicinally minty* I’m not sure what I’m going to do to make it Gift-able. I will try some different things. Hopefully the £12 I spent putting it together won’t be wasted.

I’ve also done a second pour on my teacup candles (although they’re still dipping in the middle so may have to do a third pour). I also made some red onion chutney following a recipe I saved from last year. Again, it was rubbish! I ended up adding a load of soft, brown sugar, some roasted garlic and some chilli. I then reduced it right down and it’s really quite yummy. With a cracker and a sharp, mature cheddar at Christmas, it’ll be delish. I will make up some little hampers with homemade cheese crackers and a truckle of cheese.

Recipes (my modified ones) and photos are below and in my recipes section here in case you fancy having a go at any of these yourself.

Next on the agenda is piccalilly, some more chutney and lots of different flavoured shortbreads (which I’ll freeze at the dough stage and bake closer to Christmas.

I know it’s only mid-November but I’m writing this while the kids play and watch Elf and round Cawood way, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas….🎄

Teacup candles.

I recycled some dregs from last year’s yummy Christmas scented candles and added them to some wax beads and they smell amazing! After the second pour the dip was almost gone.

 

teacup candles

Tea cup £2 from an antiques market near my mum’s. Wax beads from Amazon. Melted down with last years wax bits left over. It smells AMAZING!

Vintage teacup candle

Gorgeous vintage teacup picked up in a charity shop and filled with recycled scented and coloured wax. I did a second pour on this and now it’s a beauty.

Ready to melt the chocolate down for peppermint bark. SO EASY. Melt milk chocolate, spresd on to baking try lined with parchment paper, then drizzle white chocolate over the top the blitz some candy canes and sprinkle over the top and refrigerate for a couple of hours then break up into chunks and pop in a pretty bag. I dded edible glitter as a finishing touch. IMPORTANT! Chocolate seizes very easy when you add essence so use flavoured oils instead. Don't do what I did and add peppermint essence to the white chocolate. I ended up with a sticky, un-useable load of GUNK

Ready to melt the chocolate down for peppermint bark. SO EASY. Melt milk chocolate, spread on to baking try lined with parchment paper, then drizzle white chocolate over the top, then blitz some candy canes and sprinkle over the top and refrigerate for a couple of hours then break up into chunks and pop in a pretty bag. I added edible glitter as a finishing touch. IMPORTANT! Chocolate seizes very easily when you add essence so use flavoured oils instead. Don’t do what I did and add peppermint essence to the white chocolate. I ended up with a sticky, un-useable load of GUNK.

Peppermint Bark

Peppermint Bark all bagged up and ready to gift. The little bags were from Ikea (I think they’re meant to be an advent calendar as there were 24 of them) They’re perfect for little gifts like this.

Berries and Vanilla Jam

I made this berry jam to use up an excess of frozen fruit I had in my freezer. I added a vanilla pod to take the edge of the tang. Recipe here.

Homemade gifts

I took this lot to give to old friends I see very rarely as Christmas treats. The lovely thing about giving a homemade gift is that every time they spread that jam on a hot, buttered crumpet, hopefully, they will think about me and keep me in their hearts even though I don’t get to see them.

Red onion chutney

This was from a recipe from HEAT magazine last year which was RUBBISH. You can find my modified recipe in my recipes section.

Candy Cane Vodka

*In it’s first incarnation. The problem with it was that the candy canes were minty so I ended up with Calpol flavoured vodka. I saved it by adding essence of cacao. Now it’s a mint-choc-chip flavour and frankly, DELICIOUS.

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