Friday, 21 December 2012

Christmas Baking - Gift Ideas

The weather has been warming up in our part of the world and I must admit I look longingly at pictures of a lovely white Christmas and wonder what that would be like.  One day I would love to experience that!  For this year though, the weather here is predicted to be quite hot on Christmas Day, so it will be a day spent in the air-conditioning or swimming in the pool.

It has been a bit of a challenge to do Christmas baking this year with the temperatures being quite high, especially when working with chocolate!  Here is what I've been able to bake over the last couple of days.

Cherry & Almond Biscotti

These are so delicious, definitely my favourite!  I added lots more coloured glace cherries and whole blanched almonds this year - a huge improvement.  I have to keep them put away out of sight otherwise we won't have any left for Christmas. 

Christmas Scroll Cookies

These were honestly a disaster to make.  If I ever make them again I will use my own cookie dough recipe. The recipe I used here had cookie dough which would not hold together, it kept falling apart, not from being crumbly because it was moist enough, just the type of dough it was - it was a nightmare to try and roll up to try and achieve the scroll effect.  I was amazed when they came out like they did and actually resembled some sort of scroll, I had expected much worse.

Chocolate Checkerboard Shortbread

This is a recipe I have been making for years.  It is yummy, easy to make and creates a nice effect with the checkerboard pattern.  I did colour the plain dough to try and make it red, to look a bit Christmassy - as you can see it turned out more of a pink shade instead.  They still look good and taste great!

Chocolate Rum Balls

This is one of those traditional old recipes which most people love.  You can choose to add the rum or leave it out altogether - they taste fine either way.

Marble Rocky Road

This was super easy to make and lots of fun - it is just Cadbury Chocolate melts, imitation cherries, mini marshmallows and Natural Confectionary Snakes cut into small pieces.  At the request of my children I didn't add in any nuts, although I personally think it would taste great with nuts.
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Today we have been busy making Christmas chocolates - using Christmas themed chocolate molds and Cadbury White Chocolate Melts which we have added colours to.  The kids have had so much fun making these!!

We plan to gift wrap a selection of baked goodies as gifts for our neighbours and friends.  It is so nice to be able to share homemade treats with others. 
Of course we will also have some left for our own family celebrations for Christmas Day too! 
I hope you have enjoyed seeing some of our favourite Christmas treats.

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